Medicare Mistakes To Avoid When Turning 65 - Information To Help Seniors Compare and Find The Best Medicare Coverage

Medicare-MistakesMedicare Mistakes To Avoid: Tips For Seniors

Here are Medicare Mistakes you want to avoid when you turn age 65. Medicare is a national program. But your actual Medicare options are based on where you live. Plan options, plan coverage and costs can vary. That’s why the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance strongly encourages you to contact at least one local Medicare insurance professional. Here are the top Medicare Mistakes to avoid.

  1. Assuming Medicare is simple (it isn’t)!
  2. Believing that all Medicare plans are identical (or similar). Not even close.
  3. Waiting too long to start getting information and plan options.
  4. Not doing comparison shopping.
  5. Speaking to only one Medicare sales person.
  6. Thinking that ‘free’ means ‘no cost’.
  7. Missing Medicare’s imposed deadlines.

Medicare Mistake #1: Assuming Medicare Is Simple

If you are approaching age 65, we have great news for you. Medicare is truly a great program. But simple it isn’t!

Millions of Americans got their health insurance through their job. Typically, the company (employer) selected various plans. They narrowed your choice to say 3 or 4 options. That made things pretty simple. Medicare is going to give you MANY different choices.

Choosing the best coverage for your needs won’t be as easy. And, while Medicare does permit changes down the road, that’s NOT always 100% guaranteed. Some decisions could be irreversible.

We’ll try on this webpage to give you some basic information. But, finding and getting the best Medicare plan is your job. It’s an important one. And, we promise after reading this information that you can do it.

All Medicare Plans Are NOT Similar – Not Even Close (A, B, C and D!)

The Federal Government never intended to make Medicare complex when it first started in 1966. But, over the decades, it’s become complex. And all those 30-second television ads don’t help. They do sound so great and so tempting. So, here’s a very quick overview.

The official government Medicare website says there are “2 main ways to get your Medicare coverage — Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).” Original Medicare is basically Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B (the original coverage first offered in 1966).

Medicare Part A (or hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, lab tests, surgery, home health care.

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers doctor and other health care providers’ services and outpatient care (IF they accept Medicare). Part B also covers durable medical equipment, home health care, and some preventive services.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) became available in 1999. Part C (or “MA Plans”) are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, the plan will provide all of your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most today also include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

Outpatient prescription drugs were not covered by Medicare until January 1, 2006. That’s when the federal government implemented the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. All Part D plans must cover a wide range of prescription drugs that people with Medicare take. But each plans (and there are hundreds) has a list of covered drugs (called a “formulary”). Each plan has its own formulary. Each plan also places drugs into different levels (called “tiers”). Drugs in each tier will typically have a different cost.

See, we told you this is no longer simple!

Who Would I Tell My 65-Year Old Best Friend To Speak With?

Medicare insurance expertI’m Jesse Slome, director of the American Association. And, I’m the one writing this webpage. I don’t sell Medicare insurance. But I’m fortunate in knowing many Medicare insurance agents. They’ve helped me with this information.
Medicare is a NATIONAL program. But your Medicare plan choices are LOCAL. For that reason, I would have you do the same thing I told my best friend. FIND AND WORK WITH A LOCAL MEDICARE INSURANCE AGENT.
The Association has a free online directory that lists Medicare insurance agents nearest your Zip Code. No personal information is entered to see the directory information. Every other entity wants your info so they can market to you. We don’t.
So, enter your Zip code in the banner on the right side or click the link (highlighted above).

COMING SOON – MORE INFO – This page was started May 6, 2024