Quick Tips for Hurricane Season
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season is underway. Colorado State University’s forecast calls for a near average season with 12 named storms. Before a tropical system threatens, now is a good time to review your insurance policies and make sure you have a plan in place.
Remember a homeowners policy does not typically include flood insurance. An insurance agent can provide more information about what’s covered and what’s not. You can purchase a separate flood insurance policy through a local agent or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There’s a 30-day waiting period before the policy goes into effect. Once a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico, some companies will not sell you insurance. A hurricane preparedness plan should include the following steps:
- Make a list of your personal property. Take an inventory of clothing and valuables. It’s also a good idea to take pictures or video of each room and exterior of your home.
- Protect your property from loss. Prior to a storm cover windows or install storm shutters.
- Gather important insurance documents. Keep copies of your policies in a secure spot and make sure to take them if you evacuate.
Visit our hurricane resource center for more information.
Health Insurance Basics Before a Storm
When preparing for hurricane season some residents forget an important step, reviewing their health coverage. You may not be able to reach your regular doctor or pharmacist if you’re forced to evacuate.
If you or your loved ones relocate, it’s best to choose a doctor or medical facility in your network. You can check your plan’s network by clicking here
. Also, find a pharmacy that you’re likely to use and save their contact information. A provider can give more detailed information about coverage your plan includes during a disaster.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Try to have at least a one month supply of your medication
- Contact your doctor to see if you can get a prescription for any important medications
- Keep copies of your health insurance cards and policy information
Steps to Ensure Summer Safety
Louisiana summers can be a scorcher leaving you looking for ways to cool off. From water parks to pools, safety is top priority while swimming. Louisiana has the third highest drowning rate in the U.S. According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, about 28 children, one to four years old, are hospitalized due to drowning related injuries each year.
This danger is not always fatal, it’s preventable by taking the following precautions:
- Adults should always supervise when kids are in the pool
- Make sure everyone participating has had swimming lessons
- Learn CPR
- Avoid ingesting or swallowing the water
Swimmers should also be aware of the risk of infection from germs. It’s important to monitor chemical levels and keep pools chlorinated. Bacteria and parasites may also be present in some Louisiana waterways like rivers and marshes. The Department of Health and Hospitals is encouraging you to spread the word about water safety in your community. More resources can be found on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council webpage www.poolsafely.gov
Did you receive a letter in the mail? You may be missing out on
Last month Medicare beneficiaries began receiving letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they may be eligible for help with their out-of-pocket medical and drug expenses. The Louisiana Department of Insurance encourages beneficiaries who receive these letters to take action to learn more about the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) that helps with Medicare out-of-pocket expenses, and the Extra Help program that covers some of the costs of prescription drugs. The letters are sent annually to people with Medicare with limited incomes who could be eligible for- but are not enrolled in- these cost savings programs.
Anyone receiving a letter—or who believes they or a loved one may be able to get help from these programs—should contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program at 1-800-259-5300 or visit our map for partners in your area for assistance.
In addition, Medicare beneficiaries can go online to see if they are eligible for MSPs, Extra Help and other benefits that can supplement their monthly budget. The National Council on Aging’s BenefitsCheckUp® is a free, confidential screening tool that can connect older and adults and younger adults with disabilities to these programs. Learn more at BenefitsCheckUp.org.
Protect My Ride Video Contest Winner
The Louisiana Department of Insurance and the Louisiana Automobile Theft and Fraud Prevention Authority congratulate Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. Students at Catholic High produced the winning “Protect My Ride: Louisiana” video. The campaign raises awareness of motor vehicle theft, insurance fraud, and other criminal acts. Catholic High School’s video will be shown before feature films in movie theaters statewide and on the Department of Insurance website.
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