Avoid These 10 Medicare Mistakes
Figuring out things about Medicare can be time consuming, confusing and frustrating. There are many options, and this is why it’s easy to make mistakes. Unfortunately, errors can cost you, which is why you’ll want to learn about some of the common pitfalls. That being said, let us help you avoid these 10 Medicare mistakes.
1. Not Signing When You’re Initially Eligible
Many people delay signing up for Medicare, which isn’t surprising because more people are working beyond 65-years-old. This is fine, but only if you have health coverage via a spouse or employer. This is because this allows you to avoid paying a penalty.
If you don’t have group coverage, then make sure to sign-up when the initial enrollment period arrives. This period starts three months before you turn 65-years-old. However, there are special enrollment periods available for those who are in unique circumstances, such as they have lost their job.
The main thing to remember is you should sign-up for Medicate when you are initially eligible. The last thing you want is to be hit with an enrollment penalty added to your premium. This penalty can last for a lifetime.
2. Not Taking Advantage Of Medicare Annual Enrollment
This enrollment periods takes between from October 15 to December 7 and this is the period when you can evaluate your current plan to see if it’s a good idea to change plans. Costs can vary from one year to the next and so can coverage. This is why you should take the time to review your Medicare plan during this period.
During the annual enrollment period, you can make the switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan from an Original Medicare plan or you can switch back to the Original Medicare from the Advantage Plan. You may also consider changing plans, dropping plans and joining a prescription drug plan. If you do not take advantage of any opportunities, then you could end up being stuck with a plan that doesn’t meet your needs.
3. ASSUMING YOU WON’T Need Drug Coverage
A big mistake people make is thinking they don’t need prescription drug coverage due to the fact they don’t take medicine. However, you don’t want to end up paying a penalty fee if you urgently need Part D benefits later. It is better to plan ahead, even if you’re currently healthy and don’t take prescription drugs.
4. Choosing A Drug Plan Based Solely On Cost
Cost is important when choosing a plan. However, you don’t want to choose a Prescription Drug Plan just because it is the cheapest. Ultimately you want the plan that will provide you with the best coverage for your needs at present and in the future.
5. Thinking You Have Time To Enroll In A Plan With COBRA Benefits
When you turn 65, there’s a chance Medicare will be your main coverage, unless you still have coverage via your employer. The coverage does need to be current and the retire benefits or COBRA benefits can’t be your main coverage. The benefits also can’t be coming from an employer you still work for.
You have eight months to sign up. If you don’t do it, then gaps in coverage will occur. If this happens to you, then you may be required to pay a late fee for enrolling late.
6. Getting The Same Plan As Your Spouse
Your spouse will have different healthcare needs than your needs. When you choose a Medicare plan, make sure you consider your own unique needs because your needs could very well be very different than your partner’s. The same goes if you are thinking of choosing a prescription drug plan or Original Medicare.
7. Not Enrolling In Supplement Insurance In Time
After you enroll in Medicare Part B, you will have six months to get a Medigap plan, and once you become a recipient, you will be entitled to what is known as guaranteed issue rights. This means you cannot be refused when you want to buy a plan from a company, nor can a company charge more due to you having a pre-existing condition. If you wait too long and the six months go by, then you might not be able to enroll in a Medigap plan.
8. Not Reviewing Annual Notice Of Change
This comes on a yearly basis and you want to review it because it gives you a chance to review any changes in your coverage. In this document ion, certain things are documented, such as changes in price and network providers. Make sure to take the time to review everything in this annual notice.
9. Not Taking Advantage Of Additional Help
There are protections in place that Medicare has implemented. These protections are for people who have limited income, and it allows them to afford their medicine. However, a lot of people don’t even know that they qualify for additional help and they end up spending more money than they have to.
Taking advantage of additional help allows you to save money on your plans. Make sure you review the extra help section. If there is something you qualify for, then you should consider taking it.
If you have any questions about any aspect of your coverage, you’re welcome to contact Medicare Senior Services and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
10. Going Out-SIDE Of THE Network
Seniors can receive many benefits, such as getting dental care and vision care, as well as prescription drug benefits to name a few. There are usually very rigorous requirements in regards to network providers, so become familiar with those requirements. You could be on the hook for a lot of money if you go to a doctor that isn’t in your plan’s network.
Be sure to keep the above info in mind as you select your coverage. You don’t want to make any of those common mistakes. If you do, then you could end up spending more money than necessary.