The key to saving money with Medicare is making sure you’re in the right plan at the right time, through all stages of your life, and avoiding costly Medicare mistakes
Sadly, there are a lot of reasons why a person might lose money after switching to Medicare. Between complicated enrollment schedules, confusing guidelines, and hidden coverage gaps, it’s a wonder that anyone has any retirement money left at all.
But the costliest Medicare mistake is, quite fortunately, also the easiest one to fix.
The Most Expensive Medicare Mistake: Not Reviewing Your Medicare Strategy Regularly
Enrolling in Medicare when you turn 65 is only the first step of the process.
Every year, it’s a good idea to take another look at your plan, and decide if it really is the best option for you. As we get older, a lot of things change, including:
- Your health needs
- Your prescription medications
- Your monthly expenses / income
- The amount you’re paying for life insurance
- Where you live
- Your lifestyle
When taken together, these factors can have a real impact on your bottom-line health plan needs. Maybe your retirement income has changed, and you need a plan with a lower premium to compensate. Or you have a new medication need that isn’t covered by your current plan.
Or, best case scenario, you’re feeling healthier than ever and want to start saving more money with a Medical Savings Account / MSA Plan.
Not everybody needs to change plans every year. But with a quick check-on on your Medicare strategy, you might find that you could be saving a few bucks.
Medicare Plan Rates are Changing All the Time
In addition to your own personal needs, your actual Medicare plan is also changing all the time. Your rates could go up more than you think, without you even knowing about it. (Plan changes are mailed out to all enrollees, but honestly, who can keep track of all that Medicare mail?)
If You Like Your Current Plan, There’s No Need to Change
If you’ve been on top of things, then you might already be in the perfect Medicare plan for you. There’s no need to change plans if you’re feeling good about what you’ve got.
But if you do need help changing plans, reach out to a Personal Benefits Manager to ensure that you’re making the right move according to your needs [free consultations are available Monday-Friday].
Changing Medicare Plans FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Medicare Part A and B good enough?
A: Medicare Part A and B (‘Original Medicare’) are not enough to cover all of a person’s medical expenses. This is because Original Medicare has significant gaps in coverage, specifically regarding dental, vision, and long-term care for later in life.
Because Medicare Part A and B are not good enough for most people, the majority of Medicare enrollees choose to supplement their coverage. This can be done by adding a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) or switching to Medicare Advantage.
Q: How do I choose the right Medicare plan?
A: To choose the right Medicare plan for you, the first step is assessing your medical needs against your financial goals. For example, the most affordable plans might not include the coverage that you need, leading to even greater financial burden down the line.
The most reliable way to choose a Medicare plan is to consult with a licensed expert. Because these experts are paid by Medicare, their services are usually free to the public.
Q: I need to change Medicare plans … When can I do that?
A: If you’re already enrolled in Medicare and you want to switch to Medicare Advantage, you can do so during the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15th to December 7th every year.
If you’re still within 3 months from your 65th birthday, you can switch to Medicare Advantage right away as you are still inside your Initial Enrollment Period.
How do I Fix Medicare Mistakes?
Making changes to your Medicare plan is not difficult, but it does take some strategizing. Depending on what kind of plan you need, you might have to wait for the right enrollment period to begin.
Whether you need to change Medicare plans, or are enrolling in Medicare for the first time, you are entitled to immediate, no-cost access to an experienced and licensed Medicare Professional.
With a short consultation, our Personal Benefits Managers will help you understand your options. From there, we’ll help you build a top-to-bottom healthcare strategy with the goal of boosting your health, decreasing your costs, and even optimizing your retirement assets.
Ready to meet your Personal Benefits Manager? Click here to schedule your free consultation.
Tom Lockwood is a Personal Benefits Manager at MediGap Advisors. Tom has a passion for bringing clarity to those confused about Medicare. He is an authority on Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug plans. Read more about Tom on his Bio page.