The federal Medicare program is a form of medical health insurance which provides for several of the hospital- and doctor-related health costs of seniors. Sadly, there are coverage gaps which Medicare won’t cover, and these gaps in coverage could become very expensive very quickly if you’re relying upon Medicare alone to cover your needs. Thankfully, there’s a form of supplement insurance known as “Medigap” which gives an inexpensive option for retirees who would like to defend their finances from these gaps (specifically a Medicare Supplement in Louisiana).
Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements
To make sure than a senior citizen in Maine gets the very same benefits as a senior citizen in Louisiana, the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) are in charge of regulating the ten obtainable Medigap plans. Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N are presently available for purchase (E, H, I, and J are actually discontinued). Because each plan is regulated, the only real distinction between Plan G in Louisiana and plan G in any other state is price, and service provider. The benefits are identical no matter where you live.
Medigap Enrollment In Louisiana
From reviewing the chart below, we can determine a few different things about the way Louisiana seniors choose their Medigap policies. For starters, tens of thousands of them prefer Plan F to any other option. Plans G and N also have relatively strong membership.
Plan Coverage & Cost
Health insurance – and the price you pay for it – are tailored to you, the individual. Your weight, tobacco habits, age, gender, and specific location will all affect the monthly costs you pay for a Medigap policy.
The cost of your Louisiana Medicare Supplement plan depends on certain underwriting evaluations. For example, what your general overall health is today, what your health history is, your gender and your age. Questions about your health are not surprising. However, where you live in Louisiana, as specific as the zip code, plays a role in calculating premiums. Healthcare costs can vary from area to area.
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Louisiana
Louisiana, like a number of other states in the union, has more older persons participating in Medigap plan F than any other obtainable plan, making F the most common by far. It isn’t hard to see why; Plan F covers all the gaps which Medicare won’t for one single, straightforward, and comparatively cost-effective monthly premium.
Plan G, though not quite as popular, is another plan which over ten thousand Louisiana seniors have purchased. The only difference between the two has to do with the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan F pays that for you, while plan G does not. However, if your Part B deductible is very low, it might save you money in the long run to purchase the cheaper Plan G and pay that deductible yourself.
How do Medicare Plan Ratings Work?
The Overall Star Rating report is put out by Medicare once each year, usually around open enrollment season. Medicare compiles data it has on private insurance companies and awards stars for performance. The more stars the better the rating. Medicare looks at the use of preventive procedures like lab work, vaccinations and screenings, how well chronic diseases are managed, what members think of the company, complaints and changes in performance, and of course customer service.
Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks
Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions
The nice thing about Medicare supplement insurance is the way it enables golden-agers to select their own doctors and facilities. Medigap isn’t your only option for supplementing your Medicare coverage. Nevertheless, it is one of the few policies which won’t control your ability to access healthcare outside of a limited network of physicians and facilities which have been pre-approved on your plan. Any health care provider or hospital which welcomes Medicare will be available to you with a Medicare supplemental insurance policy. This is a good alternative for golden-agers who vacation, or live far away from large metropolitan areas, where these types of confined provider networks are found.
One of the biggest advantages of a Medigap plan is it has no limitations on your choice of healthcare providers as long as they accept Medicare assignment. Other plans typically work through networks and members are limited to doctors and facilities that are members of the network. With a Medigap plan, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Accepting Medicare assignment simply means your doctor agrees to the payment rates that Medicare provides. In addition, they agree to file a medical claim with Medicare on your behalf. Talk to your doctor and make sure Medicare is acceptable before deciding on Medigap.
Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage
As of 2010, insurance agencies discontinued providing Medicare supplement policies which supplied prescription drug coverage. That benefit is now covered by signing up for Medicare Part D. Also, if you would like vision or dental coverage, you will regrettably not get those via your Medicare supplement policy. With a bit of research, you may be able to locate a low-cost alternative from a private company near you.
Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll
There are various approaches to subscribe to a Medigap policy. Even so, keep in mind that these need you to enroll in Medicare first. In the event you enroll at the right time, simply becoming a Medicare beneficiary allows you to buy Medigap coverage, no strings attached. Other providers may limit you if you join later or if you have chronic health issues.
- Initial Enrollment Period: You are guaranteed coverage, with no hassle, if you obtain a Medicare supplement plan within your first 6 months of enrolling in Medicare.
- Guaranteed Issue: You will never be refused for coverage, despite a health issue. This is a common option among retirees transferring from an employer or group plan.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): Medigap enrollment isn’t limited by Annual Enrollment Periods the way other insurance coverage is, so you can enroll at any time.
- Underwritten: A complicated process in which you must answer questions regarding your health and even endure a physical exam before your chosen insurer will offer to sell you a policy.
Free Look Period
In order to make the shopping experience easy and hassle-free, all senior citizens have 30 days after purchasing a new Medigap policy to decide whether they wish to keep it. In the event you determine inside of those 30 days that you aren’t satisfied with your plan, you may get rid of your policy for a complete refund.
What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?
The perfect Medigap plan for you is one that you fully understand, meets all of your projected health needs, and is affordable. Finding it is the challenge. There are a ton of companies offering Medigap plans, most you probably don’t even know. To help you get started, Medigap.com has put together a comprehensive list of private insurance companies providing Medigap plans that are licensed in Louisiana to give you a head start in your search. We are confident that with our help you’ll find the Medigap plan that is a perfect fit for you.