In a recent poll by Eligibility.com, about half of the respondents believed that Medicare is free when they turn 65.
Not even close. Premiums, deductibles, and copays—with no out-of-pocket maximum—could put a big dent in your retirement savings.
“I’d say a full third of people we talk to, who are just starting to do their research, are surprised—even flabbergasted—that they have to pay anything for Medicare,” said Danielle Roberts of Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.
If you’re receiving Social Security before age 65, you’ll automatically be signed up for original Medicare. “About a month or two before you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled, and your card will show up in the mail,” Roberts explains. In this case, your Social Security check will be reduced by the cost of the Part B premium.
But if you don’t receive Social Security before you turn 65, there’s a seven-month enrollment period that starts three months before your birthday month and ends three months after that. If you don’t sign up for Part B during this period, you’ll face a 10% penalty for each year that you should have been enrolled, which will be added to your monthly premium. Ouch!
If you have insurance through an employer, these penalties may be avoided.
Another important factor to consider: Medicare doesn’t cover dental, vision, long-term care, cosmetic procedures and medical care overseas. A Medicare Supplement Plan (also known as Medigap or MedSup) can help fill the gaps in your coverage and minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
Your association’s partner, Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA), can help provide recommendations to help you navigate the complicated world of Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance. Learn more: https://www.myambabenefits.info/education/medsup-library/medicare-supplement-basics/what-is-a-medsup-plan.php
As the saying goes, with age comes wisdom. If you’re nearing 65, now’s the time to get wise about your health coverage.