LSU Energy Summit set for Oct. 18

LSU’s Center for Energy Studies will hold its 2011 Energy Summit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Energy, Coast & Environment Building at LSU.

“Unconventional Louisiana: Shales, Sands, and Other Opportunities” will include Patricia Outtrim, Cheniere Energy’s vice president for governmental affairs, who will discuss leveraging domestic shale gas production through exports.

The onsite registration fee is $85 for students, $135 for government and education and $160 for all others.

For more information, contact the Center for Energy Studies at (225) 578-3948 or email

Medicare open enrollment begins

Medicare’s open enrollment period started Saturday and runs until Dec. 7 to give people more time to review and make changes to coverage.

Open enrollment is the time to make sure drug and health plans still meet individual needs, especially if people have had any changes in their health. Shopping around may save money or improve coverage. Also, those on a private Medicare Advantage health plan who would like to switch back to the original Medicare fee-for-service program, open enrollment is the time to do it.

Insurers should have mailed out notices telling of any drug or health plan changes for 2012. Drug plan premiums will be about the same, on average, as in 2011. In Louisiana, the 30 drug plans available to people in original Medicare will have monthly premiums ranging from $15.10 to $107.70.

Medicare Advantage also remains an alternative. Medicare Advantage premiums will be about 4 percent lower, on average. The way to determine the true cost of drug or health care coverage is to check on other factors like deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance. Medicare’s website — — has the best tool for helping narrow the search for a new drug or health plan.

One-on-one benefits counseling is also available at (800) 259-5301.