Are you signed up for Medicare? Medicare will help you cover certain healthcare costs, but you must pay for the privilege. Many people roll their eyes when they even think about dealing with healthcare and it can be very complicated to navigate Medicare or any insurance program or policies.
Luckily, we are here to help. The ideal solution is to consult with an unbiased Medicare advisor such as www.i65.com, but for now, here are 5 common mistakes that people make when it comes to Medicare. Check them out and make sure you’re not one of them.
1. Leaving your job and missing the deadline for Medicare enrollment.
Are you still working when you’re 65 years old? If so, you might be receiving health insurance coverage from your employer. If that is the case, you might not have to sign up for Medicare and this allows you to avoid the premiums of Part B. However, if you happen to leave your job then that means you must enroll within a period of 8 months or you will have to wait for the next period of enrollment, which could mean going without coverage for several months or even penalties. By the way, not all employer plans are superior to Medicare, so make sure you compare them.
2. Not signing up for Medicare because you’re not getting benefits from Social Security.
Are you receiving benefits from Social Security? If you are, you may already know that you are automatically signed up for Medicare Part A and B once you turn 65. However, if you’re putting off filing to get Social Security until you are at retirement age or even later, you need to sign up for Medicare on your own. That means that you have to sign up within a 7-month window. This will be 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday up to the 3 months after that month. Since Part A is free for most, there’s no reason to wait to file.
3. Thinking your medical providers will always have coverage under your Medicare Advantage Plan.
This private Medicare Advantage (M.A.) plan can cover medical expenses and prescriptions. However, in order to get the lowest co-payments possible, you might need to use the network of doctors and hospitals on the plan. Make sure your hospitals, doctors and health-care providers are covered every year. You may also switch your plan from 10/15 to 12/7, the period of open enrollment. You can use a Medicare plan finder to find plans right for you, if you still need, sign up at www.medicare.gov and compare plans in your area and the costs associated. Contact an insurer and your doctor once you’ve narrowed the list to a few plans to make sure they’re on the network for your upcoming year.
4. Selecting the wrong Medigap Policy.
Buying the Medigap policy within 6 months of signing up for Part B means that you can get any plan available in your area – even if you happen to have what is called a pre-existing medical condition. A private Medigap policy will give you supplemental coverage for traditional Medicare, but if you want to switch plans after that, then a lot of insurers in states might reject your or even charge you more due to the condition, so it’s important to select a plan wisely.
5. Not Getting Plan D
The Medicare Part D program concerns prescription drugs. Review your options from open enrollment (10/15 to 12/7) as cost and coverage can change every year. Look for increases in your share of cost or premiums. If you can go generic for drugs, or have gotten new meds, switching plans might mean a better deal.
Medicare decisions are complex. Unfortunately, insurance agents and government resources often increase the complexity. Medicare – or retirement healthcare and custodial care in general – are best made in the context of an overall retirement income plan.