Problems Faced When Joining Medicare:

The below are just some of the problems that people face when they join Medicare. Having a knowledgeable agent can help make all the difference in the world!
1- Not signing up for Medicare at the right time:

The problem with not signing up for Medicare at the right time is that you could miss out on the subsidies and discounts available. You will also have to pay more for your prescriptions, inpatient hospital care, and other medical services. If you are unsure when to sign up for Medicare, it is best to talk to a qualified insurance agent. They can help you plan for your health care, so you don’t miss any benefits or discounts.

2- Blowing the special enrollment period:

Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program for people who are 65 years of age or older. There are certain times when individuals may be eligible to enroll in Medicare called Open Enrollment. But there are also times when people may qualify for Medicare coverage outside of the normal enrollment period. For example, if you’ve moved into an area that is not in your plan’s service area, you may be eligible to enroll during what is known as the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This is an opportunity to join Medicare even though you missed your chance to sign up during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

3-Delaying your enrollment due to job insurance:

If you have good insurance as a result of your, or your partner’s, employment when you become eligible to enroll in Medicare benefits, you may consider delaying your enrollment. Medicare will allow you to delay your enrollment without paying the penalty if you have current insurance through your, or your partner’s, work. When you have both Medicare and employer coverage, the size of your employer will determine how your Medicare benefits will coordinate with your employer coverage. If you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 while working for an employer with 20 or more employees, your group plan will be primary, and Medicare will be secondary, but if a smaller company, delaying your Medicare enrollment could cost you thousands of dollars you would pay out of pocket when Medicare could be paying those costs.

4- Not understanding late enrollment penalties:

It’s important to sign up for Medicare coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period, unless you have other coverage that’s similar in value to Medicare (like from an employer). If you don’t, you may have to pay an extra amount, called a late enrollment penalty. They are added to your monthly premium and are not a one-time fee. You are usually charged for as long as you have that type of coverage (for most people, that’s a lifetime penalty). It will go up the longer you wait to sign up – they’re based on how long you go without coverage similar to Medicare. Part A-Some people have to buy Part A because they don’t qualify for premium-free Part A. If you have to buy Part A, and you don’t buy it when you’re first eligible for Medicare, your monthly premium may go up 10%. You’ll have to pay the penalty for twice the number of years you didn’t sign up. Part B- Generally, you won’t have to pay a Part B penalty if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You’ll pay an extra 10% for each year you could have signed up for Part B, but didn’t. You may also pay a higher premium depending on your income. Part D- You’ll pay an extra 1% for each month (that’s 12% a year) if you don’t join a Medicare drug plan when you first get Medicare or go 63 days or more without creditable drug coverage. You may also have to pay a higher premium depending on your income.

5- Delaying buying a Medigap policy

Many are unaware that in order to get a Medigap policy you must be medically approved for it, unless you are just joining Medicare or fall under one of the approved reasons. During the 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday and the 3 months following, you are in a guaranteed acceptance period which avoids having to be medically qualified. If you do not apply during this period, you will have to allow the company to review medical records to make sure you are eligible for the product. This delay could cost you thousands down the road.

6- Not understanding your out-of-pocket costs:

Not choosing the right coverage or plan could cost you thousands in out of pocket costs each year. Things like dental and eye care, prescription drugs, and other services may not be covered by certain Medicare plans. The first step is understanding which items within your health care have the highest importance to you. It may help to talk with an educated agent that can weigh these options for you.
Final Thoughts
Choosing a Medicare plan can be frustrating and confusing. The process can be especially frustrating for seniors or those looking for a plan for the elderly. All plans offered by Medicare are not created equal, and your choice can dramatically affect what you will end up paying! Some plans only cover certain types of services, some have very high co-pays, and some require you to shell out the full price of services or prescriptions even if you’re covered under the plan. Choosing the wrong plan could lead to serious medical bills and even bankruptcy! We recommend you talk to Barker Insurance Group about an affordable Medicare plan designed specifically with seniors in mind. They’ll cover all of the basic essentials and give you plenty of options regarding prescription drugs, dental care, eye care, and more!