For many people 65 and older, Medicare is their sole source of health insurance. However, the incorrect and misleading information about Medicare is abundant, and it can lead to serious coverage limitations and financial expenses.
Brent Crawley, of The Premier Agency, a Medicare insurance agency in Arizona says, “Most people do not know how to choose the right Medicare Supplement for themselves. When choosing a Medicare Supplement policy, there are typically a few questions that come to mind. ‘Will my Dr. accept my insurance?’ ‘Will there be a deductible on my supplement?’ ‘What company has the best Supplement?’.”
Here are five of the top myths that you should consider before choosing a Medicare plan:
MYTHS and SOLUTIONS
- Medicare is all-inclusive health care. Although most basic medical procedures are covered, there is no dental, vision, or long-term health care, and in some cases, no prescription drug coverage. You will need to have additional insurance to cover these items, and a reputable insurance provider can help you explore your options.
- There is a standard fee for everyone. This myth is not completely true. Part A is basically at no cost for most people, but there is a wide range of coverage options in Parts B, C, and D (Part D being prescription insurance). Each of these choices comes with various levels of expense to the customer.
- Enrollment can occur at any time during the year. This is yet another myth that may cost you extra in the future. If you aren’t enrolled within seven months of your birthday, you can face financial penalties of up to 10% per year for Part B and a monthly fee increase if you don’t enroll in Part D. The solution? Enroll during the seven-month window so that you won’t need to pay extra.
- My plan will never change. Actually, it probably will. Every year you need to check your plan’s coverage to ensure that you are getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
- It isn’t necessary to talk with an advisor about Medicare options. This is something that many people overlook. Long-term investments, especially regarding health care, should be discussed with an advisor in order to make provisions for any future health issues.
So…What about HMOs?
Health Management Organizations (HMOs) are part of the Medicare Advantage Plan, but they are private plans that have to be combined with Medicare Parts A and B. You still have the same basic coverages, but there may be some additional rules and costs.
For example, you can choose any doctor within the HMO plan as opposed to keeping your own doctor under Medicare. However, the HMO providers may be less expensive as long as you stay in-network. Additionally, most HMOs provide prescription coverage and may even cover dental and vision.
Medicare vs. HMOs may be a confusing decision without consulting a professional who is an expert in this field. But, with sound advice, you can feel confident in making the right choice.