Our older years are filled with many choices: Which activities should you pursue? When should you retire? Should you downsize or relocate?
These are questions we must all contend with, but when you’re approaching your 65th birthday, the most prominent query that needs answering is, “Which Medicare option is right for you?”
Louisiana Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2024 Medicare trends in Louisiana:
- 915,953 residents of Louisiana are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average monthly premium for Medicare in Louisiana increased slightly from $17.07 in 2023 to $20.42 in 2024.
- 99 Medicare Advantage plans are available to residents of Louisiana in 2024.
- 100% of people with Medicare will have access to a Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 monthly premium.
- There are 19 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans available in Louisiana.
- The lowest monthly premium for a stand-alone prescription drug plan in 2024 in Louisiana is $2.90.
Medicare Offered in Louisiana
Original Medicare offers basic health insurance coverage. Part A covers some inpatient care costs for hospital stays, costs associated with stays in a skilled nursing facility or hospice, and some home health services. Part B covers a portion of the costs for medically necessary services needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition, and preventive services.
Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, dental, vision, or hearing care.
Original Medicare is administered by the federal government to U.S. residents over the age of 65, while supplemental Medicare plans, also known as Medigap plans, cover things not covered by Part A and Part B and can be purchased from private insurance providers.
Medicare Advantage combines Original Medicare with Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage. In Louisiana, over 325,000 residents have Part D coverage, including enrollees with stand-alone Part D plans and those who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, where Part D coverage is integrated.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medigap, or supplementary plans, cover medical needs not covered by Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage such as lengthy hospital stays, blood transfusions, and out-of-country healthcare. Individuals who are not yet 65 years old but who are disabled can enroll in Medigap plans in Louisiana.
Louisiana Medicare Enrollment
To qualify for Medicare, Louisiana residents must be U.S. citizens aged 65 and over or have received Social Security disability benefits for a minimum of 24 months.
Enrollment Period Dates
The enrollment period dates for Medicare in Louisiana are the same as the enrollment dates nationwide.
Initial Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan
- Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
- Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
Medicare Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan, switch a plan or leave a plan
- Begins October 15th
- Ends December 7th
Special Enrollment Period
Special enrollment periods allow you to enroll outside the regular enrollment periods under specific circumstances.
General Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you didn’t sign up when first eligible or if you’re not qualified for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can switch or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Louisiana Enrollment Tips & Advice
- Be aware of when you are eligible for enrollment in Medicare (see above)
- Know the difference between Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and the various Medigap plans available to you
- Consider your specific medical needs when shopping for a Medigap plan, such as vision, hearing, or dental needs
- Understand your coverage: Original Medicare may not be sufficient for your health and medical needs
- If you require financial aid, check to see if you are eligible for help through a Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which is available to low-income Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about Louisiana Medicare and your eligibility for supplement or advantage plans, speak to one of our licensed agents today. Our agents will discuss your Medicare options and help find a plan that works for you.