There are five common mistakes that people tend to make when starting the Medicare enrollment process.
#1 Signing up too late
Don’t put it off! Missing your initial seven-month open enrollment period can cost you big in the long run. You have three months before you turn 65, your birthday month and then another three after. For most people Part A is free so there is no reason to put it off. Plus if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If however you decide to postpone filing for Social Security until full retirement age or later, you will need to sign up.
Related: Understanding your Medicare Benefits
If you still receive health care benefits from your current employer, then you may want to delay signing up for Part B. This way you can avoid paying those Part B premiums until you leave your job.
But first, contact your current employer’s benefits department to see if that coverage is sufficient and find out how it might work with Medicare Part B before making a decision. When you decide to retire from your position, you will need to enroll within eight months or you may have to wait until the next enrollment period. By missing that deadline, you may have to go for several months without coverage and be charged a 10 percent lifetime late-enrollment penalty.
#2 Skipping Part D
Even if you are healthy and don’t think you need help paying for prescription medications, don’t pass over on Part D. This covers the cost of prescription medicine and does cost a monthly premium. You should sign up as soon as possible. Like with Medicare Part A and Part B, if you wait too long you will face a penalty added to your monthly fee.
#3 Choosing the wrong policy
Do your research and find out which type of plan will be the best for you and your needs.
A supplement plan, such as Sanford Select from Sanford Health Plan, enhances your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. This helps to fill in the gaps not covered by Original Medicare and works alongside Medicare Part D.
#4 Assuming providers are covered
Medicare supplement plans have a network of doctors and hospitals to get you the lowest copayments. Make sure your doctors, hospitals and other providers you wish to see are covered from year to year.
#5 Not asking questions
While all of this might seem confusing, it’s even more confusing if you don’t speak up and ask questions. Find a local agent who can talk with you about your needs and concerns to help you find the right options for you.
Call Sanford Health Plan at (888) 605-9277 to find a local agent near you.
This marketing material is intended for informational purposes only as part of a solicitation of insurance campaign. Contact will be made by an insurance agent or insurance company. Neither Sanford Health Plan nor its agents are connected with or endorsed by any governmental entity or Medicare.
Learn more about Medicare
- Signing up for Medicare at 65: What you need to know
- Choosing the best Medicare coverage for you
- New Medicare cost plans available in N. Dakota and S. Dakota