Volume 8, Issue 10 October 2017


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: consumeradvocacy@ldi.la.gov

LDI On the Road: Fit, Fun & Fabulous Health Event

Date: October 5, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.
Location: TECHE Action Center
1115 Weber Street, Franklin, LA

LDI On the Road: Medicare Updates 2018

Date: October 20, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.
Location: Ochsner Medical Center
17000 Medical Center Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

LDI On the Road: Livingston Parish Crime Expo

Date: October 25, 2017
Time: 9;00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Location: Livingston Council on Aging Meal Site
27265 Highway 42, Springfield, LA

LDI On the Road: Caddo Council on Aging 2017 Senior Day at the State Fair

Date: October 26, 2017
Location: Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
3701 Hudson Avenue, Shreveport, LA


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

Medicare 101: Open Enrollment

As the weather gets cooler and lines for flu shots form, it’s time to start thinking about 2018 health care options. If you are over 65 or otherwise eligible for Medicare, now is the time to review your coverage and benefits and make decisions about your plan for the coming year. Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15, 2017 and ends December 7, 2017 for enrollment in 2018 plans.

During Medicare Open Enrollment, beneficiaries can make changes to their existing plans or switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. The Louisiana Department of Insurance has created a step-by-step guide for Medicare beneficiaries. Also, our Medicare Advantage Plans vs Medicare Supplement Policies Guide can help you make the right decision about your Medicare options.

Our Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) staff can help you choose the best plan for your budget. SHIIP counselors provide free and unbiased guidance to those in need around the state. Also, join us on Facebook for Medicare updates and tips. In our Facebook live series Leave it to Vicki, Louisiana SHIIP Director Vicki Dufrene provides Medicare beneficiaries and their families with important information. Like us on Facebook to watch these videos and get more Medicare updates.


Lock on Laptop newsletter

Protect Your Personal Information

Big data is big business. But it can also lead to bigger headaches when large-scale breaches expose personal information. Large companies including insurers and credit bureaus have been the victims of cyber thieves who accessed private customer information. Most recently, the Equifax breach could affect 143 million Americans.

Identity theft occurs when a person uses your personal information to commit fraud or unlawful activity. Using your social security number or date of birth, someone may open new credit card or bank account in your name, and even take out a loan using your personal information. Affected consumers can help protect themselves with identity theft insurance—or by using safeguards provided by the impacted company. The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers these consumer protection tips:

  • Avoid carrying your Social Security number and driver’s license number together in your wallet.
  • Shred pre-approved credit card offers and bills before disposing of them.
  • Avoid putting outgoing mail in your home mailbox and use a U.S. Post service mailbox.
  • Be careful of where you use credit cards online. Make sure the website is legitimate.
  • Check your credit report on a regular basis. If you see unusual activity, you can investigate promptly by contacting the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Check to see if your current homeowners policy insurer includes identity theft insurance as part of your coverage. If not, you may be able to add identity theft insurance to your policy for a small fee or purchase a stand-alone policy from another insurer.


cars in high water newsletter

Consumer Alert: Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Consumers in the market for a new vehicle can save time and money by avoiding flood-damaged vehicles. Here are a few tips:

  • Buyers Beware. While most states require vehicle titles to indicate flood damage, some wholesalers may intentionally transfer titles to avoid having the damage noted and diminish the value of the car.
  • Looks can be deceiving. While the car may look perfectly fine on the surface, there could be hidden defects that are not immediately noticeable. Flood damage can compromise the car’s computer and safety mechanisms, which pose significant safety hazards to the new owner.
  • Do your own inspection. Take time to inspect the car yourself. Check the engine for high water marks, which is a clear indication that the car has been flooded. Look for rust or corrosion on wires and other components under the hood. You should also be suspicious if the carpet smells damp and of mildew.
  • Consider where you buy. Flooded vehicles often times end up at car auctions. Make sure to shop at a reputable dealership.
  • Ask questions. Before buying the car, ask the dealer to obtain a report with a detailed history of the car. You should also consider taking the car to a qualified mechanic to inspect the vehicle thoroughly.



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

P.O Box 94214

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214