When you consider that over 60 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare, it’s easy to see how many Medicare myths can spread. The system may be confusing at first, until they take time to think about all the choices involved.
Here are the facts that dispel five common Medicare myths.
Myth #1: Medicare will cover you automatically once you turn 65
Even though many Americans get their Medicare card via the postal service three months before turning 65, there’s no guarantee this will happen. A senior who has not received the card by that point should directly sign up with Medicare.
Myth #2: Older adults can enroll in Medicare whenever they want
Another common myth is that the system is so flexible that older seniors over 65 have the option to sign up for Medicare any time they want. In reality, older seniors usually pay higher monthly costs if they fail to enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period (October 15 through December 7 each year).
Myth #3: Medicare costs you nothing!
Part of the modern American dream includes the notion that everyone who reaches retirement age is automatically taken care of by social programs such as Medicare. The truth is that this tax-funded system also requires enrollees to pay monthly premium costs to cover medical services and medication. While Medicare has been around since the sixties, it’s regularly being updated by Congress.
Seniors may be able to qualify for free Medicare Part A premiums under certain circumstances. Americans with limited income can benefit from the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program, which provides Part A and Part B at no charge. Most Americans, other than QMB participants, at least pay for Part B.
Myth #4: Medicare covers all your medical bills
The utopian concept of free medicine and medical treatment is a wonderful ideal, but it’s closer to a distant dream than reality. While Medicare Parts A and B cover most medical bills, Parts C and D require out-of-pocket expenses for hospital visits and prescription drugs.
Myth #5: Medicare & Medicaid are one and the same
It’s understandable why people would think Medicare and Medicaid are the same things because they both conjure the image of medical visits paid for by the government. Nonetheless, the two programs are separate, as Medicare serves seniors 65 and older, provided they have paid at least ten years into Social Security. Meanwhile, Medicaid is health insurance coverage offered and regulated at the state level for low-income individuals of any age.
Get more real facts about Medicare
Medicare is a vast topic that can take hours or even days to research. It helps when you turn to Medicare experts to clarify coverage issues. For more information on debunking Medicare myths, contact us here at Medicare Advisors. We are ready to answer questions you have about your healthcare options.