5 Common Medicare Misconceptions You Might Not Know
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Research carried out by Nationwide Retirement Institute showed that an estimate of 86% of the people that are enrolled in Medicare and 76% of the people who wish to enroll in Medicare wanted a better understanding of the coverage they can avail.
Furthermore, the study also showed that:
53% didn’t know that Medicare Part B isn’t free.
23% didn’t know that Medicare enrollment has a pre-defined time period and constraints.
29% didn’t know that Medicare costs can vary from one person to another.
Apart from the lack of knowledge of Medicare coverage and enrollment period there are a number of misconceptions or myths that a lot of people have when considering Medicare. We all know lack of information and misconceptions are the perfect recipe for poor decisions.
So with that in mind let’s take a look at the 5 most common misconceptions about Medicare.
Misconception #1 – Medicare Part B Is Free.
Medicare Part B is not free. In Medicare Part B you may be required to pay premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and out-of-pocket co-insurance.
Misconception #2 – You Can Enroll In Medicare Whenever You Want.
Medicare has a predefined criteria anout-of-pocketd enrollment period in which you can enroll. You can enroll in Medicare if you meet various qualifications and for a specific amount of time. Each Medicare enrollment period has varying rules and regulations and if you fail to meet them you might end up paying financial penalties. Most of the people qualify for Medicare at the age of 65, however qualification via eligibility for disabilities and medical conditions is possible.
Your initial Medicare enrollment period starts 3 months before you reach the age of 65 and the time duration for the initial enrollment period can be up to 7 months. For those individuals that are enrolling with Medicare with disability, your enrollment period will start 24 months after you have received disability benefits.
Individuals working past the age of 65 can delay their Medicare enrollment if they already have creditable coverage from their employer. These individuals are required to enroll immediately after losing their employer coverage and are provided with a Special Enrollment Period that will last up to 8 months.
Misconception #3 – Medicare Costs Are The Same For Everyone.
The exact amount of costs you pay for Medicare depends on the specific Medicare coverage you receive, the health services you receive and the medical items you use each year.
Misconception #4 – Medicare Part A and Part B Cover Everything.
It is important to understand that Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and only covers hospital stays and associated inpatient services. Whereas, Part B is medical insurance and generally covers doctor and outpatient visits and associated services. Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover the following:
Dental, Vision, or Hearing health care services.
Special benefits such as coordinated care or medical transportation.
Misconceptions #5 – Medicare & Medicaid Are The Same.
The only similarity between Medicare and Medicaid is that they provide healthcare services. Medicare is a suitable option for people that are over 65 or disabled. Whereas, Medicaid is for people with a limited income and resources. Medicare is governed by the federal government. Medicaid programs are governed by states. Individuals who qualify for both programs are referred to as “dual eligible” and can use both programs to cover their health care expenses.
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