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Medicare & Turning 65: Mistakes to Avoid

We want to make sure that becoming eligible for Medicare and turning 65 are positive experiences for you, which is why we’re sharing our best tips for a smooth Medicare enrollment process. Here are four big mistakes to avoid.

Enrolling late

You have a seven-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) when you first become eligible for Medicare. This enrollment period begins three months before your birthday month and ends three months after your birthday month. If you miss this enrollment period, you may have to wait until the next enrollment period, and you may increase your Medicare premiums.

If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you may be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare). If that’s the case, you’ll receive a packet of Medicare information three months before your 65th birthday. Keep reading though—even if you’re automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, there are additional options you need to know about.

Racking up fees

You have many options when you’re becoming eligible for Medicare and turning 65, including delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B and different ways to get coverage not offered with Original Medicare. Your choice is personal and completely relative to your situation, but you should have all the facts before you choose to delay your enrollment. There are fees for both late Part B enrollment and going without Prescription Drug coverage (Part D or Part C). These fees accelerate the longer you delay coverage, and they last for the duration of your time on Medicare. You may want to consider these long-term costs when making a choice to delay.

Missing out on extra benefits

So you’re enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, either automatically or through an application. All good, right? Not yet. If you’re only enrolled in Original Medicare, you’re missing coverage in a number of areas, including vision, dental, hearing, fitness, wellness, and prescription drugs.

Medicare Advantage Plans include your Original Medicare coverage, and often offer additional benefits like vision, dental, hearing, fitness, wellness, and prescription drug coverage. These plans may be available with $0 premiums, deductibles, and copays, so you could gain more benefits at no additional cost.

Limiting your options

When you’re considering Medicare Plans, such as Medicare Advantage or Part D, you may want to ensure you’re receiving quotes from multiple insurance carriers. With more options, you’re more likely to find a plan that’s a great fit for your situation.

Make Medicare and Turning 65 Easier

Our mission is making the Medicare enrollment process easier for you, and we don’t stop at providing tips. Our convenient resources work all the way through enrolling in a plan that’s great for you.

Call us today for a no-cost consultation with a Medicare Advocate who can assist you with comparing plans from multiple carriers in your area and enrolling in the plan of your choice. Call 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.

You can also use the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal. Find, compare, and enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans at any time, from anywhere.