Each year as Medicare changes, it can be hard to separate myth from truth. Your friends’ experiences with Medicare even just five years ago may not be the same as now. To add to the confusion, there’s thousands of articles with contradictory information online. So what exactly is the truth?
Myth: Medicare will cover all my medical expenses
Truth: Medicare is not a comprehensive coverage plan for all medical needs. Dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug coverage are not included under Original Medicare. Additionally, there are some medical services not covered by Medicare. The best way to ensure the coverage you want is to look at all your options – including a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan. These are alternatives or additions to Original Medicare that may offer more coverage.
Myth: Medicare is free
Truth: This is one of the most common myths about Medicare, and while Medicare is a government program, it is not a free program. Costs associated with Original Medicare premiums will depend on how much you’ve worked and can vary depending on previous income. In general, you can expect to pay a portion of the costs when you receive health care. Obtaining additional coverage such as a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan can help decrease your portion of the cost sharing.
Myth: If I have a pre-existing condition, I can’t use Medicare
Truth: You cannot be rejected for Original Medicare based on your health or health history. If you have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) you will be automatically enrolled into Medicare. When enrolling in a Medicare Health Plan, your health history or pre-existing conditions could play a role in your plan options. We are here to guide you through this process and help you determine what plans are best suited for your individual needs.
Myth: I’m automatically enrolled when I turn 65
Truth: While you are eligible for Medicare, you need to take a few steps on your own to ensure you receive the coverage you want. You may not automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. It’s important for you to stay on top of your healthcare needs and to begin exploring Medicare options before you become eligible for Medicare. We recommend you investigate your Medicare options when you are at least 6 months before you turn 65. This will give you plenty of time to investigate and weigh your options. However, you don’t have to be 64.5 to start looking into your options – you can set up an appointment at any time with our insurance brokers.
If you are going to continue working past 65 and you have creditable coverage (check with your HR department) you do not have to sign up for Medicare. You will want to apply for Medicare about 60-90 days before retirement. When questions arise on these procedures our customer service team is available to offer clarification.
These Medicare myths are common, but now that you know the truth you can feel confident in your own Medicare selection. Contact us today to set up an appointment to go over your options.