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  • Writer's pictureJamie Smith

Common Mistakes Made During the Medicare Annual Enrollment and How to Avoid Them.

From October 15th - December 7th, you are hit with Medicare commercials, ads, mailers, and pesky phone calls. Welcome to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period!

You are inundated with many conflicting messages and people who claim they can help you with a no-cost Medicare Benefits Review. Meanwhile, you may have just received your newly increased Medigap premium. You signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan and do not understand the plan. Or you’re in Original Medicare, which works well for you. Perhaps you are a Veteran, and the VA is just fine, or your current plan has dropped your medications or even your doctor.

So what should you do? It seems like the easiest thing to do is call Joe Namath, the folks who finally helped Martha, or even Jimmie, which makes it sound Dynomite! Hang tight before you make that call.

Common mistakes:

1. You stay in your current plan without reviewing it or looking at other options.

Medigap plan premiums increase every year. Your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan benefits also change annually. Your current plan may have dropped medications or doctors within the network. Your health may have changed since you originally entered into the plan.

Considering the above, it seems like it could be a lot to keep up with, and that is because it is. Since there are annual changes, you should always be able to compare your Medicare plan options.

2. You assume your Medigap plan is the best option and decide to stay, even though the annual premium rise is becoming too expensive.

When it comes to Medicare, you enter into a Medigap plan to cover the 20% Original Medicare does not cover. You pay your Medicare Part B Premium, your Medigap Premium, and a monthly prescription drug plan premium. When you first enter into Medicare, the Medigap premiums are manageable, but now you may have difficulty affording them. You may also need vision, hearing, and dental coverage.

At this time, you should look into Medicare Part C, which includes Medicare Parts A, B, and D, and most come with vision, hearing, dental, and other plan benefits too.

3. You decide not to or decide to enter into a different plan because your neighbor, spouse, or friend did.

Medicare plans are not one size fits all. They are based on your location, prescriptions, doctors, and other health problems or needs.

4. You base your decision on plan premiums or copays.

It is easy to assume you are making a good decision based primarily on your monthly premium and against a plan with only a copay. Looking at all the costs you could have with the premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays is imperative. You also need to factor in your health, how often you visit the doctor, your prescriptions, and more. What worked when you first entered into Medicare may not be the case now.

5. You assume you make too much money to qualify for extra help.

Multiple programs could provide extra help, especially if you are on a fixed income or living off social security. With the right advice, you could take advantage of financial assistance.

6. You think that the VA is good enough.

Most Veterans do not understand how Medicare Advantage works with the VA and even with TRICARE insurance. Multiple Patriot plan options could reduce your Plan B premiums and more.

Medicare does not have to be confusing.

As mentioned, the above may seem like a lot. It is. Medicare is complicated, so it is important to have an advocate to assist you now and year after year. It is important to take advantage of the Medicare Annual Enrollment. Allow us to become your advocate. We will assign an agent to you that is not only familiar with your area, but our independent agents are contracted with all the top-tier insurance carriers, so you can be assured you are receiving unbiased advice.

Right now is the time to take a look at your options. The Annual Enrollment is going on now - December 7th. Please call 833-905-1060 for any questions or to set up an in-person review.

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At Senior Solutions, our agents are here to ensure you are in the right plan according to your needs. As a result, we have become the go-to for Medicare and retirement for many individuals and their families.

Our mission is to ensure you are confident and happy, and we do this over the phone or in person! We believe in-person communication provides a better understanding and builds a vital relationship for you and your family. Our service is always at no cost to you.

If you have any questions about your current plan and would like a complimentary Medicare Benefits Review, please call us at 833-905-1060.

If you live near Lincoln County in Kentucky, we have a Senior Resource Center open Monday - Friday. Monday and Fridays are by appointment, with walk-ins being welcome Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 am - 4 pm. Please call 606-669-6002 for an appointment.


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