- Missing the window to sign up for Original Medicare (Part A & B). If you have applied for Social Security benefits, you will automatically receive Part A & B upon turning 65. If you are not drawing Social Security benefits, you may sign up during a 7-month window which is 3 months prior to your 65th birthday month and up to 3 months afterwards.
Some people choose to delay enrolling if they have credible health coverage through another source, such as employer or retiree coverage. However, COBRA is not considered creditable coverage. Double check with your benefits administrator to ensure you will not be penalized for delaying enrollment. Otherwise, you may have to wait until January 1st to pick up Original Medicare.
- Thinking that all Medicare health plans are “Supplements”. There are two different types of coverage that will help offset your Medicare expenses: Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans.
A Medicare Supplement, also known as a Medigap plan, works with your Original Medicare to help fill in the gaps of what is not covered by Part A and B. Therefore, the terms Supplement and Medigap are interchangeable.
A Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Part C, is private insurance that replaces your Original Medicare. You will still have Part A and B in the background but will abide by the Advantage plan’s set copays/coinsurances for services received. Be sure to look at your insurance card to see whether you truly have a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Assuming your doctors accept all Medicare health plans. When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, you must be careful when considering the provider network. Some doctors may only accept certain Advantage plans or carriers, and some may not accept them at all. Also, a provider may only be in network for certain locations. Make sure to ask if the location where you see your doctor at is in network, otherwise you may be limited to where you can see them. When it comes to Medicare Supplement plans there is no network, and you may see any provider throughout the United States if they accept Original Medicare.
- Failing to reevaluate your Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug coverage each year. Doctors and medications covered one year might not be covered the next year.
You should review your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) to confirm costs, copays, covered providers, and drug coverage to make sure your plan will still meet your needs for the following year. If your medications have changed or there are new generic options available, there may be a different plan out there that will meet your needs.
- Getting overwhelmed and winging it. With so many different plans to choose from, some people toss up their arms and just guess at enrollment. This is where AMAC can really help you- we are contracted with a plethora of carriers in each area so we can compare plans and shop around for you. We break the process down, offer you a plan that is most suited for your specific needs, and assist with the entire enrollment.
At AMAC, you are assigned one agent that you will have contact information for. You can call your agent at any time after enrollment if you have Medicare questions.
Have questions? Call us at 1-800-334-9330 and one of AMAC’s trusted, licensed Advisors will be happy to assist you with your Medicare needs.