Blue Cross Offers Tips for Those New to Medicare Advantage

Feb. 3, 2020

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 22 million people were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2019. 

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. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at or talk to us on social media.