The Top 10 Most Costly Mistakes People with Medicare Make

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In no particular order, these are the most costly mistakes I see people with Medicare make.  I hope these help you avoid any pitfalls but if you have any questions call or message me.

 

Mistake #1:  Making healthcare decisions based on your current health conditions.

Choosing a Medicare health plan based on your current health conditions and not taking into consideration the fact health tends to deteriorate as you age can be very costly.  Even though current laws say you no longer have to worry about pre-existing conditions, they don’t apply to Medicare Supplements/Medigap policies because they are secondary to Medicare.  You have a finite window to enroll without answering any health questions but once the window is gone you must answer them and you can be turned down.

Mistake #2: Not Enrolling in Medicare Part B when You’re First Eligible

Medicare will charge you a late enrollment penalty if you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B.  There are some circumstances that you may not be charged the penalty but you need to know what they are. Should You Sign UP for Medicare Part B or Wait?

Mistake #3: Not understanding how Medicare Works

You need to know how Medicare works.  Medicare, however, is your insurance for the rest of your life and you need to know the basics, at bare minimum.  You need to know what the 4 parts of Medicare are, you need to know how a Medigap a.k.a. Medicare Supplement fits into the mix, as well as what’s not covered by Medicare.  

Mistake #4: Not Enrolling or Choosing the Wrong Medicare Part D Plan

I know you may not be taking any prescription medications and if you are they may be very inexpensive so you choose not to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.  It’s understandable but you will still get hit with a late enrollment penalty later down the line when and if you enroll.  Also, the penalty never goes away.  There’s a statistic that says that 90% of the people with a Medicare prescription drug plan are on the wrong one.  Of course I don’t know if that’s true or not but there definitely is a possibility another plan may save you money by either covering your medications at a lower cost or simply covering them when a another plan doesn’t.

Mistake #5: Not Know the Difference Between a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Medicare Supplement

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans definitely do not work the same.  If you want freedom of choice, simplicity, and guarantees then you’ll want a supplement.

Mistake #6: Not Shopping for a Plan

I know there’s a strong possibility all this Medicare stuff confuses you and it’s sometimes easier to enroll in a plan that sounds good without taking the time to look around first.  You want to get this monkey off your back as soon as possible so you can move on with your life.  Am I right?  After all your mailbox is about to burst with all the solicitations.

Mistake #7: Staying with the Same Plan

Things change.  Premiums increase.  Other competitors come into the market.  Your health needs change.  Need I go on?  I’ve heard it a thousand times.  “I like my plan it pays my bills”.  Especially if you’re on a Medicare Supplement plan, they’re supposed to.  There are rules the insurance companies must follow and they are the same among each company.  Medigap plans are standardized so really you’re shopping price.  Yes, there are different supplement plan available and you should know how they work before making a change.

Mistake #8: Going Directly to the Insurance Company to Enroll

Bottom line, they will not call you to let you know about a competitors lower price or superior product offering.  They will offer you what they have and it may or may not be what’s right for you.

Mistake #9: Failing to Review your Options During the Annual Enrollment Period

Each year, unless “they” change it, between October 15th and December 7th you can review your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D options, change plans if necessary, and the change will go into place January 1st of the following year.  Medicare supplement plans are not subject to this timeline and can be changed any time of the year.  Failing to review your plan options during this time can be very costly because a part D plan may drop a medication off their list of covered medications or your doctor may no longer be “in-network” with your Medicare Advantage plan.

Mistake #10: Working with the Wrong Agent

Let’s face it, when commissions are involved your best interests may not be on the forefront of the agents mind.  They may not know what they are doing.  They may be nowhere to be found when you need them.  There are a number of reasons why working with the wrong agent could be costly.  Choose wisely.

Bonus Mistake#11:  Sorry, you’ll have to Watch the Video

 

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