Yes, Medicare is a governmental-implemented insurance program available to any citizen over the age of 65. However, just because it is widespread, it does not mean that signup is automatic or that the process is as straightforward as you might expect. In fact, it is very easy to make a mistake that could end up costing you in the long run.
1. Not Signing Up
Again, Medicare is a program open to all qualified recipients, but keep in mind that sign-up is not automatic; this is a process you must complete on your own. A failure to sign up during your determined enrollment period, which begins and ends three months before and after your 65th birthday month, means you are not taking advantage of your benefits, and that you could also face a penalty. Enrollment outside the initial enrollment period means a delayed coverage start date and increased premiums.
2. Overlooking Your Needs
Medicare is a single term, but there are several advantage plans that fall under the umbrella, such as Medicare Part A, B, and D. Each advantage plan varies in terms of its covered services and benefits. It is critical to consider what your healthcare needs look like before selecting a policy to ensure the advantage plan meets these needs. Otherwise, you could end up with too little or even too much coverage.
3. Failing to Compare Costs
Even aside from the coverage specifics, you should also consider the cost of each Medicare plan, not just in terms of its premium. For example, some plans have larger premiums but also have lower deductibles and copays. On the other hand, lower premiums often mean higher costs in the other areas. Look at the total cost, as a higher premium may be more cost-beneficial in the long run.
4. Forgetting About Provider Networks
If you have an existing healthcare professional and you want to continue your relationship with the provider, it is imperative that you research the provider network of the Medicare plan you are considering. Similar to other insurance plans, not every provider is under contract with each advantage plan. As a result, if you visit your provider and they are not contracted with the new plan, you will have costly out-of-network expenses.
Research and help are the best way to avoid these types of problems. Be sure to research what options are best for you and seek help with signing up if necessary. Reach out to a company like Blueprint Insurance Advisors for help signing up.
Purchasing insurance — the right insurance — is one of the smartest things you will ever do. While there are definitely differences between homeowners, car, life, and health insurance policies, they all serve the same purpose when it comes down to it. Insurance protects you against financial ruin should a tragedy happen in your life. In the case of homeowners insurance, that tragedy could be a fire or a flood. In the case of life insurance, that tragedy would be your death. The more you learn about insurance, the better the decisions you'll make when purchasing it. So dive into the articles here, and start reading.