Alright, everyone, we are a few weeks into Medicare Open Enrollment, so we thought that it was time that we set the record straight on some Medicare myths! Medicare can be complicated, but with the right tools, you can find the best coverage for you. First, be sure to access your FREE Medicare quote today. Secondly, let’s talk about some common Medicare myths that end up costing seniors big time. Let’s get to myth-busting!
Here are the top 3 Medicare Enrollment myths. Don’t be fooled!
1. “If I keep the same plan, nothing will change, right?”
Wrong! Each year, your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan is required to provide you with a “notice of change”. (At this time of the year, you should already have access to that document!) Your plan will outline the changes in coverage you can expect. While those may end up being minor in nature, they could also be significant.
For example, Nancy Williams, 73, had a Part D drug plan. She was notified that one of the medications she was on had now been grouped into a higher tier, resulting in a much higher copay for her. Nancy’s Part D plan had not negatively affected her in years. She learned to never assume that her plan wouldn’t change. She ended up switching drug plans and it saved her big time!
Of course, the opposite could happen, as well — your Medicare plan might change for the better. If you were thinking of switching plans because you’re unhappy with your current coverage, it pays to see if your notice of change has information that sways you to retain the plan you have. Be like Nancy and make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck!
2. “If I sign up for Medicare Advantage, my costs will increase…”
Nope! Each Medicare Advantage plan sets its own premiums and comes with its own set of costs that you are responsible for. But don’t assume that you’ll pay more for Medicare Advantage than you will for original Medicare.
Many Advantage plans have a $0 premium, and some plans pay all or a portion of your Part B premium, too. Note: The “advantage” to Medicare Advantage is that it covers a number of services that Original Medicare doesn’t, like dental care, vision exams, and hearing aids. After gathering an understanding of all of your medical needs, you may find that your total costs go down with an Advantage plan, even if your premium costs increase.
3. “If I miss open enrollment, I can just make changes later on!”
No, no, no! Medicare Open Enrollment is well underway! Now is the time to enroll, because if you miss your outlet, you will be stuck with your current plan. The good news is that you will still have your last year’s Medicare coverage plan, but the bad news is that you may need more or different coverage than last year. So, if you’re thinking of switching plans, be sure to take action at some point between now and December 7. Also, be sure to do your research and make the best decision for your current health condition, not last year’s!
Note: There is an exception to this rule. If you’re on Medicare Advantage and want to switch plans, you can do so during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. But during that time, you won’t be able to make any changes to your Part D coverage.
Whether you’re satisfied with your existing Medicare coverage or not, it pays to research your plan choices during open enrollment. The more research you do, the more likely you’ll be to find the most cost-effective way to cover your healthcare needs and stretch your retirement income further. Need help? We would love to assist you with your Medicare enrollment. Get your FREE quote today!