When it comes to Medicare, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. During enrollment, a lot of information gets presented during a very short period of time. Navigating the process can be complex on its own, but keeping tabs on the information available can make it even harder. With so much to juggle at once, it’s no surprise that consumers get confused about what’s true—and what’s not—about Medicare.
During enrollment, a lot of information gets presented during a very short period of time. Navigating the process can be complex on its own, but keeping tabs on the information available can make it even harder.
With so much to juggle at once, it’s no surprise that consumers get confused about what’s true—and what’s not—about Medicare.
To set the record straight, we address four of the most common Medicare myths and what you should know about the road ahead in the marketplace:
Many people assume that once they’re eligible for Medicare, health care costs are largely eliminated. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Your Part B monthly premium can vary based on your income. In 2021, Part B premiums ranged from between $148.50–$504.90 per month. Additionally, If you add a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or a Medicare prescription plan (Part D), you may face additional monthly and yearly expenses.
In an ideal world, every Medicare agent would offer you all the plans available to help you make the right choice for your needs. In reality, they may be restricted to a specific brand they represent.
Most agents choose a set number of insurance companies they want to work with and in some cases will only offer you one option. Those that offer one option are considered “captive agents,” and they tend to be restrained by the brand they represent. If you respond to an advertisement from a specific insurer, it’s very likely that they will connect you with their captive agent who will only offer you their products.
It's a common misconception that once you’re eligible for Medicare all of your expenses and health care needs will be covered.
Medicare covers a large number of medical services, but there are also many services that aren’t covered and could end up incurring significant costs. For example, most vision, dental care, cosmetic surgeries, and devices such as hearing aids are not covered through typical traditional Medicare products. To get coverage for those services, you’ll need to find a plan that provides the richest benefits and or add supplemental products that cover these services.
After turning 65, many people assume that they can enroll in Medicare at any point thereafter.
There’s just a seven-month window to enroll in Medicare. The window begins three months before you reach 65 and ends three months after the month you turned 65. If you choose not to enroll during this seven-month period, you have to wait until the General Enrollment Period from January 1 through March 31 every year to enroll, with coverage beginning on July 1. Waiting for this period could leave you without coverage, but you could also face a 10% penalty on your Part B premiums for every year you delay enrolling.
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