Medicare Myths, Busted!

Medicare, like many types of health insurance and coverage, can be incredibly confusing. Today we are busting some of the most common Medicare myths.

Myth 1: There Is Only Part A and Part B

Today’s Medicare has many more options available to patients, as they can now be covered by Medicare Part A (hospitals), Part B (doctors/medical insurance), Part D (prescriptions) or a Medicare Advantage plan. Additionally, you can also purchase a Medigap plan to bridge the space between what Medicare pays and what you are responsible for.

Myth 2: Medicare Is Expensive

Medicare doesn’t come without a cost, but enrollees do receive a great deal of additional coverage without requiring extra money or while only requiring a small deductible. Your annual physical and preventative care appointments will be free, in addition to screenings for colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression.

Myth 3: Enrollment is Always Open

While you aren’t required to enroll in Medicare at a certain time, there are significant benefits to being timely with your enrollment, as you could face steep late enrollment penalties as a result.

  • Part A and B Medicare plans are open for enrollment during the 3 months before the month you turn 65, the month you turn 65 and the 3 months following. For every year you wait to enroll, you could face premium increases of up to 10%.
  • Part D Medicare plans are open for the same enrollment periods as Parts A and B, but the enrollment penalty will be applied after 63 days without any prescription drug coverage.
  • Medigap plans can be enrolled in once you are 65 and enrolled in Part B. You have a six-month window to enroll before insurance companies can require medical underwriting to decide your plan cost and potentially reject patients deemed high-risk.

If you are a current Medicare enrollee looking to make changes to your coverage, you can do so from October 15-December 7, 2017. You can change from traditional Medicare plans to a Medicare Advantage plan, move from one Advantage plan to another or add on a Part D plan to your Medicare coverage.

It is important to review your Medicare coverage plan every year as there may be changes that could affect your coverage and cost for medical care and prescriptions.

More Open Enrollment Information

Fall Open Enrollment is the time of year when you can change your Medicare coverage. You can do this by joining a new Medicare Advantage Plan or by joining a new stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP). You can also switch to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone Part D plan from a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time. Listed below are six things to keep in mind while you are deciding on your Medicare coverage.

Email us or call 410-220-2300 for a list of professionals to assist if needed!

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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