Blue Cross Offers Tips for Choosing a Medicare Plan

Nov. 30, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. –  For Medicare-eligible Louisianians, there’s still time to sign up for Medicare Advantage (MA) coverage. The Annual Enrollment Period ends on Monday, Dec. 7.

For those still seeking coverage, Blue Cross offers the following tips on choosing a plan:

Know your Medicare options
With Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you get coverage for hospital care, doctor visits, skilled nursing facility care, home health care services and preventive services.

Original Medicare doesn’t cover all of your healthcare expenses, leaving you responsible for about 20 percent of your costs. It also doesn’t include prescription drug coverage (Part D), which you can buy separately.

With Medicare Advantage (Part C), you get Parts A and B, plus extra benefits. These plans are offered through private insurance companies.

Consider Medicare Advantage
If you are looking for an all-in-one plan with extra benefits, Medicare Advantage might be right for you. Depending on the plan you choose, you could get a fitness center membership, plus vision, hearing and dental services. Some MA plans even include prescription drug coverage.

You will still need to pay your Medicare Part B premium, but the good news is that MA plans have low or zero monthly premiums. You really can get more for less!

Review your prescription drugs
MA plans that include prescription drug coverage – called MAPD plans - will have a formulary or list of covered drugs.
Look up your drugs on this list to see if they are covered and how much they will cost on each plan you are considering.

Check the network
Whether you are signing up for MA for the first time or just exploring your options, it is important to make sure your doctors and hospitals are in the network. Check the plan’s provider directory to be sure.

Ask for help
Don’t get overwhelmed by your Medicare choices. Reach out to friends and family members who are on Medicare to find out what they like about their plan. When you are ready to enroll, an agent or broker can give you expert advice to guide you through the process.
Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to use the following resources to learn more about Medicare and their plan options for 2021:

Medicare Made Easy Videos and Virtual Chats
Visit the Blue Cross Facebook page to view our virtual chats with Medicare experts and learn annual enrollment tips. Blue Cross’ Medicare Made Easy YouTube playlist features short videos from in-house experts, including a new Medicare 101 video. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel also has videos about various health topics from Blue Cross’ clinical team, including doctors, nurses, social workers and pharmacists.

Expert Advice by Phone
With fewer options for in-person assistance, Medicare beneficiaries can still get the help they need from Blue Cross experts who can answer their questions and help them find a plan that best meets their needs. It doesn’t cost anything to work with an agent, and there is no obligation to enroll.
To learn more about Medicare and Blue Cross plan options, visit or call 1-800-568-1417 (TTY 711), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.

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 and 2020 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.