If you are about to turn 65, we congratulate you! Your 65th birthday isn’t just a personal milestone, it is the time you can finally begin drawing the Medicare benefits which you have paid into all your working life.
Why Medicare Mistakes Are So Common
Navigating the world of Medicare on your own can be extremely confusing. There is the Medicare alphabet soup to contend with, consisting of Parts A,B,C,D, and supplemental plans A through N. There are also multiple enrollment periods:
- the Initial Enrollment Period when you are turning 65,
- the annual Open Enrollment period from October 15 to December 7,
- Special Enrollment Periods tied to certain life events like losing coverage from your employer,
- a General Enrollment Period if you miss your Initial Enrollment Period or your Special Enrollment Period.
The situation is even more complex if you are one of the many physicians in Texas over 60 who are still in active practice. What if you don’t plan to retire at 65? What if you have health coverage through your employer or your spouse? Should you sign up for Medicare anyway? What if you have dependents enrolled under your coverage? What will happen to their coverage if you sign up for Medicare?
Medicare Mistakes Are Costly
Making the wrong decisions about Medicare can lead to lifelong regret, costing you thousands of dollars in penalties. The rules that govern Medicare are very strict. For example, if you are without health insurance when you turn 65 but fail to enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you can be hit with a 10% penalty charge for each year you could have had Part B but didn’t enroll. This penalty is permanent. You will have to continue to pay the late penalty for the rest of your life – or as long as you are on Medicare. For Part D, the penalty is even steeper. You will be charged 1% for every month that you were late signing up.
Deciding how you will supplement your Medicare coverage is another important decision. While Medicare Parts A and B will cover most of your health care expenses, you may still have significant deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and plan limits to contend with – as well as prescription drug costs. Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Part D will cover most, if not all of those costs. However, it is crucial to pick the right Medicare supplement plan at the right time. There is a very short window of opportunity to choose any plan you wish with guaranteed coverage. You won’t be turned down or charged more; even if you have a pre-existing condition. However, if you miss that window, you may be charged a higher premium or even denied coverage altogether. By shopping wisely, you can not only obtain guaranteed coverage, but also save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars on your premiums and out of pocket costs.
Make No Mistake – Call our Medicare Advisors Today
While many Americans are left to find their own way through mountains of Medicare mail, TMA members can save money, time, and headaches by taking advantage of this valuable benefit of membership. Every TMA member is entitled to ongoing, one-on-one personal assistance from an experienced insurance advisor. Although some organizations and financial planners charge hundreds of dollars for Medicare consultations, TMA members receive this service at no charge. Whether you are signing up for Medicare for the first time, or if you are considering making a change to your Medicare selections, our advisors will work with you to create a personalized solution based on your individual health care needs, preferences and budget. Call us today and find out how much you can save.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.