There is so much information out there about Medicare. Case in point: you are reading this blog! The problem is that so much information can lead to misinformation. Try to avoid these common mistakes.
Don’t we all put off stuff we don’t like doing? Who really likes making Medicare decisions? Like it or not, putting off your Medicare enrollment process can create unnecessary anxiety and can actually cost extra money. Start researching at least four months before you turn 65. That should give you a comfortable cushion to take action if needed. You can save time and anxiety by contacting us.
Just because your office buddy, sister-in-law or best friend said their process was easy and worked great for them does not mean that is what is best for you. Don’t assume Medicare is a one-size-fits-all prospect. Do not assume your company’s COBRA will be “just fine” to use after you retire, so you can postpone Medicare for another 18 months. (BIG mistake.) Do not assume your retirement package is adequate coverage in the eyes of Medicare. Do not assume Medicare enrollment will always be quick. Assuming can be costly both financially and mentally/emotionally. Help My Medicare wants to save your money and your mental health. Get informed!
No Medications = No Part D
“Why should I get a drug plan when I don’t take drugs?” Sounds perfectly reasonable. And in our opinion, it is. But our opinion ultimately does not count – Medicare’s does. Medicare says you’ll get a 12% increase on your plan premium for each year you did not have a drug plan and could have. See here for more about Part D.
Choosing Advantage only for $0 premiums
We get it… money is tight. “Paying nothing” for your Advantage plan can look very attractive. It may be a good choice for you. But before you commit to an Advantage plan make sure you understand what you are getting! All Advantage plans have deductibles. That means you will be paying up to that amount if you have health expenses. Advantage plans also have co-pays and coinsurance. Those rules expose you to further costs. If you have peace with that arrangement, that’s fine. Just make sure you aren’t making your decision just on cheap premiums alone.
Skipping Tax Deductions
You can claim your Medicare premiums (not including your Medigap/supplemental policy) and other health expenses as deductions on your tax return. As with anything IRS-related, there are rules and restrictions so be sure to ask your CPA or a qualified tax-preparer. You could be leaving money on the table if you don’t!