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Not knowing when to sign up for Medicare

Life is all about timing. This is especially true when it comes to enrolling in Medicare.

Turning 65 Soon? Then you will want to enroll during what the government calls your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This seven-month period goes from three months before the month in which you turn 65 until three months after.

If you don’t sign up during your IEP, you will get another chance to enroll during Medicare’s annual general enrollment period. But keep in mind, if you enroll late, your monthly premiums for Medicare Part B — which covers your doctor visits and other outpatient services—will likely cost you more.

Not understanding Part B and Part D late enrollment penalties
For each year you delay enrolling in Part B, your monthly Part B premium may be 10 percent higher. The penalty doesn’t apply if you have job-based insurance or are still under your Special Enrollment Period. For every 12 months you delay signing up for a Part D plan, your monthly premium may be 1 percent higher.

Part D plans cover prescription drug costs. You won’t have to pay the Part D penalty if you can show Medicare that you have drug coverage as good as that provided by a Medicare Part D plan.

Not understanding your out-of-pocket costs
Medicare does pay a large portion of the medical costs for its enrollees, but you need to be prepared for sometimes substantial out-of-pocket costs. Here’s a breakdown:

Premium: Each part of Medicare may have its own monthly premium. Most people have no premium for Part A, which covers hospital services. You will be responsible for the Part B premium, which will be deducted from your monthly benefit if you are collecting Social Security.
Deductible: Before Medicare starts paying for the cost of your care, you may have to pay a flat amount, called a deductible. Parts A and B in original Medicare have Part A has a benefit period deductible; Part B has a calendar year deductible.
Copayment: This is a fixed amount you pay for specific services.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t include your health care provider
If you decide to enroll in an MA plan, check with your providers to learn which plans they accept. If you have questions, contact your plan for more information.

Not taking advantage of changing your plan when you can.
Medicare Supplement Plans: You can change these plans at anytime. You could be paying too much for your plan. You have choices. Call us today and we will compare plans for you.
Medicare Advantage Plans: Open enrollment ended on December 7, 2020. However, there are additional opportunities to change your plan. Give us a call and we will be happy to explain all your options.

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