Choosing a Medicare plan can be daunting at first, especially if you’re not sure what you really need and don’t need. While it’s not always a bad idea to listen to family and friend’s advice on what plan to choose and what to look for—especially if they themselves are also retirees, but if you want to get the most out of your Medicare plan, follow these three general guidelines to get the most from medicare.
1 – Enroll Early
If you’re already receiving social security benefits, enrollment into Medicare Part A or Part B is automatic if you’re receiving social security benefits. However, not everyone is automatically enrolled into Medicare. You can enroll in Medicare a full three months prior to your 65th birthday if you haven’t been automatically enrolled. It is important to enroll in Medicare as soon as you can since those who do not enroll within a certain time frame can be assessed a late-enrollment penalty. This penalty amount can reach up to 10% for every 12 month period you were able to enroll in Part-B but opted not to.
2 – Review Your Coverage Plan Annually
When it comes to coverage and insurance of any kind, many people slip into a kind of routine of just rolling over the same plan unchanged year-to-year. This is a huge mistake, as several plans can have changes implemented annually, so you’re never quite getting the same plan. Deductibles can change, premiums can change, but the plan title will remain the same. Do yourself a huge favor and keep track of these changes and assess whether you would like to keep the plan or modify it. It is of vital importance to understand just how much a plan will cost you, because a plan might be good and save a lot of money for one person, but be expensive for another. Keep an eye on your copays, deductibles, and your coinsurance.
3 – Pay More Attention To What a Plan Doesn’t Have
The prior tip was all about making sure you review your plan to ensure any drastic changes haven’t been made which will affect you. The best way to truly know if a plan is right for you is to think about what the plan doesn’t offer. It’s much easier to think about what coverage you won’t have than to imagine if you will actually use the benefits a plan does offer.
4 – Call The Medicare Office With Specific Questions
Everyone has different circumstances when it comes to Medicare and getting a plan that makes sense for them. One of the best things you can do is to call the Medicare office and have some questions prepared for them. As is the case with many insurance plans, there are many stipulations when it comes to plan benefits and who is eligible for them. A person can explain various requirements and exceptions much more efficiently than it would be if you were to try to make sense of them through text alone.
5 – Don’t Miss Your Enrollment Deadline
As a corollary to tip 1, just as you should enroll as early as you can, at the very least, don’t enroll late! If you have pre-existing coverage already and are waiting for that to end so you can enroll in Medicare, you have 8 months after the coverage ends before you start incurring a late enrollment penalty. This is known as SEP or Special Enrollment Periods.
Group Retiree Medical Benefits
Benistar is a nationwide leader in the administration of post-65 group retiree medical benefits. Our mission is to design and implement the best retiree medical and prescription drug plans. By collaborating with brokers and consultants, we provide health and retirement plans for more than 1,300 plan sponsors throughout the US!
If you would like to learn more about our benefits, contact us at (800)-236-4782!