- May 29, 2020
Want to avoid the #1 Medicare mistake? If so, you’re in the right place! Today, we’re going to teach you what the #1 Medicare mistake is, plus show you how to avoid it. Let’s get started.
What is the #1 Medicare Mistake?
While there are many mistakes people make when they go on Medicare, we’re just going to focus on the big one today because so many people make it (and then later regret it). So what is this big mistake?
Simply this: Making key decisions about Medicare benefits without first getting an education.
Here’s the thing, we all know some decisions in life don't require much information or prior education. For example, you probably didn’t do a lot of research before deciding what outfit to put on this morning. You knew the basic info like what the weather might be like, and what type of activities you’re doing today, then made your choice. You didn’t need to read a book or hop on Google before making this decision.
But when it comes to Medicare, you need more than just basic info. You need to have all the information required to make educated Medicare decisions. Why? Medicare decisions not only affect your future but also, they are often irreversible, meaning it’s critical to make the right choices.
There are three key decisions you’ll have to make about your Medicare benefits. We’re going to outline these three decisions, then uncover the three reasons why so many people make misinformed choices about their Medicare benefits.
Decision #1: When Should I Start My Medicare Benefits?
The first decision you have to make is when to start your Medicare benefits. For some of you, this decision will be easy because you and your spouse are retired, meaning you’ll have to start Medicare when you turn 65. Since you don’t have any employer coverage options, starting Medicare at 65 is your only choice.
Now, for those of you who are still working at 65, you’ll have a few more decisions to make when it comes to starting your Medicare benefits.
If you or your spouse are still working at 65 and have employer insurance coverage, you may wait to enroll in Medicare until you retire. Others may still be working, but decide to enroll in Medicare anyway. Why would they do this? Typically because Medicare coverage is better than their employer option.
Staying on an employer plan until you retire is sometimes the best choice, while other times, enrolling in Medicare while you’re still working is the way to go. The key here is to do your research so you can make an educated decision that will be in your best interests.
Decision #2: What Insurance Do I Need Beyond Medicare A & B?
The second key decision you’ll have to make when you go on Medicare has to do with additional coverage. There are some people who decide to enroll in original Medicare only, meaning they’ll only have Part A and B coverage. Frankly, for most of you, this would not be a good choice. Why? Simply because there's too much financial risk when you only have A and B coverage.
There are several gaps in original Medicare A and B, and unfortunately, you are responsible to pay for these gaps out of your own pocket. Most people don’t want the financial risk of paying for these gaps, which is why many choose to get Supplemental plans, Advantage plans, or Prescription Drug plans.
However, many are not educated about the financial risks involved with Medicare gaps or are misinformed about the additional coverage options available to them, and they end up paying for this (literally) down the road.
Decision #3: When Should I Enroll In Medicare?
Third and finally, you need to be educated about how and when to enroll in Medicare and Medicare plans.
There are only two times you can come into Medicare. The first is the initial enrollment period (IEP). The IEP is a seven month period available for those who turn 65. The other enrollment time is the special enrollment period (SEP). The SEP is for those who didn’t start Medicare at 65 (because they were still working) but are now retired and want to enroll.
If you fail to enroll in Medicare during these two designated times, you will be penalized. Some Medicare penalties last for the rest of your life. You don’t want that! So being educated about when to enroll in Medicare is key to avoiding these penalties
Why People Make Misinformed Medicare Decisions
Now that we know the key decisions you have to make when you first go on Medicare, let’s look at the three reasons why so many people make misinformed choices about their Medicare benefits.
Too Many Opinions
First, there are just too many opinions out there. When you’re nearing 65, it seems everyone has an opinion about Medicare. Your friends, neighbors, and family members all seem to know what you should and should not do. But the problem is, Medicare isn’t one-size-fits-all. Just because your neighbor made a Medicare decision that works well for him doesn’t mean he knows what will work best for you.
With so many people telling you what’s best when it comes to Medicare, it can be hard to know which way to turn.
Too Many Options
Secondly, many people make misinformed Medicare decisions because there are just too many options to choose from. In fact, in most markets today, you'll have anywhere from 50 to 75 different plan options. With all these options, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.
The third and final reason it can be so hard to make educated Medicare decisions is because of pushy agents and salespeople. Agents obviously want you to buy their particular plan, meaning they tend to be very pushy and convincing. But how can you know if the plan they’re pushing on you is really the best choice?
Often, people aren’t educated about Medicare enough to know what plans are best for their needs, so when the pressure is on, they end up enrolling in a plan that isn’t right for them.
The Key to Avoiding the #1 Medicare Mistake
With so many important Medicare decisions to make, we know education is crucial. But with numerous opinions, pushy salespeople, and a multitude of options competing for your attention, how can you best educate yourself?
Well, you could spend days reading all the literature being mailed to you. You might watch every advertisement that you see on television. You could also go online and search for hours upon hours for credible information that 1) isn’t trying to sell you anything and 2) answers your questions. You might also ask friends and family about their Medicare decisions and try to comb through their answers to find out what might work for you.
After all that searching, you might feel a bit more aware of the Medicare process, but you will almost certainly feel overwhelmed and unsure of the right step to take.
That’s why we believe the best and most efficient way to educate yourself about Medicare is to go to MedicareSchool.com. MedicareSchool.com is a one-stop-shop for all your Medicare questions. You’ll never be overwhelmed with too much information or ever once have to hear a salesy pitch on which plan you should go with. Instead, you’ll get a clear, easy-to-understand, and unbiased education covering everything you need to know about Medicare.
And the best part? There’s no salesmanship involved. It’s just a website designed for people like you to learn more about Medicare in the convenience of their home on their own schedule. You’ll walk away from MedicareSchool.com with the tools and knowledge you need to make the best Medicare decisions for your future.
To take the next step, watch our full course here or schedule a free one-on-one call with a certified Medicare School Guide who can answer your questions, compare plans options, and even help you enroll. Click here to get started.
MedicareSchool.com started in 2009 to provide an unbiased and education-focused service to individuals approaching Medicare enrollment. Since then, MedicareSchool.com has helped over 100,000 people find and enroll in the best Medicare plans that fit their budget.