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The 3 Most Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Comparing Medicare Advantage Online

The convenience of enrolling in Medicare Advantage online makes it a popular choice for many Medicare beneficiaries. While it allows you to research and compare plans on your own schedule from the comfort of your home, it also opens you up to costly mistakes. Find out how to avoid these pitfalls, so you can save your pennies for taking exciting trips, spoiling your grandkids, donating to charities or spending your retirement however you choose.

Not comparing multiple providers

Unlike Original Medicare, which is only offered by the federal government, Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans are offered by numerous private insurance companies. The plans differ by geographic area (as determined by zip code) and can offer dramatically different benefits and costs, beyond the required Original Medicare coverage.

If you only compare plans by one provider, you may be missing out on a plan that’s great for you. The extra costs or lost benefits are an unnecessary mistake. Instead, you can use the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal to easily compare Medicare Advantage Plans from a variety of carriers in your area. These side by side comparisons are one of the biggest benefits of researching and enrolling in Medicare Advantage online.

Not getting prescription drug coverage

The cost of prescription drug coverage keeps a lot of Medicare beneficiaries up at night. Many don’t realize that Medicare Parts A and B don’t include prescription drug coverage and you’re actually penalized for going without it for 63 days or more after your Initial Enrollment Period. You’ll wind up paying 1% more for your Prescription Drug Plan, or Part D, premium for every month you don’t have coverage, throughout the life of your prescription drug coverage. Ouch! To avoid these fees and save on your prescription drug costs, you can enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan or look for Medicare Advantage online, specifically a plan that includes prescription drug coverage (sometimes called MA-PD).

Missing an enrollment period

There are specific windows of time designated for you to enroll in Medicare Advantage online. You have three major options for enrollment:

  • Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): Starts three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after your birthday month. You can complete your Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage enrollment during this period.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): This period, sometimes also called Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment, occurs from October 15 through December 7. It’s an annual opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in, drop, or change Medicare Advantage Plans. If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, AEP is your next guaranteed opportunity.
  • Special Enrollment Periods (SEP): A Special Enrollment Period is triggered by special circumstances, such as moving or being eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligible). Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods.

If you miss an enrollment period, you could miss out on beneficial healthcare coverage and be liable for fees, such as a penalty for not enrolling in prescription drug coverage.

Compare Medicare Advantage Online

To easily and quickly find and compare Medicare Advantage Plans, try the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal today. Search plans by zip code and compare costs and benefits side by side. When you find a plan that’s the right fit for you, you can complete your enrollment through the same convenient portal.