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Louisiana State FlagMedicare Part D Plans in Louisiana

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), Louisiana has over 867,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Over three-quarters, around 680,000, are also enrolled in prescription drug coverage. This page tells you everything you need to know about Medicare Part D in Louisiana.

Facts About Medicare Part D in Louisiana

Here are some interesting facts about Medicare Part D for those in Louisiana according to CMS.

  • Louisiana has 26 prescription drug plans (PDP) for Medicare enrollees.
  • If you already have a prescription drug plan through Medicare, you might want to shop around and find a less expensive plan. CMS data shows that nearly 85 percent of those covered by Medicare in Louisiana could save money on their prescription drug plan.
  • When it comes to choices, Louisiana is nearly an even split between Medicare Part D standalone plans and those with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. According to CMS, around 55 percent have a standalone plan, whereas 45 percent chose a Medicare Advantage plans that includes prescription drug coverage.

What Are Medicare Part D Options in Louisiana?

Medicare Part D in Louisiana is offered through private insurance companies that have been contracted by Medicare to provide coverage.

If you take prescriptions for any health condition, you might already know that Original Medicare doesn’t cover your medications. The only time Original Medicare (Parts A and B) covers prescription drugs is when they are administered by a healthcare provider, such as injections and infusions. Medications you take yourself are never covered by Original Medicare.

You have the following options to get Medicare Part D coverage in Louisiana :

  • Standalone Part D plan: If you have Original Medicare or an Advantage plan that does not include prescription drug coverage, you may sign up for a standalone Part D plan.
  • Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan: If you prefer an all-in-one plan, you may prefer to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage. Known as an MA-PD plan, you get the same benefits you have with Original Medicare plus a Part D plan. The plan may also offer additional benefits, such as routine vision or dental care. Check the plan's benefits carefully before signing up.

Whichever option you choose, you need to check the plan's benefits and coverage carefully. Start by looking at the drug formulary. This is the list of medications covered by the plan. If you don't see your medications, look for another plan.

Consider out-of-pocket costs  as well. This includes:

  • Monthly premium
  • Yearly deductible
  • Copays and/or coinsurance

Please note that a low monthly premium may hide higher out-of-pocket costs elsewhere.

If you have limited income or resources, you may qualify for Extra Help paying for Medicare Part D in Louisiana. This Medicare program helps pay a variety of out-of-pocket costs. How much it pays and which costs depends on the level of Extra Help you qualify for. Click the link above to see whether you qualify.

Why Should You Sign Up for Medicare Part D in Louisiana?

Although all Medicare coverage is optional, even the healthiest people eventually need health insurance. Medicare encourages people to sign up by imposing late fees on those who delay enrollment when they don't have creditable coverage elsewhere. "Creditable coverage" means a plan that offers similar benefits for about the same cost you have under Medicare.

If you delay signing up for Medicare Part D and you don't have creditable prescription drug coverage, you'll pay lifelong late fees when you do finally enroll in a Part D plan.

When Can You Register for Medicare Part D in Louisiana?

Medicare restricts enrollment to certain periods. The first is your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). If you "age" into Medicare when you turn 65, your IEP begins 3 months before your 65th birthday. It extends through the 3 months following your birth month, giving you a full 7 months to sign up for Medicare – including prescription drug coverage.

Please note that, unless you receive Social Security benefits at least 4 months before your 65th birthday, Medicare enrollment is not automatic. You must sign up for it, just as you do for Medicare Part D.

People who qualify for Medicare based on disability are automatically enrolled in Parts A and B on their 25th month of receiving Social Security disability benefits. If this describes you, your Initial Enrollment Period begins on your 22nd month and extends through your 28th month. During your IEP, you may sign up for either a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.

If you enrolled in Medicare Part B during the General Enrollment Period that lasts from January 1 through March 31, you may enroll in a Part D plan from April 1 through June 30.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is available to anyone currently enrolled in Medicare. It lasts from October 15 through December 7. During AEP, you can:

  • Leave Original Medicare for a Medicare Advantage plan (with or without prescription drug coverage)
  • Switch from one MA plan to another
  • Join, leave, or switch to a new Medicare Part D plan
  • Leave a Medicare Advantage plan to return to Original Medicare

If you have an MA plan, you may participate in the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP). However, you may only sign up for a Part D plan if changes you make during OEP result in you losing your prescription drug coverage.

Finally, Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) are available throughout the year to those who experience special circumstances, such as moving or losing coverage. Find the full list of qualifying circumstances here.

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