BATON ROUGE, La – As families gather for the holidays, it’s a good time to make sure your loved ones have health insurance coverage for the New Year. And if you aren’t sure what to do or need help exploring your options, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds you that you can get help from experienced agents – at no cost.
“The biggest tip I have for enrolling in health plans is ‘don’t go it alone,’” said Blue Cross Health Care Economist Mike Bertaut. “You can work with an agent who is very familiar with Medicare or Healthcare.gov plans and can walk you through your choices. And, you’re not obligated to buy just because you work with an agent, so I’d strongly encourage families to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, in which Medicare-eligible people can enroll in individual Medicare plans, runs through Dec. 7, 2022. Healthcare.gov, the federal marketplace where people who do not get insurance through a job and don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid can buy individual health plans, has its annual Open Enrollment Period through Jan. 15, 2023.
“Regardless of which type of health plan you’re on, do your research and find a plan that meets your needs,” Bertaut said. “You don’t want to get to 2023 and realize the health care providers you want to see are not in network or the prescriptions you take are not covered. Taking the time to shop around now can save you a lot of hassle and help you better understand what you can expect to pay for care. That’s especially important if you know you’ll have a big health need in the next year, like delivering a baby or having surgery.”
It’s also important to make sure your friends and relatives know the timeframe in which they must enroll for 2023 coverage, he said.
“As you see loved ones over the holidays, make sure this is something they’re thinking about. And if they have questions, you don’t have to find all the answers yourself – you can point them to agents who can help them and will not charge for their services,” Bertaut said.
Get Help Picking a Plan
For Medicare plans: 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 bcbslaplan.com/medicare or call 1-800-568-1417 (TTY 711). Agents are available 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. seven days a week, except holidays.
For Healthcare.gov plans: Need help reviewing your 2023 plan options? You can work with a licensed, experienced agent at no cost. Connect with one by visiting GetPlanOptions.com or calling 1-844-GET-BLUE (1-844-438-2583; TTY 711). Agents are available 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays until Jan. 15. They will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after (Nov. 24-25), Christmas (Dec. 25)and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1, 2023). There is no obligation to buy because you speak to an agent.
Short Videos and Other Resources
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel features short videos with tips for health plan enrollment, including a video with Bertaut explaining how recent federal changes will help more Louisiana families qualify for Healthcare.gov tax credits to pay for their 2023 health plans (2:30).
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.
Subscribe to know when new videos are added.
Follow Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA to get health plan enrollment tips and see messages about various health topics. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
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.