Blue Cross Offers Tips for Those New to Medicare Advantage

Jan. 24, 2019

BATON ROUGE – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana today offered some tips on getting the most out of a Medicare Advantage plan. Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that enrollment in Medicare Advantage has nearly doubled over the past decade. 

If you chose a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time during the recent annual enrollment period or just need a refresher, these tips can help you get the most out of your plan.

Use your Medicare Advantage insurance card, not your Original Medicare card
You should have received an ID card from the insurance company providing your Medicare Advantage coverage.  It’s important to carry this card with you at all times. This card is different from your red, white and blue Medicare card. To make sure your benefits are paid under your Medicare Advantage plan, be sure to use your new Medicare Advantage card. You should store your Original Medicare card in a safe place in case you need it later.

Understand your plan’s Summary of Benefits  
When you signed up for Medicare Advantage, you should have received a document called a Summary of Benefits. This provides a snapshot of your coverage, including what is and isn’t covered under your plan and how much you will pay for covered services. Keep this document in a safe place so that you can refer to it throughout the year.

Pick a Primary Care Provider
Many Medicare Advantage plans have you select a Primary Care Provider (PCP). Your PCP will work with you to manage your conditions and make sure you get the care you need. Your PCP can help you make a plan for care, get medicine and help you find specialists if necessary. Contact your plan’s Customer Service Dept. (the phone number is typically included on your ID card) if you need help finding or selecting a new PCP.

Schedule your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit
Preventive screenings are an important way to track your health. You should schedule a wellness visit with your PCP once a year. Check your plan’s Summary of Benefits to see what preventive services are covered at no extra cost. 

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.

With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

To learn more, visit our website at