Medicare Mistakes That Can Cost You
Millions of seniors rely on Medicare in retirement, but if you’re not proactive, you could end up paying more for your health coverage and miss out on key benefits the program has to offer. Here are a few Medicare mistakes to avoid.
1. Signing Up Late
Medicare eligibility starts at age 65, but you get a seven-month window to sign up. Your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month in which you turn 65 and ends three months after the month of your 65th birthday. If you neglect to enroll during those seven months, you can always sign up during the general enrollment period of January 1 through March 31 of each year. But not signing up on time could cost you.
While Medicare Part A, which covers hospital care, is free for most enrollees, seniors are charged a premium for Part B, which covers doctor visits and diagnostics. Wait too long to sign up for Medicare, and you’ll be hit with a 10% surcharge for your Part B premiums for each 12-month period you were eligible for coverage but didn’t enroll. Furthermore, if you wait too long to get yourself a Part D drug plan, you’ll face a penalty there, as well. Signing up on time will help you avoid paying more for Medicare than necessary, while also ensuring that you have the coverage you need when you need it.
2. Not reviewing your Part D plan from year to year
Once you choose a Part D prescription plan, you may be inclined to hang onto it for the long haul, as doing so will help you avoid the homework that you put in initially. But if you don’t reassess your Part D coverage from year to year, you could end up overpaying for your prescriptions.
Part D plan formularies can change from year to year so that the medications you once got great coverage for are no longer treated the same way. That’s why you should re-examine your Part D options annually, even if you’re happy with your plan at present.
3. Not considering an Advantage plan
Traditional Medicare’s scope of coverage is somewhat limited, and there are many key services, like dental care, vision, prescription drugs and hearing, that Medicare won’t pay for. Paying for those costs on your own could get quite expensive, which is why Medicare Advantage is an option worth examining.
An alternative to traditional Medicare, Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same level of coverage as original Medicare — but generally, they do a lot more. Advantage plans generally pay for Dental, Vision, and Hearing, Prescription Drugs, and they’re often just as affordable as traditional Medicare, or even less expensive.
It behooves you to look into an Advantage plan if your out-of-pocket costs under original Medicare have been eating up too much of your budget for comfort. This especially holds true if you tend to travel overseas a lot, since original Medicare won’t pay for health services abroad, while many Advantage plans will.
4. Passing up your Free Wellness Visit
As a Medicare enrollee, you’re entitled to a free annual wellness checkup, and passing it up is a move you might regret. It’s not uncommon for health issues to be discovered during these routine visits, and if you don’t schedule one, a brewing medical condition might escalate, thereby compromising your health and costing you more money to fix a problem that festered. You’re better off taking some time out of your schedule than running that risk.
The better you manage your Medicare, the more the program can do for you. Be sure to avoid these costly mistakes and others that could hurt you financially and, worse, put your health at risk.
Attribution and Thanks to Maurie Backman – The Motley Fool
All of Fraser’s prior DROP articles are archived at :
Fraser is a Certified Estate Planner™
See Fraser's Estate Planning services at :
Fraser's Biography, Services, and Credentials are at :
Follow Money and Markets at :
Client references are available for you to speak with upon request.
With 39 Years of Knowledge in Financial Services,
Fraser Allport can help you with all your DROP, Medicare,
and Social Security Questions.
It is Too Late in Your Life to make Money Mistakes !
Be A Good Steward of Your Money.
Call Fraser, a Financial Professional with 39 Years of Experience.
You call a Professional for every other project in Your Life, right ?
Please see Fraser’s invitation for a Complimentary Consultation to help you start your Exit Plan to Retirement.
Starting any Project is the hard part, but Fraser can help shepherd you with a Plan of Action.
Fraser Allport is a Fiduciary, an Investment Advisor,
and a Certified Estate Planner ™ with 39 years of experience.
Fraser is an Independent, and the Owner.
Call Fraser Allport, your Florida DROP Specialist, at 386.882.6256 for your Complimentary Consultation
about your DROP, Social Security, Medicare, Income Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning questions.
Knowledgeable in every aspect of Financial Services, Fraser is the Total Advisor ™.
An Experienced and Independent Fiduciary for all your financial needs.
Call Fraser for answers at 386.882.6256.
It’s a Complimentary Consultation.
Please see all of Fraser’s DROP articles in his extensive DROP Library at.
Fraser can help you with an ACTION PLAN
below for Retirement :
- Fraser can help you with the very first steps that you must take to exit your DROP.
- Fraser can help you meet the dates and deadlines for filing your DROP Exit forms.
- Fraser can help you determine what forms are needed, and help you complete them.
- Fraser can help you with choices for wisely investing your DROP Rollover money.
- Fraser can help you optimize your un-used DROP Sick Days and Vacation Days.
- Fraser can help you maximize your Social Security benefits for you and also for your Spouse. Note: Social Security decisions are irrevocable after 12 months.
- Fraser can help you with your Health Insurance, Medicare, Medicare Supplements Home and Long Term Care choices. Most Long-Term Care occurs in your Home.
- Fraser can help you coordinate your Retirement Plans with your Spouse’s Retirement Plans. You and your Spouse want to be in synch about Retirement.
- Fraser can help you reduce your Income Taxes in Retirement. This may save you a lot of money over the rest of your Life. Don’t over-pay your Income Taxes. What a waste of Money.
- Fraser can help you with your Estate and Legacy Planning. Fraser is a Certified Estate Planner™. Leave A Legacy, not A Mess. This is a moral as well as a Financial responsibility.
- Fraser can help you Get Your House In Order with Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, A Living Will, Health Care Directives, Final Expenses, etc.
- Fraser can help you with a Home Health Care Plan, customized for you. Act now, while your health still qualifies. Home Health Care is the future of Long Term Care.
Your DROP Plan is your Retirement Nest Egg.
Safeguard it by getting Smart with your Money.
Remember the two Golden Rules of Investing:
1) Don’t Go It Alone. Seek out Professional help.
2) It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Retirement.
These are Big Decisions for You ... with really Big Consequences.
As You Retire, You are about to make some of the most important
financial decisions of Your entire Life :
What to do with Your DROP Lump Sum
Be Smart with Your Money, because it’s Your Nest Egg.
Your Retirement is at stake here. These are Lifetime decisions.
Prepare for Retirement ...
and prepare for Longevity.
Because of his Knowledge and Experience for 38 Years ...
Fraser Allport is ... " The Total Advisor™ "