Medicare provides affordable healthcare to millions of older Americans. Though Original Medicare doesn’t cover 100% of the costs of health services, it does greatly reduce medical bills. That said, you should always be careful when it comes to your health and coverage. While Medicare makes it easy for most older adults to access healthcare, there are some Medicare mistakes that you should be careful to avoid. Let’s take a look at 10 common Medicare mistakes and costs to avoid.

  1. Not Checking if You Qualify

Most people who have worked for at least ten years qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, as well as Medicare Part B. However, many people don’t know if they qualify or not. This can lead to additional costs down the road.

  1. Signing Up Late

Even if you do qualify for Medicare, you may not be enrolled automatically. You will need to contact the Social Security Administration to check your status. If you miss the Open Enrollment Period, you may have a lapse in coverage. You could also have to pay more just to get Medicare.

  1. Relying on Your Employer-Provided Insurance

Some employers offer retiree insurance and other options to get coverage once you retire. However, many don’t. If you rely on your employer-provided insurance rather than signing up for Medicare, you could find yourself without adequate coverage when you need it.

  1. Delaying Medicare Part B Enrollment

Delaying Medicare Part B enrollment can cost you thousands of dollars over the long-term. If you choose to delay Part B, you will get penalized. These penalties will come in the form of increased premiums. So, be sure that you know the deadlines for your Part B enrollment.

  1. Delaying Medicare Part D Enrollment

Though Part D is optional, many older adults choose to get Part D coverage for help paying for prescription drugs. If you get a Part D policy but delay enrollment, you could incur penalties like those associated with Part B. Over time, these penalties will cost you a great deal of money.

  1. Not Shopping Around

A lot of Medicare recipients don’t even know that Medicare Advantage exists. However, Medicare Advantage offers older adults a lot more options, including Part D coverage. You should always look at all of your options before choosing between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan.

  1. Not Researching Your Costs

Medicare doesn’t mean that you get all of your medical expenses for free. You still need to pay premiums, deductibles, and usually 20% of the cost of your care. To help you budget during your retirement, make sure to factor in all of the out-of-pocket expenses associated with Medicare.

  1. Not Meeting Your Deductible

You never know when you will need an expensive medical procedure. If you haven’t met your deductible, you could get stuck with a hefty bill. Instead, try to pay down your deductible throughout the year so that you can spread your costs out over time.

  1. Not Getting a Medicare Supplement Plan

Much like Part D, Medicare Supplement insurance (or Medigap) is optional but can end up saving you a lot of money. Medigap helps with your out-of-pocket expenses. These can include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurances.

  1. Not Looking at Your Financial Assistance Options

Not everyone can afford to pay for Medicare on their own. Fortunately, there are various programs for low-income individuals to help with the costs of Medicare. You can look to the Medicare Savings Program or Extra Help to get financial assistance.

If you’d like to learn more about your Medicare mistakes and costs to avoid, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Our licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.