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Avoiding Medicare Mistakes...for Baby Boomers

common Prescott Medicare Advantage Plan mistakes - Tips from Adler InsuranceFor many baby boomers, that magic number of 65 is fast approaching and many of them assume original Medicare is the only option. The fact is there are many Medicare Advantage Plans that they can choose from and making the right decision can save thousands of dollars a year. About 25% of the people signing up for Medicare at 65 are now choosing Advantage Plans, rather than the original Medicare. Adler Insurance, your local Prescott area Medicare broker, is here to help you get it right. 

Don’t judge a plan by its premium
Zero additional premium does not mean zero expense. Look at the details and make sure you understand what out-of-pocket cost you could incur, including deductibles and copayments. You may find that based on your personal situation that it is much better to pay a few dollars a month to avoid high deductibles or caps in other plans. You will also find that some plans have extras, like hearing evaluations, which may save you additional dollars.

Check the quality ratings of the plans
The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services collect data about Medicare Advantage plans, then give each one a rating on a scale of one star (Poor) to five stars (Excellent). The more stars, the better the plan has worked for members enrolled in it. When looking at the various plans, make sure you check out those that are 5 star-rated and you may also want to think twice about choosing one with 1 or 2 stars. The ratings are based on members responses regarding customer service and satisfaction.

The holes of drug coverage
A Medicare beneficiary lands in a hole year when his total annual cost of medications (paid by the Medicare Part D plan and the individual) reaches $2,940. The beneficiary is then responsible for footing the bill for the cost of all medications until they exceed $4,750. (This hole is scheduled to close in 2020.)

Only about 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries end up in these holes, so paying for this extra coverage may be unnecessary. You’re likely to find yourself in it if you take three or four brand-name medications. Check out your medications so that you determine whether you’ll land in this situation or not. Once you find out, you can then decide whether the additional coverage is worth the extra premium.

Do you already have insurance?
Many people approaching 65 figure that they don’t need to sign up for Medicare because they already have private insurance. Big mistake! The only insurance that will let you delay enrollment in Medicare is a group health plan through an employer with 20 or more employees. Coverage through a COBRA plan or other type of coverage does not allow you to skip enrolling in Medicare. If you’re supposed to enroll in Medicare and fail to do so, you will be assessed late-enrollment penalties.

If all these choices seem overwhelming, don’t panic! Adler Insurance is here to help you go through the choices and avoid making costly mistakes. To find out more about your Prescott Medicare choices, contact us at 928-710-1455

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