Reasons to use an independent agent

1. Knowledge

When you require legal advice, you contact a lawyer, and when a health issue arises, you visit your doctor, so when you need assistance with your insurance coverage, you need to use an industry expert. In addition to having many years of experience in the industry, independent insurance agents work with many different insurance companies and are knowledgeable about their individual strengths. Although one insurance company may provide unmatched claims service, another may offer more competitive rates. Based on what is most important to you, an independent agent will find the best match for you.

  • We write 1,000’s of policies each year and know the quickest way to get in and out of the system.
  • We know the insurance lingo – we are the experts.
  • We know which plans are best within each company.
  • We do the research and leg work for you.  We study the plans each year BEFORE talking to you.
  • We know the Louisiana insurance market.  The MarketPlace does not, nor are they licensed insurance agents.

2. Customer Service

If you have coverage questions or worse, need help with a claim, would you rather reach an automated recording or an actual person when you call? More and more companies have switched to automated systems, often making it difficult and time consuming to reach the right person. However, at many independent insurance agencies, an actual person will still greet and assist you.

  • We make sure you get the benefits you need.
  • We want a long-term relationship with you.
  • We are there to assist you all year long.  You have one point of contact and one person to help you solve any issues that may arise.

3. Personal Shoppers

Working with an independent insurance agent can be compared to having a personal shopper. Similar to the way in which a real estate agent sorts through properties to help you find your ideal home, an insurance agent reviews many different insurance companies’ rates and coverage options to help you secure policies that best suit your needs. You may believe that this comes at an additional cost to you, but independent agents do not add extra charges to insurance companies’ rates. So you can choose to work with an independent agent, who will handle your coverage needs, assist you with claims and answer any questions you may have, from billing issues to coverage concerns, always advocating on your behalf, at no additional cost to you.

4. Understanding 

Independent insurance agents understand that insurance can seem complicated and confusing, especially when you don’t deal with it on a daily basis. For this reason, your insurance agent will work to ensure that you fully understand your coverage, from what is and is not included, to the deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. After you purchase your policies, an independent agent’s work isn’t over – instead, we are available year-round to help answer your questions, update your policy and make coverage recommendations.

5. Reputation

Reputation plays a crucial role in finding a company you can trust, and many independent agencies take pride in the years, if not decades, they have spent serving their local communities. Not only can a company’s many years of service speak to its well-established reputation in the community, but it can also help you feel confident about its financial stability. Although there are many different ways to obtain insurance, would you rather obtain a quote from a startup Internet-based insurance provider that advertised on television, or call a local agent who your friends, co-workers and neighbors could recommend?

6. Protection & Peace of Mind

Above all, working with an independent insurance agent will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that when you save money on your insurance, it won’t come at the expense of comprehensive coverage. When it comes to protecting your home, family, business and other invaluable assets, relying on an independent agent you can trust is a great place to start.

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Vantage members can now schedule appointments and receive treatment at any location of Our Lady Health System

Members with Vantage Health Plan insurance can now schedule appointments and receive treatment at any location across the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

Effective May 1, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales have joined other health system facilities, physician groups and ancillary providers as in-network providers for Vantage Health Plan.

St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe and Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa, also members of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, will continue to serve as in-network providers for Vantage Health Plan.

Vantage Health Plan provides commercial and Medicare Advantage coverage throughout Louisiana, including to the Office of Group Benefits and the individuals selecting coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplace or Exchange.

Notable hospitals and clinics added as in-network providers to Vantage Health Plan coverage include:

Baton Rouge Region

  • Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
  • Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group
  • Louisiana Cardiology Associates
  • St. Elizabeth Hospital
  • St. Elizabeth Physician Group
  • Assumption Community Hospital
  • Assumption Rural Health Clinic
  • Outpatient Cath Lab
  • Health Centers in Schools

Lafayette Region

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Physician Group
  • Heart Hospital of Lafayette
  • Northside High School Based Clinic

Northshore Region

  • Pontchartrain Surgery Center
  • Southern Surgical Hospital

For more information regarding in-network providers, you may go online http://www.vantagehealthplan.com or call 888-823-1910.

How to avoid the flu

You can avoid the flu this season by taking 1 simple step: Get a flu shot.

Some people think that getting a flu shot is too much trouble, costs too much or will make them sick or more likely to catch the flu or even colds.

The flu is caused by 1 of several strains of flu viruses (type A or B) that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu makes life miserable for a week or 2 for many people — and deadly for some. Flu season can begin as early as October and peak anywhere from late December to early April, according to the CDC.

Here are the facts

Your best defense against the flu is to get the flu shot. Depending on your age, you can do that in 1 of 2 ways:

Continue reading “How to avoid the flu”

5 tips for your first doctor visit

If you’re new to insurance or haven’t been to the doctor in a long time, here are some tips to help your visit go smoothly from check-in to claim:

  1. Get there early. Plan to get there early to fill out any forms. Tell the doctor’s office that this is your first visit.
  2. Bring your ID card. Show the front desk your new member ID card and use it to fill out any forms.
  3. Ask questions. Bring any questions you have so you won’t forget to ask them. Write down the answers and tips your doctor says to try, too.
  4. Know what you have to pay at the visit. Check your plan to see if you have a deductible, copay or coinsurance. If so, you will need to be ready to pay the doctor’s office.
  5. Check your EOB. After your visit, you will get an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form that will tell you what your plan paid for your visit and what you may owe for any other care like tests or lab work your doctor asked you to have.

Continue reading “5 tips for your first doctor visit”

Bringing in the new year

Open enrollment will end Jan. 31, 2016. If you would like to change your plan, call our offices to discuss a plan that meets your needs and your budget. We want help you choose the right plan for you!

New Year'sEve party

If you don’t enroll in a  2016 health plan by Jan. 31 2016, you can’t enroll in a plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have:

  • Had a baby and/or adopted a baby
  • Married/divorced
  • Changed jobs
  • Lost previous employer group coverage
  • Lost dependent status
  • Recently moved to a different state
  • Had a change of immigration status

Humana dental digital member ID cards

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Humana Dental commercial group members now have the convenience of a digital member ID card.

Why is a digital card better than a paper card? Here are a few reasons:

  1. By accessing a digital ID card, members don’t have to keep the paper version in their wallet anymore
  2. Online means up-to-date. As soon as an account with Humana Dental is updated, the digital ID card is updated
  3. Members can email or fax a copy of the card to a provider
  4. Members can print copies to give to providers
  5. A digital ID is environment- friendly by reducing the production of a plastic products

How to access the card?

All members: To access a PDF or print or email a Humana Dental ID card, sign in to MyHumana. Once signed in to MyHumana, access the digital card from the Access ID Card link. If the member is not registered with a password and user ID yet, it’s simple to follow the steps to set this up from Humana.com

Smartphone users: Is a smartphone user, members can view or fax an ID card from the MyHumana mobile app. To search for the app, visit an app store and search by typing “MyHumana.” Once you launch the app and securely sign in, a Humana Dental ID card will appear on the phone under the tooth icon.

Still want a card?

You can still get a physical card. Here’s how:

  1. Members can go to MyHumana and locate the card from the Access ID Card link and print directly from the site.
  2. The Benefit Administrator can print the card via Employer Portal.

What if a member can’t locate the card or find the app?

Contact Humana via MyHumana secure email or through their toll-free number, 1-800-233-4013.