Best Medicare Supplement Plans New Orleans

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Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated March 1st, 2024

Are you exploring Medicare supplement plans in New Orleans and feeling overwhelmed with options and details? You’re not alone. This guide aims to streamline your search by breaking down the essential information about Medigap plans in New Orleans, how to enroll, and which plan might be the best fit for your healthcare needs and budget. No more guesswork; just clear answers to help you make an informed decision about your Medicare coverage.


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Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans in New Orleans


Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans in New Orleans


Healthcare in the vibrant city of New Orleans mirrors its cultural diversity. Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap, play a vital role in this healthcare ecosystem. They lower the out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare, thereby providing financial ease to beneficiaries. Medicare supplement insurance plans cover additional costs like Part A and B coinsurance, copayments, and even the first three pints of blood, posing as a financial shield for the residents of New Orleans.

New Orleans’ Medigap plans adhere to the standardizations and regulations set by state laws. This promotes uniformity in the benefits provided by all insurers offering the same plan type. As a resident, you have access to ten standardized Medigap plans and two high-deductible options, each providing different levels of coverage. With a Medigap plan, you retain the freedom to visit any doctor who accepts Original Medicare, offering flexibility in your healthcare choices.


The Role of Medigap in New Orleans Healthcare

Original Medicare lays a solid foundation, which Medigap plans to build upon, thereby enhancing your healthcare coverage. They serve as secondary insurance, covering additional costs, and offering benefits for services not typically covered by Medicare. This includes costs such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

In addition to basic coverage, New Orleans’ Medigap plans offer benefits for services like foreign travel emergency expenses, which are not typically covered by Medicare. Certain Medigap plans provide additional protections for enrollees by covering excess charges that go beyond what Medicare approves, thereby limiting out-of-pocket expenses.


Plan Options for New Orleanians


Plan Options for New Orleanians


There are several options available for New Orleanians choosing a Medigap plan. The most popular and comprehensive Medigap plan types in Louisiana are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N, each offering various coverage options.

When comparing Medicare plans, Plan F offers full coverage of leftover costs within the Medicare program, but its availability is exclusive to beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020. Plan G offers the same coverage as Plan F, with the exception of the Medicare Part B deductible. This means that both Plans G and F offer comprehensive coverage. Plan N involves cost-sharing and deductibles with co-pays for visits and emergency services.

Even though Plan F is not available to all, Plans G and N are open to all eligible New Orleanians. It’s important to note that all Medigap plans, including popular ones like F, G, and N, are standardized, meaning their basic benefits are consistent across different insurance carriers.


Navigating Eligibility and Enrollment for New Orleans Residents


Navigating Eligibility and Enrollment for New Orleans Residents


Enrollment in Original Medicare is a prerequisite for eligibility for New Orleans’ Medigap plans. You must be enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B, and be at least 65 years old or qualify as a disabled person before the age of 65. The majority of beneficiaries in Louisiana qualify for Medicare Supplement plans when they turn 65.

Switching between Medicare Supplement policies is also possible during the Open Enrollment Period or in other specific circumstances when a guaranteed issue right exists. The open enrollment and special circumstances for late enrollees present a unique opportunity for New Orleanians to optimize their healthcare choices.


Open Enrollment Period: Your Window of Opportunity

For Louisiana residents wishing to enroll in a Medigap policy, the Open Enrollment Period presents a golden window of opportunity. Enrolling during this period grants you guaranteed issue rights, ensuring you are accepted regardless of health conditions at the best available prices. Once you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B, the Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins. This period allows you to purchase any Medigap policy available in your area..

Along with the Open Enrollment Period, Louisiana offers a unique “birthday rule” for its residents. This rule allows enrollees to switch to a new Medigap plan with equal or less coverage from the same carrier each year, without answering health questions, starting 30 days before their birthday and lasting for 63 days.

Younger beneficiaries, under the age of 65 and with a disability or End-Stage Renal Disease, also have a six-month Medigap open enrollment period that does not consider health status.


Special Circumstances for Late Enrollees

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period may not be possible for all New Orleanians. However, late enrollees can still be exempt from penalties or paying increased premiums if they qualify for guaranteed issue rights. These rights allow late enrollees to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without denial under specific scenarios.

In Louisiana, Medicare Supplement companies are required to offer at least Plan A to disabled individuals under the age of 65. For these individuals, Medicare Advantage plans often prove to be a more budget-friendly option. Moreover, Plan F is available for Medicare beneficiaries who were eligible for Medicare before 2020, providing an option for those who are late enrollees and fit this criteria.


