Volume 10, Issue 11
November 2019


Our monthly newsletter addresses consumer insurance topics as well as timely information on issues affecting senior citizens in Louisiana.


To find out if Consumer Advocacy will be in your area or to request a speaker for your organization or group, call (225) 219-0619 or send an email to: [email protected]

Upcoming Events   

SHIIP and COAST 2019 Medicare Counseling

Date: November 20, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Location:Slidell Senior Center
610 Cousin Street, Slidell, LA

SHIIP and COAST 2019 Medicare Counseling

Date: December 18, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Location:Covington Senior Center
19404 N. 10th Street, Covington, LA

View Louisiana's Open Meetings Law on the legislative website by clicking here.

Marketplace 2019 Open Enrollment

If you use the federal marketplace through Healthcare.gov to purchase health insurance, open enrollment for 2020 runs November 1 – December 15, 2019.

Those who currently have marketplace coverage, or will need it in 2020, should make time to shop for plans. If you already have coverage through a marketplace plan, review your information to make sure it is accurate. You can update your application with any income and/or household changes. You might qualify for a different amount of financial assistance or find a different plan that costs less and/or better meets your needs.

Learn more about the basics of health insurance and what you need to know to enroll through the marketplace.

What's New for 2020

There is no penalty for not having minimum essential coverage. In the past, consumers would pay a penalty if they were not enrolled in a health plan. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, that tax penalty was reduced to nothing. If you don't have major medical health insurance for the 2020 coverage year, you'll be on your own for major health care costs, but you won't be penalized at tax time.

Short-term, limited duration options may offer lower premiums, but they won't cover as much. Short-term, limited duration insurance is not available through the marketplaces, but you may see it offered elsewhere. It allows for coverage to fill temporary coverage gaps. While these types of plans are typically cheaper than the marketplace and other individual market health plans, they usually have limited benefits, broader exclusions and higher levels of consumer cost-sharing. Before signing up for a short-term plan, it's important to think through what health care services you and your family may need and check whether those services are covered.

There will be more direct enrollment options. This means you might sign up for a marketplace plan even without visiting HealthCare.gov. You might use an insurer's website or a third-party website. These sites might offer you other types of coverage, too, so look closely to know what you're buying. Remember: You can always use HealthCare.gov if you want to be sure to get the protections of the marketplace plans.

Your employer may offer you a health reimbursement arrangement. New rules allow employers of all sizes to provide employees and their families with funds they can use to help pay for individual market health plans. If your employer makes this offer, you may not qualify for a premium tax credit through the marketplace. Instead, use the funds from your employer to help pay your premium.



Turkey Thanksgiving

Talking Turkey

According to data from the U.S. Fire Administration there were an estimated 2,400 residential building fires on Thanksgiving Day every year between 2014 and 2016. These fires resulted in 5 deaths, 25 injuries and a whopping $19 million in property loss.

One of the biggest dangers for Thanksgiving cooks is a turkey fryer. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), since 2002 there have been $8 million in property damage and 672 injuries caused by turkey-fryer related incidents.

Fryers result in about 1,000 emergency fire calls each year according to NFPA data, causing $15 million in damage.

Here are a few tips if you are taking the plunge (into hot oil) and frying up a turkey this year:

  • Always use a turkey fryer outdoors on a flat surface. Make sure it is away from structures, wooden decks, and covered patios. Never use a fryer in a garage.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby and ready to use.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer to prevent the oil from overheating and catching fire.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed to prevent a fire.
  • Always keep children and pets away from the fryer to prevent tipping.




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Office of Consumer Advocacy
(225) 219-0619 or (800) 259-5300

P.O Box 94214

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214
[email protected]