Debunking Medicare Myths

Myth #1: Medicare Covers All Medical Expenses

Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover everything. The items that Medicare does not cover are routine dental care, hearing aids, long-term care, cosmetic surgeries, etc.

However, different parts of Medicare cover different services. For example, Part C and D will cover expenses that are not covered by Part A and B. Inform yourself about the details of each part, and find out which one fits you the best.

Myth #2: Once I Turn 65 I Will Immediately Be Enrolled in a Medicare Health Insurance Plan

Did you get a Medicare card three months before your 65th birthday? No? Then it means you are not enrolled in Medicare. Go and apply for it before it is too late. When your turn 65, you are not automatically covered by Medicare.

Myth #3: Medicare Is Completely Free

The popular belief is that older adults don’t need to pay anything. The years of paying taxes should give them the right to use Medicare services free of charge. However, the truth is that they need to pay monthly premiums and other co-payments. The charges differ among the different parts:

Part A – no premium charge, annual deductible is $1,340

Part B – premium charge is $134 for the majority of seniors; can be even higher depending on your income, annual deductible is $183

Part C – copays vary, additional premiums are charged

Part D – charge additional premiums, copays vary, annual deductible is $405

The annual deductible varies every year. The figures listed above are for 2018.

For more about Medicare, watch this video.

Myth #4: Anyone Anytime Can Enroll in Medicare

People believe that no matter when they apply for Medicare, they will have the same conditions. That is not entirely true.

There is a so-called Initial Enrollment Period. Older adults with at least ten years of working experience can sign up for Medicare three months before they turn 65. The Initial Enrollment Period lasts until three months after your 65th birthday. Signing up any time after that period will result in higher premiums.

There is also an Open Enrollment Period from the middle of October until the second week of December. During this time, seniors can renew and change their health and drug plans, if needed.

Myth #5: Medicaid and Medicare Are Actually the Same Program

These two are not the same programs. There is a difference between Medicare and Medicaid, and these programs shouldn’t be confused with one another.

Medicaid is focused on people with low income. Anyone can apply regardless of age. On the other hand, Medicare is reserved for people who are at least 65 and have worked for a minimum of ten years.

Seniors can apply for both programs, but they need to do it separately.

Myth #6: Medicare Costs Do Not Change Over Time

This is entirely false. Once a senior enrolls in the Medicare program, the costs will not stay the same. Every year the costs change, as well as the program coverage. This means that you need to revise your plan once a year and see whether it will satisfy your needs.

The bottom line is: don’t wait for Medicare to get to you. Go and apply three months before your 65th birthday. This way you will get the health insurance plan you need while avoiding higher premium costs at the same. These costs can change each year, so you will perhaps need to renew the plan.

Don’t confuse Medicare with Medicaid. These are two completely different programs. You can apply for both, but the conditions totally differ.

Read more on long-term insurance here.


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