Medicare is supposed to be affordable healthcare for Americans 65 years of age and older. If done correctly, Medicare has many benefits. However, it’s a complex and confusing system. This complexity leads many Medicare beneficiaries to make costly mistakes. In this article, we’ll discuss the expensive Medicare mistakes that can clean out your pockets if you’re not careful.
If you believe you’re paying too much for your Medicare plan, our Medicare experts can help! Our mission at Delta Medicare Benefits Group is to help seniors navigate their Medicare and maximize their healthcare benefits. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 901-460-7220 or fill out our convenient and confidential online contact form here.
Medicare Mistake: Keeping Your Plan on Autopilot
Year over year, the cost and coverage of a singular plan can vary quite a bit. Sometimes preferred providers are no longer available on your plan, the percentage of drug costs you’re responsible for increases, premiums rise, and additional hurdles come about. Imagine walking into your pharmacy one day to learn that your really expensive and necessary medication is no longer covered on your plan. Keeping an eye on your coverage yearly can keep situations like this from happening to you. It can also help you keep your costs down.
Medicare Mistake: Not Customizing Your Plan
Medicare plans are not one-size-fits-all situations. They should be strategically customized to fit your specific healthcare, lifestyle, and budget needs. Many people assume that if a certain plan worked for their spouse or neighbor down the street, it must work for them. This is a false assumption. While a specific plan may be right for your spouse or neighbor, you are an individual with certain healthcare needs all your own. These needs should be calculated into your plan to ensure you’re getting the best plan available to you and saving the most money you can.
Medicare Mistake: Not Enrolling in Time
Medicare late enrollment penalties can add a hefty sum to your Medicare costs. Sometimes people forget to enroll, don’t know to enroll, or enroll in Medicare Parts too late. Medicare penalties include:
- Medicare Part A Late-Enrollment Penalty
- Medicare Part B Late-Enrollment Penalty
- Medicare Part D Late-Enrollment Penalty
If you’re already receiving Social Security, you’ll likely automatically be enrolled in Parts A and B, however, if you’re not yet on Social Security, you will need to enroll manually during your Initial Enrollment Period.
Similarly, sometimes people want to defer their Part B coverage to avoid paying the monthly premium. This is only possible if you have creditable coverage through an employer or another entity. The same goes for your Medicare Part D coverage. If at any time after your Initial Enrollment Period you do not have Part D or a creditable coverage for 63 consecutive days, you may incur a penalty for as long as you have Medicare.
Medicare Mistake: Not Having Creditable Coverage
The key to avoiding penalties is either enrolling in Medicare coverage on time or having creditable coverage. For Medicare to consider a health plan “creditable coverage,” it must provide benefits at least as good as those Medicare provides. If a person has creditable coverage, he or she may delay Medicare enrollment without incurring penalties.
Sometimes people believe they have creditable coverage only to find out later that’s not the case. For example, some employer-related coverage is not considered creditable coverage after you become Medicare-eligible. Some examples of non-creditable coverage include retiree coverage, COBRA coverage, or severance benefits. Speak with an insurance professional to ensure you have creditable coverage before electing not to enroll in Medicare.
Medicare Mistake: Not Getting Expert Help
While beneficiaries can enroll in and update plans on their own, in some situations, not consulting an expert can be a costly mistake. Medicare is complex and ever-evolving. If you don’t stay updated on the constant changes in the system and within your specific plan, you can easily lose a lot of money. Similarly, not knowing certain things when your first enroll can set you up to spend more money on Medicare than you would have if you had known them. For example, not understanding what creditable coverage is when you decide not to enroll in Part B and finding out later you don’t have creditable coverage can mean incurring long-lasting Part B late-enrollment penalties, adding to your monthly premium for months or even years.
When you have a trusted Medicare expert on your side, he or she will ensure all of the boxes are checked and that your benefits are maximized and customized to you. Additionally, at Delta Medicare Benefits Group, we check all of our clients’ plans yearly to ensure they are still in the best plan possible. If they aren’t, we simply give them a call to let them know. Having someone watch your back can save you a lot of money on Medicare.
Call Our Medicare Experts Today
If you have Medicare or insurance questions, call our Medicare experts today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll ensure that you enroll in the right plan for you, maximize your Medicare benefits, and do the heavy lifting for you. As the number-one trusted source for all things Medicare in the Midsouth and beyond, we’re here to answer all of your Medicare questions. You can reach us at 901-460-7220 or fill out our convenient and confidential contact online form here and we will reach out to you to set up your appointment.
Let us help you avoid expensive Medicare mistakes!
We’re located in Memphis, TN, and we serve clients across the nation. Our office is located in the iBank Tower at 5050 Poplar Ave Suite 1715, Memphis, TN 38157.