How To Pay Less When You Apply for Medicare
The Medicare program is designed to make health insurance affordable for retired individuals over 65 – but it still costs money, in most cases. Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) is free if you’ve paid into Social Security for at least ten years total, but all other parts of Medicare will require payment.
While the costs can vary a lot per person, the average annual cost is typically between $5,000-$6,000. For a retired person, this can still be a large amount of money!
However, when it comes time to apply for Medicare in California, there are ways to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Here are a few tips, straight from our team at Good and Associates.
Four Ways to Reduce Costs When You Apply For Medicare
1 – Sign up at the right time
When you turn 65, you have a wide window to apply for Medicare – the entire month you turn 65, plus three months on either side. This gives you plenty of time to sign up.
After that point, Medicare signups must be done between October 15 and December 7, in the Annual Enrollment Period.
While there are ways to apply outside of these windows, it will incur extra fees and expenses. Doing your signup on time will avoid these fees.
2 – Choose doctors who “accept assignment”
Numerous doctors will be part of the Medicare system, but only some will “accept assignment,” which is Medicare-speak for “they only charge what Medicare will pay.”
If your doctors don’t accept assignment, they’ll have charges beyond what Medicare pays, up to 15% more. You would have to pay the additional amount out-of-pocket.
3 – Look into Medicare Savings Programs
Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) are special programs intended to help low-income individuals pay for, their Medicare A & B coverage. That said, they have very low-income barriers to entry. To qualify, a married couple would need to have total assets of less than $11,960, as of 2021.
Still, if you qualify, MSPs can be lifesavers – literally!
4 – Consider a Medicare Advantage plan
Medicare Advantage plans – also called Medicare Part C – are private insurance programs that are still part of the Federal Medicare system. These typically cover prescriptions (Part D), and can also include other health, dental, and insurance coverage.
Smart shopping, or the help of a good insurance broker, can help you find great low-cost policies that significantly reduce your expenses.
Apply for Medicare Today