Not knowing could cost you, but here’s how to avoid them.
For most people aging into Medicare can be stressful. There is so much information targeting 10,000 people every day that are aging into Medicare. Learning how to “Avoid” the most common mistakes can be the difference between having coverage and not having coverage.
1. Assuming you don’t qualify for coverage.
You automatically qualify for Medicare Part A if you have earned 40 credits by paying payroll taxes for 10 years; this ensures that you will not have to pay any Part A premiums. Part A helps cover most of your hospitalization but there are still deductibles and co-insurances left to pay. Part B coverage is not based on work history and it covers your outpatient services and medical equipment. There is a monthly premium for Part B and in 2017 people aging into Medicare can expect to pay $134 dollars monthly.
So what if you haven’t earned 40 credits? You still could be eligible through your spouse’s work record. If that is not an option, you are also entitled to sign up for Part A and pay a premium. One mistake that people make is going back to work to earn the credits and if you are 65 or older, this could be costly because you will have to pay late penalties.
2. Failed to enroll in Part B
It is critical that you sign up at the right time for Medicare Part B. If you fail to sign up at the right time, you could risk having late penalties that last a life time, your coverage could be delayed or more importantly, your open enrollment period could end possibly leaving you without coverage.
So when should I enroll in Part B?
When you first turn 65 you have three months before your birth month, the month of your birth month and 3 months after. If you are still working you can delay taking out your Part B until you retire.
3. Not reading your Annual Notice of Change
This document comes every year in late September if you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription drug plan (PDP). It will specify the changes in the plan like deductibles, co-insurances, cost and coverage for the upcoming year.
So what should I do?
You should read this notice every year to understand what the new cost and changes are going to be. You can compare them to other plans from October 15th –December 7th and switch if necessary. If you fail to read the notice you could be surprised with more out of pocket cost then you can afford.
You can always start your investigation by using our anonymous tool to compare Medicare Plan rates. Get top insurance company rates side by side to compare.
Another resource we offer is our Medicare Blueprint. This is a step by step guide to help walk you through the Medicare enrollment process.
For your free Medicare Blueprint click here.
Still have questions or just want to talk about your Medicare steps? We work with several of the big insurance companies and keep up on all of their changes. Call (toll free 855-205-4928) or stop by our office to speak to our Representative. There is no obligation and never a charge. We promise you won’t be just a number.