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4 Ways To Maximize Your Medicare Benefits

Medicare provides crucial health benefits seniors age 65 or older and those who are disabled who might otherwise be lost without the program. While all Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to the same core benefits, not all plans are equal. Some plans offer additional benefits while some may have limits that affect how, when and where you receive care.

Here we are going to share with you 4 ways in which you can help maximize your Medicare benefits:

  1. Enroll on time: Once you become eligible for Medicare you have a 7 month window in which to enroll. This period of time is known as your Initial Enrollment
    Period, and it starts three months before you turn 65, includes your birth month, and the three months after you turn 65. If you do not sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period you could face a 10% increase in your Part B premium for every 12 month period you were eligible for Medicare but failed to enroll. By enrolling late, you do not just run the risk of accruing a Part B penalty, but if you go too long without enrolling in a Part D prescription drug plan you could face a late enrollment penalty there as well. This penalty is calculated by taking 1% of the national base beneficiary premium, which for 2022 is $33.37, and multiplying it by the number of full months you go without coverage. That number is then rounded to the nearest $0.10 and is added to your monthly Part D premium.

  2. Pick the right type of plan: Another way to maximize your Medicare benefits is to make sure you select the right type of plan for your health needs and your finances. You will want to decide if you want to stay with Original Medicare, or if you would like to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Supplement plans can be purchased to compliment Original Medicare while Medicare Advantage plans must include everything covered by Original Medicare but may offer many additional benefits such as dental, vision and prescription drug coverage. There are many different elements you will want to consider before you make your plan decision.

  3. Take advantage of your free health screenings: Neglecting your health can compromise your long term well being turning a minor medical issue into the need for more expensive treatments down the line. When you first enroll in Medicare you will have the opportunity to receive a free “Welcome to Medicare” exam. Besides your initial wellness exam you can also benefit from a plethora of free preventative care services. Enrollees are entitled to a yearly wellness checkup as well as other no cost services such as depression screenings, glaucoma testing, and flu and pneumococcal shots. A complete list of preventative and screening services can be found here). Taking advantage of these services could both save you money and protect your health.

  4. Evaluate your prescription drug needs: To make the most of their coverage, beneficiaries will want to ensure that their medications are covered by their plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, so participants will need to purchase a separate Part D plan. Even if you are not currently taking any prescription medications, going without prescription drug coverage can come with a great cost in the long run.

Making the most of your Medicare often boils down to making sure you take the time to learn what you can about your plan and how it works for you.. Having an expert who can assist you in this process can release a burden off your shoulders. Call our trusted professionals today and we will help you maximize your Medicare benefits.

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