At Help My Medicare, we are big fans of making an informed choice for your healthcare coverage. These are the most common myths we encounter when we give seminars for companies and counsel individuals. So, get informed! Ignorance is not bliss in our world.
I have to leave my doctor.
Probably not. While there are some doctors that will not take any Medicare (Original or Advantage), they are definitely the minority. There are even some concierge doctors that take Medicare! The best plan is to just ask your doctor(s). If they only take Advantage, be sure you ask which plans. That way, if you decide to choose an Advantage Plan over Original, the doctor’s answer will help narrow your search.
I’m going to get sub-standard medical care.
Premier hospitals like the Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson Cancer Center (and doctors within them) provide top-notch treatment. And they take Medicare! The list is long of great facilities and private practices across the country that take Medicare, so you don’t have to compromise on quality. If you have to get a new doctor for a specific reason ask your primary care doctor for a recommendation first. Ask your friends or people you know who have already had that need about their providers. Call those providers or look online to see what kind of Medicare they take.
I have to retire before I go on Medicare.
Actually, it is becoming increasingly more common for people to work past 65, the age of Medicare eligibility. Choosing Medicare for your health coverage does not mean you have to chose to retire. You can keep working AND be on Medicare at the same time but only if you have Part A only and keep your company coverage for everything else. Otherwise keep working, leave the company medical coverage and use Medicare instead. It’s important to mind certain details, so contact us if you need help.
Medicare is more expensive.
It depends on what your current coverage costs and your income bracket. But for the vast majority of Americans, your group or private coverage is actually more costly. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone way up. Maximum out of pocket limits continue to climb. Original Medicare does not have maximum out of pockets and almost no deductibles. Some Advantage plans have no premiums. It takes some number crunching to know (or at least have a good guess) what you’d pay with Medicare. But don’t dismiss it out of hand just because you think it’s more expensive. HMM can help you figure out which makes better sense financially – stay with the company or go on Medicare?
Medicare is free.
No, it’s not free. But parts of it are pretty darn close. The only part of Medicare that you could legitimately call “free” is the premium for Part A, your hospital coverage. You don’t pay anything for it when you turn 65 if you have worked a total of 40 quarters (that’s 10 years) and have paid taxes for Medicare.
There are also Medicare Advantage plans that have free premiums (but you have to pay other costs.). Plus, if you do have to use Part A for a hospital stay, Medicare pays 100% of the approved charges in a hospital… any hospital. 100% is pretty good!