Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap plans) may help Medicare beneficiaries pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. There are various Medicare Supplement plan options in Louisiana, depending on the zip code in which you live, so it’s a good for you to familiarize yourself with Medigap in Louisiana and understand what each type of Medigap plan covers.
How Medigap plans work in Louisiana
A Medigap insurance policy can help you pay for Medicare-related out-of-pocket expenses, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans available in 47 states, including Louisiana, each of which is identified by one of 10 letters (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), with plans of the same letter offering the same benefits. Three states-Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin-offer their own distinct Medigap plans. Note that some companies may offer additional innovative benefits.
To enroll in Medigap in Louisiana, you must already be enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. The best time to join Medigap is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which starts the first day you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During the Open Enrollment Period, you may join any Medigap plan available in your area, with any insurance company you choose, without being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions or requiring medical underwriting (although waiting periods may apply). Since there are generally no other enrollment periods, you may be denied coverage or charged more for your insurance plan if you decide to enroll in a Medigap plan at a later date.
You should also understand that Medigap plans in Louisiana, like those in the rest of the United States, are meant to supplement and not replace Original Medicare. This means that you have to remain enrolled in Original Medicare, and go on paying your Medicare Part B premium, to keep your health insurance coverage. Also be aware that Medigap plans in Louisiana do not offer prescription drug coverage, so you may want to consider enrolling in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan if you need help covering your prescription drug costs.
Types of Medigap plans in Louisiana
Take a look at the 10 types of standardized Medicare Supplement plans available in Louisiana. In this chart, X indicates that the service (or item) is 100% covered; a percentage indicates what percent of the service/item is covered; and a blank cell indicates it is not covered.
|Medicare Supplement Plans|
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C||D||F*||G||K||L||M||N|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X***|
|First three pints of blood||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A deductible||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||50%||X|
|Medicare Part B deductible||X||X|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||X||X|
|Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|Out-of-pocket limits apply.**|
*Medicare Supplement Plan F offers a high-deductible version in which beneficiaries pay a certain deductible amount before the plan begins coverage. This amount may change from year to year.
**Once you reach the out-of-pocket limits (including the Part B deductible), both Medicare Supplement Plans K and L pay 100% of covered services in the above chart for the remainder of the calendar year.
***Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 on doctor visits and up to $50 on emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
Choosing a suitable Medigap plan in Louisiana
Medicare Supplement plans in Louisiana with the same letter designation don’t vary in coverage or benefits, as explained earlier. However, each independent insurance company that offers Medicare Supplement plans can determine its own monthly premium structure. This means that a resident of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish may pay more or less than a resident of Shreveport in Caddo Parish for an identical Medicare Supplement plan. Knowing the difference in costs, it may be smart to compare all Medicare Supplement plans available in your area, and then select a Medigap plan in Louisiana based on your personal health and budget needs.
To get more information about Medicare in Louisiana, view the following resources:
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.