Heading into retirement should be a celebrated milestone, allowing you to enjoy more freedom.  However, the golden years may bring on some anxiety when it comes to not understanding Medicare or being financially prepared for the costs of healthcare. 

The following are 5 questions many people get wrong about Medicare, along with why.

  • Is Medicare Free?

Many people ask the questions, “Is Medicare free?”  The thing about Medicare is that there’s not just one part to it. In fact, there’s four parts – Part A, B, C, and D.

Part A is the only Part that may be free for those 65 and older.  This part of Medicare will cover you when you must stay in the hospital if you’ve paid into Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.  However, you’ll still be responsible for a deductible and coinsurance costs. Part B, Part C, and Part D typically require monthly premiums and coinsurance costs. The best place to find current rates is to check the Medicare website.

  • Is Long-Term Care Covered By Medicare?

Many people think that Medicare will cover long-term care in a nursing home. The truth is that it won’t. Medicare may cover short-term care in a facility that is approved by Medicare, but it usually doesn’t cover assisted living or nursing home care that included things like help with hygiene, feeding, and so on. 

  • Is It Possible To Enroll In Medicare Anytime?

If you think you can just enroll in Medicare anytime, you’re mistaken. Once you turn 65, you only have certain times to enroll.  You’re allowed to enroll beginning three months before you turn 65 until three months have passed your birthday. If you happen to miss this enrollment, you will be able to enroll later when they have open enrollment, but you may have to pay a late penalty fee. 

  • Is It Alright To Switch Plans After Enrollment?

Many people think that once you enroll in one plan, you’re stuck with it. The reality is that you can change plans during open enrollment periods, which Medicare holds twice a year. 

  • Can I Lose My Medicare Benefits?

If you enroll in Medicare, you won’t lose your benefits unless you fail to pay your premiums.  If you return to work and are eligible for health insurance from your employer, you may want to. discuss the situation with a Medicare representative to see what your best options are.

Learning about Medicare can seem like a lot, but taking the time to learn is worth it. If you have questions, consider calling a Medicare representative to learn more. You want to go into your retirement feeling confident that your medical care needs are being taken care of.

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