Medicare Minutes: Medicare Mistakes, Myths, and Misconceptions

George from Renew is back with another Medicare Minutes video! In this episode, we’re going to talk about 5 of the most common Medicare mistakes, myths, and misconceptions. Keeping these potential pitfalls on your radar can help you save valuable time, energy, and money. Make sure to share this video with any loved ones who may be enrolling in new Medicare coverage this year!

Rather read our tips? We’ve provided an overview of the most important points from the video below:

What are the most common Medicare missteps?

In this episode, we’re going to talk about 5 of the most common Medicare myths, misconceptions, and mistakes. 

Medicare Mistake #1: Assuming you’ll be automatically enrolled.

While most people will become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65, you will not be automatically enrolled in the program. That is unless you are already receiving social security benefits when this milestone birthday comes around.

Birthday cake with 65 candles, signifying the beginning of one's Medicare eligibility.

 

Medicare Mistake #2: Neglecting to enroll in a Part D plan when you first become eligible

Whether you enroll for Medicare during your IEP or wait until after you retire to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period, you should consider enrolling in a Part D plan at this time as well. Enrolling in a Part D plan is not required. However, delaying your enrollment will result in permanent penalties if you do sign up later. Even if you are not currently taking any prescriptions, it is more than likely that you will in the future. For this reason, Medicare experts typically advise individuals to purchase an affordable Part D plan when they first become eligible.

 

Mistake #3: Falling into a coverage gap

While Original Medicare will cover most of your essential healthcare costs in this next phase of life, it doesn’t cover everything. It is more than likely that you will eventually need a service or benefit not covered under Parts A or B. In order to address these common gaps, many people will purchase supplemental coverage. You can learn more about these additional coverage options–like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans–in the article below.

 

Mistake #4: Assuming you have to keep the same coverage forever

Enrolling in a Medicare plan is not a lifelong commitment. If your health situation changes in any way over the course of a year, it is always wise to reassess your coverage strategy prior to Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period. This period typically starts on October 15th and ends on December 7th. During this period, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, switch from one Advantage plan to another, or purchase a new standalone Part D plan.

 

Mistake #5: Assuming one coverage solution fits all

When it comes to trying a new restaurant or choosing your next vacation destination, suggestions from friends or family are great. When it comes to your Medicare coverage, however, your needs are not likely to be met by the same plan as your neighbor, cousin, or even your spouse. This is especially important to keep in mind when shopping for a Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Part D plan that will address your unique needs.

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Not sure where to start?

Read our quick-start guide for help, including which questions you should be asking as you approach retirement.

Read our quick start guide