BATON ROUGE – A bill that is nearing final passage in the Legislature is designed to protect Louisiana health care consumers in case the Affordable Care Act is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. But Senate Bill 173  is far from a comprehensive solution to the problems Louisianans would face if the federal law is overturned.

A new policy brief by LBP senior policy analyst Stacey Roussel breaks down the bill and its shortcomings. Among other things, the bill would allow insurance companies to increase premiums on older customers above what is now allowed, and fails to include a provision of the ACA that requires insurers to enroll people regardless of health status.

Among other things, the bill calls for the Commissioner of Insurance to create new a high-risk insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions who are likely to experience high health-care costs. But this provision is short on details, and would only take effect if the federal government continues to subsidize coverage for low- and moderate-income families.