Did you know that the average American goes to the doctor four times per year? For seniors, that number is likely even higher. If you’re approaching 65 or just getting started with Medicare coverage, it helps to know the ins and outs of what you can expect it to cover.
That starts by learning about common Medicare myths so you don’t fall for the wrong information. We’re here to help you debunk them!
Read to learn the truth that all aging adults should know about these common Medicare myths.
Medicare Is Free
Unfortunately, the assumption that Medicare is free for seniors is not necessarily true. Medicare Part A, which helps to cover inpatient elderly care and hospital visits, is free for you if you’ve paid Medicare payroll taxes for 10 years. If you haven’t, then you’ll have to pay a premium for the coverage, depending on your Medicare payroll tax history.
The other parts of Medicare include Part B, which helps to cover outpatient doctor visits, and Part D, which helps to cover the cost of prescription drugs. These parts come with a monthly premium that you’ll have to pay.
Everyone Pays the Same Amount for Medicare
Just like with other healthcare plans, there is no “one size fits all option” for everyone. The amount you will end up paying for your Medicare coverage depends on several factors including the following:
- The specific coverage you need
- The health services you need each year
- The medical items and prescriptions you need each year
- Whether you have financial assistance to help you cover Medicare costs
- What your income was before enrolling in Medicare
Once you enroll in Medicare coverage, you should have a better idea of how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
You Can Enroll in Medicare at Anytime
Again, similar to other health insurance options, there are only certain enrollment eligibility options. You’re able to enroll in Medicare only if you meet certain eligibility requirements and only if you enroll within a certain timeframe.
Unless you meet certain medical or disability qualifications, your Medicare enrollment period will open 3 months before you turn 65. Then, it will last for a period of 7 months. If you fail to enroll within that time period, then you will have to pay a lifetime penalty.
However, there is an exception to this rule. If you’re still working past the age of 65, then you can delay enrolling and keep your coverage from your employer.
Medicare and Medicaid Are the Same Things
Since these have similar names, it’s easy for people to confuse them or think they offer the same benefits, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As we’ve discussed, Medicare is a federal program for seniors over the age of 65 or those who qualify for early enrollment based on medical conditions or disabilities.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a program on the state level that offers healthcare coverage for those with qualifying income levels. While it’s possible to qualify for both options, they are completely different programs.
Don’t Fall for These Medicare Myths
Now that you’ve read through these Medicare myths, you have the knowledge you need to get the healthcare coverage you deserve.
Would you like to read more health and lifestyle content like this? Browse through our other articles before you go.