Video Series – #5 – 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid Making with Your Medicare Plans – And Can Cost You Thousands!
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Hey there all you Michiganders on Medicare, it’s Sara Hornick here with Hudson Wealth Management in Traverse City. I’ve been doing some tips that’ll save you thousands of dollars in 2021 if you’re a Medicare plan recipient. We’ve already done a few tips;
- We’ve done, calling pharmaceutical companies to see if they have any kind of grants that can help with your pricey prescriptions.
- Another tip we’ve talked about is comparing your Medicare supplement every 2-3 years to make sure you’re not paying too much
- We’ve talked about benefits that are unique for those on Medicaid and those who are Veterans. Extra benefits that they could take advantage of which would be fabulous!
And then we’ve also talked about making sure you know all your options that are out there. There are tons of options that work with Medicare. If you don’t know your options you can’t pick the best one for you!
So what are we going to talk about today with Medicare Plans?
So much! There is so much about Medicare plans that we can talk about. But today, we are going to talk about making sure that you’re always tying up any kind of loose ends you have with the coverage that you choose.
Now I wanted to go over a couple of things about prescription plans. When I sit down with folks, specifically when they first go onto Medicare plans. They say “Well I’m not going to get a Part D plan because I don’t take any prescriptions. The only prescriptions that I ever use are antibiotics or generic prescriptions for my blood pressure. If I were to get prescription insurance, I’d end up paying more for the insurance than I would for the actual prescriptions!”
Hmmm, sounds logical, okay, however, that’s a mistake. It’s a loose end that you should not let hang out there. For every month that you don’t have credible prescription coverage, you are penalized by the government if you pick up a prescription plan later. Unfortunately, as we get older, we tend to have more health conditions. When we have more health conditions, we tend to take more prescriptions.
So, even though, you’re not taking any now. Getting a prescription plan in place could help you further down the road if you do get some pretty hefty prescriptions, which can happen.
The other aspect of a loose end with prescriptions is not reviewing your prescription plan annually. Now, for instance, in 2019, there was a Humana plan that cost about $20. Then in 2020, that same plan went up to $50. $30 a month is a BIG jump, and if you’re not reviewing it and paying attention, then it could make you miss an extra $360 a year that you may not have to pay. Now for some folks, that would be accurate. That Humana plan may work for some folks and they should have kept it but there were a lot of folks that got a big surprise. So that is a loose end that you do not want to have out there.
Next, with your medical coverage, the same thing with Part B! Some people say, “I’m not spending $144.60 a month every month on my Part B, I never go to the doctor. I haven’t been to the doctor in 15 years!” If you don’t take your Part B when you’re supposed to, you will get penalized. That penalty is MUCH bigger than the prescription drug penalty.
So again, as we get older, we have more health issues and you are going to want Part B if you have health issues. So don’t decline taking Part B, you need to take it.
Another issue that a lot of folks have is when they do compare their coverage and don’t cancel the prior one correctly. In fact, I just had a phone conversation today with a gal who decided to go with somebody who called her on the phone to change her prescription. He switched her over, told her that he was going to help cancel her prior plan, but he did not. She has been paying, double dipped, for 4 months. So, once you get your new plan in place, don’t do it before, make sure you’re approved with the new company. Once you get that plan in place you have to call the old company and make sure it’s canceled. Some companies will take a phone call, some won’t, they want it in writing.
Other medical loose ends.
If you have an advantage plan you want to make sure that your doctors are in-network. Because these plans do have networks and if you sign up for a plan and your doctors, not in-network well then it’s not going to work here is it? The other is that a lot of the advantage plans have benefit limits. Some things are covered and some that are not and there are limits on those benefits. You want to make sure that you know the limitations of your plan. So those are just some loose ends to make sure you have tied up with your insurance, your Medicare coverage.
Medicare Plans are a part of retirement and retirement is supposed to be a good time.
You’re supposed to be planning that next skiing trip with your spouse or a friend. That’s what you should be worrying about, not about being double-dipped and premium for your insurance or any of those other things that we just talked about.
If you’d like a professional to review what you have, an independent professional, to review what you have. We can make sure that you’re in the best spot possible, we’re happy to do it. We do it every day. There are a lot of agents at our company and at our agency Hudson Wealth Management that can sit down with you or give a phone call with you. Or zoom with you. Go over what your options are to make sure that you are in the best spot. It doesn’t cost you anything, so it’s great! So, give us a call, and until I see you next time I hope you have a great day!