Medicare covers thousands of seniors, and many of them are unaware of mistakes that can lead them to lose more money. It is important for retirees who are on a fixed income to try and save as much as possible. Not paying attention to a couple of key aspects of your Medicare policy can cost you.
Signing Up Late
The Initial Enrollment for Medicare begins three months prior to the month you turn 65, and the three months after that month. If you miss this seven month open window to sign up, you will get charged a late enrollment fee for Medicare Part B. This will cost you as much as 10% extra for every year that you were eligible for Medicare but did not sign up. The penalty will be a part of your Part B premiums forever. For example, the average premiums are $134, and with a 10 % penalty fee, you will be paying an extra $13.40 a month.
Missing the Annual Open Enrollment
Once enrolled in Medicare, it is important to re-enroll every year during Open Enrollment, October 15 through December 7. If you miss the annual open enrollment, then you will be forced to have the same plan for another year until the following open enrollment. This can cost you financially, and medically. Your current plan could not be covered by some doctors or in certain areas, and it might be more expensive than the previous year.
Not Using Free Preventive Care Services
Medicare offers preventive care services that are free, in order to help you stay healthy. You can receive one free
wellness visit a year and screenings to make sure you are healthy, and if not, then aware you of any issues. If you do not take advantage of these services, it will cost you a lot of money if large medical conditions arise.
Not Going Over Your Medicare Policy & Network
It is important to go over any policy that you have, whether traditional Medicare, a Medicare Supplement plan, or Medicare Advantage plan. Every year, these plans are subject to change within the rules, network coverage, and pricing. Premiums can go up significantly the following year and you may not be able to afford it. Or the network has changed and your doctor is no longer in network.
Never assume that certain healthcare expenses are covered by your policy. Call your insurance company to make sure you are aware of what is covered exactly.
If you have an HMO plan, then you are not able to go to any doctors outside of the network. If so, you will pay full price for that visit. With a PPO, you can go out of network; the plan will cover a small portion, still costing you a lot. Going over your network is key to making sure you remain within the network to avoid additional costs. Your insurance company will send you a directory of in network providers.
Not Looking Into Other Insurance
Many retirees will rely on traditional Medicare for their medical care, and do not look into other healthcare options such as Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage. It can save you a lot of money to look into these plans. They offer more coverage such as dental and vision, without paying a hefty price. Out-of-pocket expenses are limitless in traditional Medicare, but some plans in Medicare Advantage have an annual out-of-pocket spending limit. Medicare Advantage is essentially like traditional Medicare, but covers more, and may end up costing you less.
When it is time to retire, it is important to go over these common mistakes to save as much as you can during retirement. If you have questions, or need some guidance as to if a Medicare Supplement plan or Medicare Advantage is right for you, you can trust EZ.Insure to help. You can speak to your very own advisor for assistance by calling 888-753-7207 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you would like an instant quote, enter your zip code in the bar above, it’s that easy.