Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to beneficiaries residing in Louisiana. With more than 881,000 Louisiana beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, we’ll cover some very important information below about Medicare in Louisiana. We want to help you better understand your options and make the decision-process as seamless as possible once you’re ready to enroll in Medicare or discover different coverage options.

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Louisiana?

Medicare covers most Louisiana residents who are 65 or older, and it also covers disabled Louisiana residents. In general, Medicare enrollment in Louisiana works the same way as it does in the rest of the country. If you qualify for Original Medicare, also known as Part A and Part B, it will help cover 80% of your health care costs.

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You’ll be responsible for paying this penalty for as long as you have Part B, and you could have a gap in your health coverage.

Once you reach Medicare eligibility, you can begin choosing additional coverage options to help pay for the remaining 20% of your medical expenses through Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medigap, and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan.

Who Qualifies for Medicare

Louisiana Medicare Enrollments

512,140

Original Medicare Plans
(Part A and B)

368,952

Medicare Advantage & Other Health Plans

328,291

Stand-alone Medicare
Part D (Drug plans)

881,092

Total Medicare Beneficiaries
in Louisiana

Louisiana Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

More than 39% of Louisiana Medicare beneficiaries select Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage plans are private, Medicare-approved insurance companies. They provide all of your Original Medicare benefits and often include extra benefits such as drug, dental, and vision coverage.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana who already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or drop their Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in Original Medicare.

More than 39% of Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2019. As of 2020, 83 Medicare Advantage plans are available in Louisiana. The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium in Louisiana changed from $14.79 in 2019 to $14.75 in 2020. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Louisiana. 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as of May 2020, there are 368,952 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and other plans in Louisiana. Every county in Louisiana has at least 11 Medicare Advantage plans available, and there are as many as 27 plans for sale in some counties.

Louisiana Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans

Medigap insurers are required to offer coverage to Louisiana Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65, but the premiums are substantially higher.

Medigap plans are used to supplement Original Medicare, covering some or all of the out-of-pocket costs (for coinsurance and deductibles) that beneficiaries would otherwise incur if they only had Original Medicare on its own. Typically, Medigap plans are popular for those who want little to no copay when they access healthcare services.

Louisiana Medigap insurance is available to everyone with Medicare in the state, including those who are under 65 and are enrolled in Medicare. Often, Medigap plans in Louisiana can be more expensive if you don’t enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period and wait for an Annual Open Enrollment Period. 

There are two initial times to enroll in a Medigap plan before and after you turn 65:

  • 6 months prior to turning 65
  • Once you turn 65, your 6 month period begins the month you enroll in Part B

During this period, an insurance company can’t use medical underwriting. 

Medigap insurers in Louisiana are required to maintain minimum loss ratios of at least 65% for individual policies, and at least 75% for employer group policies. This means that at least 65% (or 75% for group plans) of the premium revenue that the insurers bring in must be spent on enrollees’ medical claims.

Moreover, Louisiana disabled Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65 have the same six-month open enrollment period for Medigap plans as a beneficiary who becomes eligible for Medicare due to age. However, premiums are dramatically higher for enrollees under the age of 65 (sometimes, much higher). 

Louisiana beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicare prior to age 65 have another Medigap open enrollment period when they turn 65. These beneficiaries can then switch to a plan with the lower premiums that apply to people who are aging into Medicare, rather than qualifying due to disability.

Louisiana Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Original Medicare doesn’t cover outpatient prescription drugs. However, Medicare beneficiaries can get prescription coverage via a Medicare Advantage plan, an employer-sponsored plan (offered by a current or former employer), or a stand-alone Part D plan. Medigap plans don’t cover prescription drugs unless they’re covered under Part B.

As of 2020, there are 328,291 Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana enrolled in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans and 355,895 enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. For 2020 coverage, there are 26 stand-alone Part D plans available in Louisiana, with premiums ranging from about $17 to $88 per month.

Nearly 96% of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan have access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2019. About 38% of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan get Extra Help (also called the low-income subsidy, or LIS).

When deciding on a Part D plan, it’s important to evaluate several factors such as each plan’s premium, formulary, and copays since every plan is different. Learn how you can save money on your out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap plan, fill out this form or give us a call.

Local Medicare Health Plan Resources in Louisiana

  • Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP): SHIIP helps Medicare beneficiaries better understand their Medicare coverage options and benefits. Counselors help seniors make informed decisions by providing free and unbiased guidance via telephone or face-to-face interactive sessions. Senior health insurance counselors offer assistance to Medicare beneficiaries throughout Louisiana.
    Contact: Call 1-800-259-5300 or 1-800-259-5301, or search for a SHIIP office near you using the SHIIP Partners map.

  • Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA): GOEA serves as the focal point for Louisiana’s seniors as the State Agency on Aging and the administrator of the Older Americans Act program services. GOEA administers a broad range of statewide programs and services through its network of agencies, including 64 parish Councils on Aging and 36 Area Agencies on Aging. Agency services are intended to assist persons aged 60 and older at offices located in various parishes throughout the state, with an emphasis on low-income individuals. These offices assist seniors with a wide range of aging issues free of charge. Services include Medicare counseling to answer questions about Medicare coverage, simplify the eligibility process, and assist with Medicare Part D selection.
    Contact: Call 225-342-7100 or find your local Council on Aging or Area Agency on Aging to request assistance with your Medicare application.

  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) and SenioRX Programs: ADRCs provide access to both public and private long-term support services as well as early intervention and prevention services to assist people in the prevention of illness, disability, or the need for hospitalization or long-term care. ADRCs help adults understand their needs and the full range of options in order to preserve their personal resources and avoid the need for the state’s long-term support benefit. This is done by providing unbiased information on services available throughout the community. ADRCs serve people without regard to income or assets.
    Contact: Call 1-877-340-9100 to find the agency near you, or search for a participating ADRC office in your area on the Louisiana Answers website.

The licensed agents that are partnered with Timefor65 can help you compare the availability, benefits, and costs of Medicare plans in your specific region of Louisiana. Our process makes it easier for you to access your Medicare eligibility in Louisiana so that you receive personalized, affordable, and easy-to-use coverage options and solutions. Fill out the form or give us a call at (866) 382-1192 anytime to get a free quote or to ask any questions.

Get Your Free 2021 Guide
to Medicare