Medicare is a pivotal part of the health care expenses that you bear after the age of 65. However, these rules can be ambiguous at times and can lead you to make mistakes. If you don’t avoid such mistakes, you will fall into a pit of expanded premium and a pit of installments. If you miss any last dates during these medicare services, you can get a hole in your coverage, miss out on tax breaks, or even worse, get struck by a penalty.
For healthcare tips for your child, read our blogs. Going forward, Here are 8 common mistakes that you should steer clear of while getting medicare.
Falling into taking the same part D plans as the other half
If you’re taking up a medicare plan similar to your spouse, just know that you will not be rewarded any discounts. And another factor is that you and your spouse are not taking the same medicines. A plan that suits your spouse best will not necessarily be suitable for you too.
What you should do is check your prescriptions and dosage through the Medicare plan finder and find out the amount that you and your spouse will contribute individually to the plan. Be alert if you choose plans which do not have the same selected pharmacy as yours, as there are special discounts on preferred pharmacies. Both you and your spouse will pay more amounts than needed.
Autopiloting the Medicare part D plan
When you are selecting a plan, it is good to go through all the benefits. The open enrollment for any Medicare plan stays from 15th October to 7th December annually. The premium, coverage, and cost are different every year because of several factors.
Hence, you might give more premiums, increase the number of drugs in a plan, cover more medications and change pharmacy preference. Moreover, you need to review if the new medications are covered or have gone generic, hence you need to change the plan.
Taking an out-of-network Medicare advantage plan
If you are thinking of acquiring your plan through the private medicare advantage plan, you will have to use the network of professional medical experts to find the lowest co-payments. You need to ensure that the doctors are included in your PPO or HMO.
If you want to switch your plan, you can do so during the open enrollment period. Contrast the cost that you will have to pay for the different plans. Once you have found some ideal plans, check if they will be available on the list for the coming year.
Hesitant to switch plans mid-year
Open enrollment dates are October 15 to December 7. You can also change your plan from January 1 to March 31 or take a different Medicare Advantage plan.
If you need, you can change plans even after the open enrollment period if there are crucial life changes, like a new address that is not included in the plan. In case you have a plan with a 5-star rating in your area, you are allowed to take that plan up anytime in the year. You can use the Medicare plan finder to look for such plans in your area.
Choosing the wrong Medigap plan
If you take up a Medicare supplement plan in 6 months after enrolling for Medicare Part B, you can take up plans in your area regardless of your prevalent medical conditions. However, if you still want to change your plan, the insurers will not take the case or reject based on health, or at the worst charge you a lot! Hence, you should take up plans meticulously and check how your prevalent health condition will affect your Medigap plan.
In some states, you can change plans irrespective of your conditions. Some insurers will also let you change plans without the need of giving a medical exam. You can gain more knowledge about these rules through the website of the State Insurance Department. To know more about the Medigap policies, you can check Medicare.gov.
Not remembering you can still get a plan at 65
If you are getting social security benefits, you will already be a part of Medicare Part A and Part B. However, if you don’t get social security benefits, you have to sign up for a plan yourself. If you are 64 years and 9 months and your 65th birthday is near, then you can sign up online.
You should wait before signing up for Plan B because you or the spouse has coverage from their employers. A majority of people get this plan at the age of 65, which is free. However, some people consider continuing to contribute to the health savings account before signing up.
If you need more information, you can go to the Applying for Medicare only by Security administration. If your employer has less than 20 employees, you should get Part A. Then sign for Part B, which will act as your primary insurance.
Missing Medicare Part B deadline after getting off the job
If your employer has less than 20 employees and is offering coverage, you may not sign up for Medicare when you turn 65. On the contrary, you can retain the employer coverage so you won’t be paying a premium for Part B.
However, you will have to sign in within the window of 8 months or you will keep waiting until the next enrollment period. Hence, there will be a time when you will have no coverage. You might also have to pay an unfortunate 10% penalty for a late-enrollment penalty.
Signing to Medicare Part A for contribution to HSA
If you sign up for Medicare, you cannot contribute to a health savings account. However, that does not mean you cannot make contributions to HSA at age of 65. If you or your partner get health insurance from their employer, you can postpone signing for Part A or Part B and keep the contribution to HSA. However, if you have signed up before doing this you cannot go for this option.
You cannot further delay signing for Part A if you did it for Social Security and your employer currently has less than 20 employees. Be mindful of contributions you make in the year you leave the job and sign for Medicare. You have to allocate your HSA contributions based on the months that you were covered for by Medicare.