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 Wednesday, Dec. 7.
For those still seeking coverage, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana 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 health care 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 $0 monthly premiums. You really can get more for less!
Don’t go it alone. Ask for help.
Blue Cross Medicare experts are available by phone to answer questions and help beneficiaries 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, or to connect with an agent, visit www.bcbslaplan.com/medicare or call 1-800-568-1417 (TTY 711), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.
Be sure to ask your agent to review the 3 P’s to make sure your Medicare plan is the right fit for you.
Are your doctors and specialists in the network? Also check to make sure the hospital you’d prefer to go to is in network.
Will the prescription drugs you take be covered and, if so, what will you pay out of pocket?
3. Plan Extras
How can you keep more money in your pocket every month while enjoying extra benefits like telehealth services or fitness programs?
Medicare beneficiaries are also encouraged to use the following resources to learn more about Medicare:
Medicare Made Easy Virtual Educational Events
Blue Cross hosts a Medicare Made Easy Facebook Live series where beneficiaries can get their health care coverage questions answered by Medicare experts.
Blue Cross will have one more Facebook Live educational event before AEP ends, so be sure to join us on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at noon or check out our Facebook page later if you miss it.
All Medicare Made Easy educational events take place on Blue Cross’ Facebook page. A Zoom option also will be available for each event. Events are scheduled each month. Visit http://www.facebook.com/bcbsla for more details about these events.
Questions can be posted before, during or after the event, plus the events can be viewed after the livestream for those who miss them. Check the Facebook page regularly for updates about this series. You can RSVP for the events or share them from your personal Facebook page.
You can connect with Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA for updates about online educational events, health tips and more. Blue Cross posts often on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
Medicare 101 and AEP Tips Videos
Blue Cross’ Medicare Made Easy YouTube playlist features short videos from in-house experts, including a Medicare 101 video (5:20) that explains the different parts of Medicare and what to consider when picking a plan. 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. You can see recordings of past Medicare Made Easy Facebook Live events on the YouTube channel. Subscribe to know when new videos are added.
To promote fraud awareness, Blue Cross is sharing a video, “Mr. Jimmy’s Medicare Advantage Member Story.” (2:48) Mr. Jimmy and his sister, Donna, talk about what happened when his identity was stolen and how his Blue Cross agent, Hope, helped him stay covered.
And visit Straight Talk, Blue Cross’ multimedia blog on health care costs, trends and policy. The blog is typically updated weekly. Visitors to www.straighttalkla.com can sign up to get the Straight Talk e-newsletter, which is issued with every new post.
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 have been recognized for the past four years 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 www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.
For accommodations of persons with special needs at meetings, call 1-833-219-7435 (TTY 711).
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana HMO offers Blue Advantage (HMO). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, offers Blue Advantage (PPO).
Blue Advantage from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana HMO is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Blue Advantage from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in either Blue Advantage plan depends on contract renewal.