Cost Comparison of Medicare Supplement Plans in New Orleans

Cost is a significant factor to consider when choosing a Medigap plan. The average monthly premium for Medicare Supplement Plan F in Louisiana is $208.66, for Plan G it is around $141.40, and for Plan N, it is $120.80. Different providers offer different rates for these plans. For instance, Cigna offers Plan F for an average of $207.20 and Plan G for $145.10 a month, whereas Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana provides Plan G for $104.60 to $120 and Plan N for about $30 less than the state average cost of $120.80.

Moreover, the monthly premiums for Louisiana Medicare Supplement plans in Louisiana are as follows:

  • UnitedHealthcare’s Plan N: $108.30 for 65-year-olds
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana’s Plan N: $76.60 for 65-year-olds
  • Physicians Mutual’s Plan F: offers the cheapest premiums for 75-year-olds

On average, the monthly cost of Medicare Supplement plans for a 65-year-old in Louisiana is around $118, while Plan G averages about $250 per person regardless of age.


Factors Influencing Premium Rates

A more informed decision can be made by understanding the factors that influence Medigap premiums. These premiums may be determined by the pricing model used by insurance companies, which includes community-rated, issue-age-rated, or attained-age-rated methods.

Personal factors that impact the cost of Medicare Supplement plans in New Orleans include:

  • Where you live
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Whether you use tobacco

In Louisiana, other determining factors for Medigap premium rates include the insurance company’s pricing method and how rates may change with inflation over time.


Finding an Affordable Option


Finding an Affordable Option


It may seem daunting, but finding an affordable Medigap plan in New Orleans is achievable. Start by understanding your current and future health needs in relation to your budget. Review multiple carriers offering Medigap plans in Louisiana to ensure you are getting the best price since the benefits are standardized and costs can vary significantly between companies.

Consider the cheapest option for a Plan F policy in Louisiana, which is currently offered by Physicians Mutual. Utilize resources like friends, relatives, and official government tools such as the Medigap plan benefits comparison chart to make an informed decision.



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Top Providers of Medicare Supplement Insurance in New Orleans

Maximizing Your Benefits Additional Programs and Resources


New Orleans hosts some of the nation’s leading providers of Medicare Supplement Insurance, including private insurance companies such as:

  • UnitedHealthcare, under the AARP branding, is recognized as the nation’s most prolific Medicare Supplement Insurance provider, serving millions of members across the country.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Humana
  • PanAmerican
  • Transamerica

Several factors need to be considered when choosing a Medigap company in New Orleans. These include financial stability, provision of benefits, and customer service. It’s a decision that can significantly impact your healthcare experience, so it’s crucial to make an informed choice.


Comparing Benefits and Services

To cater to the diverse healthcare needs of Medicare beneficiaries, different insurers in New Orleans offer a variety of benefits through their Medigap plans. AARP, via UnitedHealthcare, offers the following Medigap policies, all with standardized benefits that may reduce or even eliminate copays, coinsurance payments, and deductibles:

  • Medigap policy A
  • Medigap policy B
  • Medigap policy C
  • Medigap policy D
  • Medigap policy F
  • Medigap policy G
  • Medigap policy K
  • Medigap policy L
  • Medigap policy M
  • Medigap policy N

Cigna’s Plan F includes the Healthy Rewards Program, offering various discounts and 24-hour access to a health information line. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana’s Plan N provides foreign travel emergency coverage. Members of AARP Medigap plans also enjoy additional services like a 24/7 nurse line, gym membership, and discounts on hearing, vision, and the Staying Sharp brain health program.


Customer Satisfaction and Reliability

The satisfaction and reliability of a Medigap plan provider can be assessed through customer reviews and ratings. AARP Medigap plans, for instance, are highly praised by customers for both affordable coverage and responsive customer service, reflected in excellent ratings in customer satisfaction surveys.

For a broader perspective, you can investigate the financial strength and customer service of Medicare Supplement Insurance providers through resources like A.M. Best, S&P, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). AARP Medigap plans have received positive evaluations from these trusted organizations.


Supplemental Coverage Beyond Medigap: Exploring Alternatives

Medigap plans, while a popular choice for supplemental coverage, aren’t the only option available to New Orleanians. Medicare Advantage plans provide an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare and often include added benefits such as:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Gym memberships
  • Transportation for medical appointments

However, these plans may have network restrictions, impacting the choice of medical providers.

Dental, vision, and hearing coverage are not normally covered by Medicare benefits and would need standalone or alternative coverage. For veterans in Louisiana, the VA prescription benefit program can be combined with Medicare Part D to optimize their prescription drug coverage.


Medicare Advantage Plans vs. Medigap

Offering an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans often include added benefits like a Medicare Advantage Plan, which often includes:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision
  • Dental care
  • Gym memberships
  • Transportation for medical appointments

However, these plans may have potential network restrictions. While they might come with lower or no premiums, they can result in higher out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and coinsurance.

