Finding Medicare Plans in Louisiana
Louisiana has a variety of Medicare options to choose from. But, finding the right amount of coverage can be strenuous. We don’t think it has to be. We’ll help you navigate the selection of Medicare plans in Louisiana to help find the plan that’s right for you.
Who’s Eligible for Medicare Plans in Louisiana?
Medicare is a federal program that provides healthcare to people 65 or older and certain people under the age of 65 with a qualifying disability. Most people are first eligible for Medicare plans in Louisiana once they reach 65 years of age. Persons under 65 may also qualify if they have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or have been a recipient Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least 24 month.
To qualify for Medicare, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident, having lived here for at least 5 years. Additionally, you or your spouse must have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
If you have questions about your eligibility or Medicare options, we can help. Talk to a licensed insurance agent now by calling the number above.
What are the different Medicare Plans in Louisiana?
Original Medicare Part A and Part B
Original Medicare is the federal component of Medicare and it is has two parts:
Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient services like hospital care, care received at a skilled nursing facility, and hospice care.
Part B (Medical Insurance) covers outpatient medical services and supplies that are considered medically necessary. Part B also covers some preventive care, like flu shots and cardiovascular screenings.
It is important to know that Original Medicare does not cover everything. For example, it generally does not cover prescription medications, hearing exams/hearing aids, long term care received at a nursing home, dental care, or eyeglasses. For this reason, you can expand your coverage with additional Medicare plans offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.
Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, provide the same coverage as Original Medicare Part A and Part B, with the exception of hospice care which is still covered by Part A. Part C plans can also have additional benefits, like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage are called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans.
Before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must first be enrolled in both Parts of Original Medicare. In addition to the premium charged by your Part C plan, you must continue paying your Part B premium if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
Medicare Prescription Drug plans, also referred to as Medicare Part D, are provided and coordinated by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. These plans provide coverage for prescription medications, which are generally not covered by Part A, Part B or Medigap plans. Any beneficiary can sign-up for Medicare Part D as long as they are eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B and permanently reside in the service area of a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. Medicare Prescription Drug coverage is optional, but if you don’t enroll in Part D as soon as you’re eligible, you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you enroll later.
Medicare Part D coverage comes in the form of stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plans, which work alongside Original Medicare, or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan, known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD).
Out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and monthly plan premiums will vary from plan to plan. Each medication covered by a Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a set cost in the form of a co-pay or coinsurance according to a tiered system. Every Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a formulary for your reference, allowing you to pick the plan with the lowest cost for your prescription needs.
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement plans are available through private insurance companies that are contracted with Medicare. These plans are also known as “Medigap” plans because they work alongside Original Medicare Parts A and B to fill in gaps of coverage. Medigap plans help to reduce out-of-pocket costs by covering certain expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
You are first eligible to sign up for Medicare plans in Louisiana during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your IEP starts three months before your 65th birthday month and continues for three additional months. This means you have a total of seven months to enroll.
Changes can then be made to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug coverage during the Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP runs from October 15th to December 7th every year.
Key Fact: The General Enrollment Period (GEP) allows you to enroll in Original Medicare if you missed your IEP. This period occurs from January 1st to March 31st every year. Immediately following this period, you’ll be able to select a Medicare Advantage plan from April 1st to June 30th each year.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Once you’ve enrolled in both parts of Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you can select the Medigap plan of your choice during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This 6-month period begins the month you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Important Note: If you fail to enroll in a Medigap plan during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you’re subject to higher premiums or denial of coverage entirely.
Special Enrollment Periods
Some major life changes, like moving into a new coverage area or transferring to or from a care facility, are qualifying life events for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). An SEP allows you to enroll or make changes to your coverage outside of the standard enrollment periods. Our licensed insurance agents can help determine your eligibility for a Special Enrollment Period.
How Can I Compare Plans?
Our goal is to make it easy for you to compare your Medicare coverage options and find the right plan for your specific needs. You can compare plans and enroll online by using the form below or by calling us to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
Additional Medicare Resources in Louisiana
The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) of Louisiana helps Medicare beneficiaries better understand their Medicare options and benefits through free, unbiased counseling and resources.
The Lousiana Medicare Savings Program can help pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and monthly premiums for Medicare beneficiaries who meet certain qualifications.