Here’s the Rundown: If you are one of the over 880,000 people who get Medicare in Louisiana, as of February 2020, you may have options for how you get your benefits.

You can stick with Original Medicare or get a Medicare Advantage plan.

If you stay with Original Medicare, you may also have the option to add a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Supplement insurance plan to cover out-of-pocket costs.

Read on to learn about what your options are for Medicare in Louisiana. 

Original Medicare in Louisiana

Original Medicare is a government health insurance program for people 65+. Some people under 65 can get Medicare too.

Most people become eligible for Medicare at age 65, but some people can get Medicare in Louisiana before 65 if they are disabled or have certain diseases.

Original Medicare includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).

Medicare Part A coverage covers things like:

  • Hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care
  • Limited home health care
  • Hospice care

Medicare Part B covers things like:

  • Doctor’s visits and lab tests
  • Preventive care
  • Mental health care
  • Durable medical equipment, like wheelchairs.

Keep in mind that Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs or other things like dental and vision coverage.

Most people do not pay a premium for Part A coverage. However, you will pay a monthly premium for Part B.

When can I get Medicare in Louisiana?

Most beneficiaries are first able to enroll in Original Medicare during their 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

Your IEP begins 3 months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months later.

If you were covered through an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, you can wait to sign up for Medicare until after your coverage ends during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

If you qualify for a SEP, you will have 8 months to sign up for Medicare.

But if you’re not eligible for a SEP, you’ll have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period, which is January 1 through  March 31 every year.

Medicare in Louisiana Coverage Options

You don’t have to get your Medicare coverage through the government. Other Medicare plan options are sold by private insurance companies.

These include Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Supplement insurance plans.

Here’s some information on these types of plans:

  • Medicare Advantage (Part C): Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are another way to get your Original Medicare benefits.
    Private companies have plans that give you at least the same amount of coverage as Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Except hospice care is still covered by Original Medicare Part A.
    Some Medicare Advantage plans offer more coverage than Original Medicare because their copays and deductibles are lower.
    Some plans also have other benefits. Most MA plans have vision and dental as extra benefits.
    Some plans cover prescription drugs too. These are called MA-PD plans.
    Also, some MA plans have a $0 monthly premium in Louisiana.
  • Medicare Part D: Part D is prescription drug coverage.
    If you stay with Original Medicare, you can get Medicare prescription drug benefits by getting in a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan.
  • Medicare Supplement: These plans may pay out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.
    These plans also might have benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t include, such as overseas health coverage.
    You must have Medicare Part A and Part B to sign up for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.

It’s important to keep in mind that where you live will affect what plans you can buy.

Medicare in Louisiana Resources

People who get Medicare in Louisiana may find these links useful.
This information is from Medicare.gov:

  • Louisiana Department of Insurance: Find information on Medicare and the state’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).
    Also, you can call 1-800-259-5300 or 1-800-259-5301 Monday through Friday between 8AM and 5PM.
  • Louisiana Medicaid: This website has information on Medicaid and Medicare Savings in the state of Louisiana.
    You can also call 1-888-544-7996 Monday through Friday between 7:30AM and 4:30PM.
  • Louisiana Senior Medicare Patrol: You can find information on how to prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
    To contact the office, call 1-877-272-8720 Monday through Friday between 8:30AM and 5PM.

Learn more about how Medicare plans work in Louisiana, including:

Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.