9 Major Medicare Mistakes

Medicare

With Medicare enrollment fast approaching, you’ll want to take the time to read about these mistakes to avoid when choosing your coverage.

When you turn 65, you can finally enroll in Medicare. It is an essential service that most older individuals need to cover medical and hospital expenses. However, Medicare enrollment is complicated and can quickly frustrate a newbie enrollee.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services lists over 62.4 million Medicare beneficiaries. If you plan on joining the masses and signing up for Medicare, then you’ll want to learn about possible mistakes and how to avoid them. Remember, mistakes can quickly become costly and complicate the entire process.

9. Ignoring Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment

Yes, time can get away from you, but it is imperative that you not ignore open enrollment when you turn 65 years old. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with when each Medicare open enrollment period starts. Each year, Medicare open enrollment kicks off on October 15 and runs until December 7.

During the open enrollment period, you can finally make changes to the coverage or enroll in your Medicare plan. You review your plan at this time and look at all the options. Remember, coverage and pricing often change from year to year, so you’ll want to compare the different plans to decide if there is a better option for your specific needs.

8. Overlooking Out of Pocket Expenses

Medical Bills

Medicare is not completely free. Also, Medicare only covers a portion of your healthcare costs. These are key factors that many new enrollees do not realize. Ultimately, you will be responsible for all charges not covered by the plans.

You might start out shopping for Medicare coverage by comparing the premiums, but you will have a considerable out-of-pocket expense. A more expensive premium might save you more over the course of a year due to all these variables.

The factors that impact Medicare charges include:

  • Premium: Your premium is how much you pay for your Medicare coverage every month. You must pay your premium even if you are lucky enough not to use any healthcare services during the month. No matter what, your premium must be paid to continue your plan’s coverage.
  • Deductible: You will pay a deductible on health services before the Medicare health services pay. If you have a low deductible, then your monthly premium will usually end up costing more.
  • Copayment: After you pay your deductible, you are responsible for a copayment, which is a fixed amount that you need to pay each time you visit a doctor or have a medical treatment performed. A typical copayment is $20 per office visit.
  • Coinsurance: Instead of having a copayment, some plans have what is known as coinsurance. Once you reach your deductible, you will have to pay a percentage of the cost of the doctor’s visit or procedure. A typical percentage is 20 percent.

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