The choice between Medicare Advantage and Medigap must be informed by individual health conditions, lifestyle, and financial situation. Each type of plan has its strengths, and understanding these can help you make the best choice for your healthcare needs.


Prescription Drug Coverage Considerations

Not included in Original Medicare or Medigap plans, prescription drug coverage is nevertheless a crucial aspect of healthcare. To cover prescription drugs, beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. It’s important to choose a plan that lists your specific medications and to enroll as early as possible to avoid a late enrollment penalty.

Prescription drug coverage is included in many Medicare Advantage plans. This coverage can be beneficial for individuals who require ongoing medication. However, in cases where they don’t, beneficiaries need to purchase a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan. Eligible beneficiaries in Louisiana have access to Medicare Prescription Drug Plans with additional aid for covering premiums, deductibles, and other related costs.


Maximizing Your Benefits: Additional Programs and Resources

Though navigating the world of Medicare and Medigap can sometimes feel solitary, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are numerous programs and resources available to help you maximize your Medicare benefits. The Medicare Savings Program in Louisiana, for instance, helps those with limited income by paying for Medicare premiums and potentially other costs like deductibles and co-payments. There are four eligibility categories within this program:

  1. QMB
  2. SLMB
  3. QI
  4. QDWI

Each category has its own set of criteria.

Certain assets, like primary cars, houses, furniture, and certain life insurance, are not counted towards the resource limit for parts of the Medicare Savings Program. Enrollment in the program can be completed online, by mailing an application, by phone, or in person at a local Medicaid office.

Eligible low-income Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana can receive Medicaid assistance with Medicare premiums, prescription drug costs, and services not covered by Medicare, such as long-term care.


State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP) is one of the valuable resources available to New Orleanians. SHIP provides free counseling services for seniors to help them with Medicare benefits. These services support their understanding and management of Medicare choices and benefits.

Not only does SHIP offer free counseling, but it also assists with Medigap rate comparison shopping, offering guides and additional help to Louisiana residents. This service can be particularly helpful when deciding between different Medigap plans or deciding between Medigap and Medicare Advantage.


Prescription Assistance Programs

For many Medicare beneficiaries, prescription costs can pose a significant burden. Thankfully, several prescription assistance programs are available to help Medicare beneficiaries in New Orleans with the cost of their medications. National pharmacies in New Orleans may offer reduced-cost generic prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to contact their preferred pharmacy for details on participation and medications included in these reduced-cost programs. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies may provide free or low-cost medications to individuals who do not have insurance for outpatient prescription drugs, meet certain income guidelines, and do not qualify for government assistance.



Navigating the world of Medicare Supplement Plans in New Orleans can seem daunting, but with the right information and resources, it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re considering Medigap plans, exploring Medicare Advantage, or seeking assistance programs, remember that the goal is to find the coverage that best suits your healthcare needs and financial circumstances.

By understanding your options, comparing plans and providers, and utilizing available resources, you can make an informed decision and take control of your healthcare. Remember, the journey to health is not a solo one – there are countless resources and supports available to help you along the way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best Medicare Supplement plan in Louisiana?

The best Medicare Supplement plan in Louisiana is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana’s Plan G, which is less expensive than the state’s average monthly premium and includes coverage for foreign travel emergencies.


What is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan for 2025?

The most popular Medicare Supplement plan for 2025 is Medigap Plan G, offering standardized coverage and available from various carriers.


What is the average monthly cost of a Medicare Supplement plan?

The average monthly cost of a Medicare Supplement plan varies depending on the plan and the age of the beneficiary, ranging from $128.44 for those aged 66 to $215.37 for those aged 85. This information can help you make an informed decision about your Medicare Supplement plan.


Which Medicare Supplement plan has the highest level of coverage?

The Medicare Supplement Plan F provides the highest level of coverage among all the Medicare supplement plans available. It covers Medicare deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and additional benefits, ensuring comprehensive coverage for beneficiaries.


What is a Medicare Supplement Plan?

A Medicare Supplement Plan, also called Medigap, helps cover costs not included in Original Medicare, such as coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles.

Speak to the Professionals about Medigap Plans and Original Medicare

If you find understanding the benefits involved with Original Medicare and Medigap Plans challenging, you’re not alone. Whether it’s a Medigap plan, or you want to know more about the best Medicare Supplement Plans in New Orleans, we can help. Call our team at 1-888-891-0229 for a free consultation or complete the contact form on this site, and an expert will call you back at a convenient time.

We have decades of experience advising our clients on the complexities of Medicare and Medigap plans, the benefits, cost and deductibles. We’ll ensure you get the best rate in your state and advice you can trust.

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