If you have Medicare coverage, you can save money on medical costs rather than having to pay for them out of pocket. We’re going to share some of our cost-saving tips. It’s not always about picking the cheapest option — the “right” insurance plan will depend on your individual health care needs. And saving money takes some effort, but there are some easy solutions. Here are six ways you may be able to save money on Medicare.
1) Know Your Medicare Enrollment Periods
Many beneficiaries make the mistake of not knowing their Medicare enrollment periods. If you don’t enroll in certain types of coverage when you first become eligible for them, you may face late enrollment fees if you eventually choose to enroll. Medicare Parts A, B, and D all have late enrollment penalties. The fees are as follows:
- Part A: 10% of any premium owed — which you have to continue to pay for double the number of years you were eligible for Part A but didn’t enroll. It only applies if you don’t qualify for premium-free Part A.
- Part B: increases your monthly premium 10% for every year that you were eligible but didn’t enroll. You have to keep paying the penalty for as long as you stay enrolled.
- Part D: 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium” (which is $32.74 in 2020) multiplied by how many full months you were eligible to enroll but didn’t.
There aren’t any late enrollment penalties for Medicare Supplement plans. However, enrolling early can help keep your premiums from soaring.
Don’t miss your initial enrollment period (IEP), which is a 7-month window that starts three months before you turn 65. Enrolling in Original Medicare (A & B), Medicare Advantage (C)
or prescription drugs (D) during this window will be a key to saving money on Medicare.
Also, you can make changes to your Medicare plan — without penalty — during the annual election period or annual enrollment period (AEP). It goes from October 15 to December 7, and your plan changes will become effective January 1 of the following year.
The agents at Bobby Brock Insurance can help you get it right the first time.
Related Post: What Is the Enrollment Process for Medicare?
2) Consider Medicare Advantage
Instead of enrolling in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you can join a Medicare Advantage plan. There are many types of advantage plans, but they generally cover everything that Original Medicare covers. Some plans provide additional coverage, including prescription drugs, transportation, dental, vision, hearing, and more. These extra benefits can offer you more ways to save money on various health care costs.
3) Utilize Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare beneficiaries have two choices for getting Medicare prescription drug benefits. You can join a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage OR enroll in a standalone Part D plan.
If you take any medications, adding a Medicare Part D plan that covers your prescription is probably more affordable than paying for it out of pocket. You can compare Part D plans available in your area by browsing our website or calling us in Tupelo, MS.
4) Stay in Your Plan’s Provider Network
If your Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan includes a network of providers (or pharmacies), you’ll likely save money if you stay in this network — when getting care or prescription drugs. Going outside of the approved network typically results in higher costs.
If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, make sure any provider you see accepts Medicare before you schedule a visit. If you have joined a Medicare Advantage plan, confirm that your provider has accepted your plan’s terms before you request care.
5) Find Out If You’re Eligible for Medicare Savings Programs
There’s hope for those with low incomes and few resources. Medicare has four savings programs that can help qualified individuals pay for some or all of their Original Medicare premiums and other costs:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
- Qualifying Individual (QI) Program
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
There’s also a program called Extra Help or “Part D low-income subsidy”, which can help qualified beneficiaries pay for some of their Part D (prescription drug) plan costs. Three levels exist, and these are based on your monthly income and assets.
To see if you’re eligible for one of these programs, call your state Medicaid program.
Related Post: What Is the Medicare Savings Program?
6) Use a Qualified, Licensed Agent
You can visit many websites and choose a Medicare plan. But how do you know if it’s best for you? You could end up paying for coverage you don’t really need. Plus, it can be time-consuming to explore each plan available in your area. What if there was an easier way?
We Can Help!
Having a qualified agent like Bobby Brock Insurance work on your behalf, and with many companies, can save you money on your Medicare costs. You can rest assured that a licensed agent will lead you to the right plan for your situation, addressing the benefits, drawbacks, and expectations. Don’t forget — our service is totally FREE. We’re in your corner, and we’re here to make you feel comfortable about your health insurance decisions.
Now that you know how to save money on Medicare, call today so we can help you compare plans — (662) 844-3300!