Seniors beware. While Medicare is a priceless benefit that Americans enjoy, there are a few surprises that can creep up that come with a price tag! Here’s what you need to know and how to avoid these Medicare pitfalls.
Higher premiums based on old income.
There is a standard Part B premium set each year, but if you’re above a certain income threshold you’ll pay much more. Sometimes the rate you pay can be based on you or your spouse’s previous income that you no longer receive. To ask the Social Security Administration to reconsider your premium amount, fill out and submit the Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – Life-Changing Event form.
Medicare coverage currently begins at age 65. It’s important for seniors to sign up on time since there can be lifetime late penalties for delaying Part B, Part D, or Medigap coverage. For details on when you should secure coverage, speak with your employer’s HR department, your Medicare provider, or a Medicare consultant with your local SHIP program.
Drugs suddenly not covered.
Part D offers coverage for prescription drugs. However, many seniors don’t know that that their plan’s drug formulary can change each year. So while a drug may cost one price one year, its price may jump the next year, or it may suddenly be off the list.
Medicare Advantage disadvantages.
While Medicare Advantage does have its advantages, such as covering extra services like dental, vision, and prescriptions, its coverage is limited to a small network of providers. Take note when choosing a doctor that they are covered by your Medicare Advantage plan.
Services not covered.
You’d be surprised to know that Original Medicare does not cover routine dental, vision, or hearing services. Medicare also doesn’t cover alternative medicine or foot care. Medicare Advantage plans may cover more of these services. Check with your plan to make sure you’re covered for what you need.
The best way to avoid these 5 Medicare surprises is to review your coverage at least twice a year. This way, you can be aware of any cost changes, gaps in coverage, or other unexpected curveballs. Check your coverage today and see how much you can save on a new Medicare plan.