When it comes to saving on your Medicare costs, there are several things you can do. From enrolling at the right time, to performing a thorough annual review, to using Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage Plans, there are many options available to help you cut your Medicare costs.
It is always a good idea to work with an expert on Medicare (like an independent Medicare insurance agent) who can help make sure you have the right insurance coverage to fit your unique financial and healthcare needs.
Here are some of the many ways you can help save money on your Medicare costs.
Avoid Enrollment Penalties
One of the first things is to enroll in Medicare Part B and Part D when you are first eligible, so you aren’t assessed any late enrollment penalties. While Premium Part A late enrollment penalties only last a designated time, the late enrollment penalties for Part B and Part D could last your lifetime.
If you’re already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits (for example, getting early retirement benefits at least 4 months before you turn 65), you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65 without an additional application. You still have to choose to enroll in Medicare Part D when you turn 65, and you may pay a lifetime penalty if you join later.
If you are not automatically enrolled, you will need to enroll in Medicare with Social Security during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) as you turn 65. A senior healthcare specialist like an independent Medicare insurance agent can help you review the available options, and get enrolled on time in the best plan for you during your IEP.
Conduct a Thorough Annual Medicare Review
One of the best ways to save on Medicare costs is to do a careful review of your Medicare coverage every year. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (or Medicare Part C plan), you can do this during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Each year, there is a Medicare Advantage (MA) Open Enrollment Period from January 1 – March 31. This is a great time to review your current Medicare Advantage Plan, switch to a new MA Plan, join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or even go back to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
It is essential to do an annual review because Medicare Advantage and Part D plans can change every year, including premiums, deductibles and copays. Contact a local senior healthcare specialist to help you walk through your current benefits, and make any necessary changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan before MA Open Enrollment ends on March 31.
Consider a Medicare Advantage Plan
If you are not currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, or Medicare Part C, you might be paying too much for all of your combined Medicare benefits. A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan that is offered through private carriers. These plans often cover all of the benefits of Original Medicare (Part A & B), plus extra benefits like Prescription Drug coverage (Part D), Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA), and more. Using a Medicare Advantage plan could help you save on total out-of-pocket costs and have more options with your Medicare benefits.
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time during the next Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), which happens every year from October 15th through December 7th. During this time, you can enroll in or change your Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or Part D plans, with the new plan becoming effective January 1st of the following year.
Medicare Supplement plans can be changed anytime, but there are some cost and eligibility issues that you should talk to an expert about before you consider changing your Medicare Supplement plan.
No matter which type of plan you are using for your Medicare health coverage, consulting with a local Medicare expert can help you save time and explore more cost-saving options that fit your unique needs. Contact us today for a free Medicare review, and find out how you can start saving more on your Medicare costs.