Medicare Supplement Plans in Louisiana
Once you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you’re eligible to apply for Medicare Supplement plans in Louisiana. These policies are designed to cover the out-of-pocket expenses that come with Original Medicare, so they are Medicare Supplements rather than replacements. You will often see these plans referred to as Medigap because they fill the gaps in Part A and B coverage, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance expenses.
There are many benefits to enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in Louisiana, including the ability to choose your own doctors without network restrictions. There are a lot of details that you need to know in order to make a smart decision regarding your Medicare Supplement plan coverage, and this page will give you that information in one convenient place.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Louisiana: Enrollment Statistics
The five largest counties in Louisiana:
- East Baton Rouge Parish
- Jefferson Parish
- Orleans Parish
- Caddo Parish
- St. Tammany Parish
- In 2015, more than 130,000 Louisiana Medicare beneficiaries were also enrolled in Medigap plans in Louisana. This translates to about 31 percent of the state’s Medicare participants.
- As of 2007, approximately 60 percent of Louisiana Medicare beneficiaries suffered from chronic conditions. The top three chronic conditions were heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
How Are Rates Calculated for Medicare Supplement Plans in Louisiana?
All Medicare Supplement plans in Louisiana are standardized by the federal government. Each plan is labeled with a letter, and all plans under a certain letter offer the same benefits regardless of your chosen insurance company. Most major insurance companies now offer Medicare Supplement plans, and they compete through their rates.
There are methods that insurance carriers may use to calculate Medigap plan premiums:
As you get older and reach milestone age markers, your Medicare Supplement plan premium will increase. Insurance carriers may use age brackets to determine your rate, or they may increase your rate a little each year.
Your insurance rate is based on your age at the time of enrollment. While your premium may increase over time due to other factors, it will not go up due to your advancing age.
When comparing Louisiana Medicare Supplement plans, it helps to determine what type of policy is offered by each company. This will help you estimate how often you may experience premium increases. No-age and issue-age policies will work in your favor, but many insurance companies choose the issue-age rating.
In addition to your age, the following factors may make a difference in the rates you’re quoted:
- Zip code
- Smoking habits
Some Louisiana Medigap policies also come with a one-time policy fee.
Available Medicare Supplement Plans in Louisiana?
There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available today, but each insurance company can choose which ones they offer. Every company is required to offer Medigap Plan A if they choose to offer any of the other plans. Most insurance companies don’t offer all 10 Medicare Supplement plans, but Plan F is carried by most due to its status as the most popular Medicare Supplement plan option. This popularity comes from its comprehensive coverage that nearly eliminates out-of-pocket medical expenses for many beneficiaries.
How Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Prescriptions?
Routine vision and dental services are not covered by any Medicare Supplement plan in Louisiana. Once you become an eligible beneficiary for Original Medicare, you’re also qualified to enroll in Medicare Part D. This part of the system allows you to select an insurance carrier for a Medicare prescription drug plan. This works the same as selecting a carrier for your Medigap plan, and you will pay separate premiums for your Medicare Supplement insurance plan and your prescription coverage.
The best time to apply for Part D is during your initial enrollment period. You can compare rates for your prescription drug coverage online, ensuring that you get the best rate and most comprehensive coverage for your budget.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Louisiana: When Can I Enroll?
Unless you suffer from a disability that qualifies you to receive Medicare before you turn 65, your first opportunity to select a Medicare Supplement plan in Louisiana is your initial enrollment period. This is a six-month block of time that opens the first day of the month in which you turn 65, assuming that you have already enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
There are several advantages to enrolling in Medicare Supplement plans as soon as you sign up for Original Medicare:
- Guaranteed Acceptance
Insurance companies are required to approve your application for a Medigap plan during your Medigap open enrollment period.
- No Pre-Existing Conditions
Your medical history is never taken into account when your initial rate is determined.
- Guaranteed Renewal
Your insurance company is required to renew your Medicare Supplement plan each year as long as you pay your premiums on time.
It’s important to compare rates online before accepting your first Medicare Supplement plan in Louisiana, but you will have the option of switching to a new insurance company at a later date if you find a better deal. In some cases, special enrollment periods are offered for beneficiaries who don’t enroll during the initial period.
If your initial enrollment period has passed, it’s never too late to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan. The catch is that insurance companies will require you to go through their underwriting process if you don’t apply during the initial enrollment period or a special enrollment period. They will take your medical history into consideration, so you may receive higher Medicare Supplement plan rates or they may reject your application.
Louisiana Medicare Resources: