What Is The Great Medicare Mistake?

What is the Great Medicare Mistake? Let’s explore what it is and how to avoid it.

We are in the throes of Medicare open enrollment season. The political ads are gone (thankfully). However, Medicare Advantage commercials continue to inundate the airwaves and interrupt my Westerns. 

As much as I love Joe Namath, he shouldn’t win out over Matt Dillon!

For all the television spots and direct mailers, most older Americans are resistant to review or compare coverage options because, frankly, the process is overwhelming and confusing.

Let’s face it; the exercise is as fulfilling as doing your own taxes. However, seniors must examine their Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug D coverages annually – even if they’re satisfied with their choices because one of the greatest Medicare mistakes is to be complacent about saving money!


The Senior Citizens League weighs in.

For example, an analysis by The Senior Citizens League, www. seniorsleague.org, of the twelve most frequently prescribed drugs discovered that Medicare recipients frequently overpay. 

From the 2019 study: 

Although Medicare has an annual Open Enrollment period, when beneficiaries can compare drug plans and switch to lower costing drug plans, few retirees actually do so. 

“In most areas of the country, the Medicare beneficiaries have more than two dozen Part D plans to sort through, and the average person just don’t know where to begin, or that free, unbiased help is available,” Johnson says.  “Consequently, Medicare beneficiaries winds up overpaying for prescriptions that could be obtained for a lower cost from a different drug plan.”

The difference in drug prices among the lowest and highest costing plans can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Drug plans with the highest premiums do not necessarily provide better coverage. Compare multiple plans which carry your prescriptions in their formulary.

Don’t Take Prescription Drugs? You Still Require Part D Coverage!

If you’re eligible for Part D but do not take prescription drugs, it’s still important to shop for a Part D plan. If not, you may owe a late enrollment penalty if, at any time after your Initial Enrollment Period, there’s a period of 63 or more days in a row when you don’t have Medicare drug or other creditable drug coverage. You’ll pay the penalty for as long as you have Medicare drug coverage (as long as you live?)

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Disclosure: Real Investment Advice is powered by RIA Advisors, an investment advisory firm located in Houston, Texas with more than $800 million under management. As a team of certified and ...

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