Medicare Secrets Revealed! 6 Shocking Facts You Didn’t Know

These Medicare secrets might help you understand the program better!

Since 1965, when Medicare was officially introduced, it has helped hundreds of millions of Americans get quality and affordable healthcare. This is incredible, and right now, there are more than 66 million individuals enrolled in Medicare. Most of them are people over 65 years old, and the rest are younger ones with disabilities.

Maybe things were not so complicated in the beginning, but as Medicare evolved over the years and changed, the way it works might prove to be quite tricky for most people.

Maybe you’ve never heard before about Medicare secrets, but here we are today, ready to tell you all you need to know. Learn how to take advantage of your Medicare plan and other amazing things you can do but were not aware of.

Medicare is more than it meets the eye, and being aware of these Medicare secrets can mean a lot for your health and well-being.

medicare secrets
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1. Signing up at age 65 is not mandatory

If you ever were curious and managed to get more information about how Medicare works, you know that you have to enroll as soon as you turn 65 years old. But is this true? Is this the right way to approach Medicare? The answer is that it depends, but since we are talking about Medicare secrets, we’ll go with the flow and say no.

If you have solid medical insurance through your job or are covered by your spouse’s insurance, you can wait to enroll in Medicare. Even if you are 65 or older, you are still covered, and you can wait until you are not covered anymore before applying for Medicare.

But keep in mind that if the medical insurance you have from your employer is not complete, your employer can require you to enroll in Medicare to be sure that all the gaps in your medical plan are filled.

Furthermore, if you obtain health insurance via an Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, you must transfer to Medicare when you reach the age of 65. The same is true if you are insured by COBRA, which continues a previous employer’s coverage; have military Tricare insurance; or have a retiree health plan. None of these programs are a replacement for Medicare.

2. If you choose a plan, you are not stuck with it forever

This is another one of the Medicare secrets most people don’t know about, and we believe being aware of it can truly help. You have to remember two dates: October 15 and December 7. Between these two dates, beneficiaries can take a look at their plan and decide if they want to make any changes.

During the yearly open enrollment period, you may examine your prescription drug plan to ensure that the medications you take are covered by Medicare and also affordable. If something is not adding up, you can talk to your doctor and adjust it.

You can also think about how you were treated with a Medicare Advantage plan to decide whether you want to maintain it or switch to a different plan.

This open enrollment period is what gives you flexibility and is a good one of the Medicare secrets to know about because knowing you can change things once per year can greatly reduce anxiety and also help you make better plans.

3. Enrolling late can come with financial burdens

One thing about Medicare is that it has the famous initial enrollment period (IEP). This is when those turning 65 can start enrolling. You have 6 months in total to do that—3 before your birthday and another 3 after your birthday.

You must enroll in Medicare Part B within that enrollment period or face a late enrollment penalty, which results in paying a higher monthly premium for the duration of your Medicare coverage. The same applies to Part D coverage.

Here comes one of the Medicare secrets: Because most individuals do not have to pay a premium for Part A, signing up for this part of Medicare will probably cost you nothing, and it will get you into the system to make it easier to get enrolled in Part B when the time comes.

4. If you are outside the US, Medicare won’t cover you

Sure, there are some exceptions, but most of the time, Medicare will not cover your medical expenses if you are outside of the country.

But here is one of the Medicare secrets. If you are traveling in Canada or Mexico and you have a medical emergency and the nearest hospital is in those countries and not in the United States, then Medicare will cover the services.

The same thing applies if you are living in the US, but the nearest hospital is in Canada or Mexico. You can go there; the foreign hospital will take care of you, and Medicare will pay for everything.

Also, there are some Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered by private companies but approved by Medicare, and they can offer you limited emergency coverage while you are abroad. But remember that this coverage is limited, and sometimes you will have to pay for deductibles, coinsurance, and other costs.

medicare secrets
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5. There are options

Medicare is split into four basic parts. Part A covers everything from hospitals and hospices to some home care. Part B covers your tests and doctor visits. Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is the private alternative to traditional Medicare, and Part D covers your prescription drugs.

When you want to sign up, you have the chance to decide which Medicare plan you want to choose: the original Medicare or the Advantage plan.

If you decide to take the original route, you have to enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan because this will let you get covered for medication. Besides this, you might also want to buy Medigap, which will reduce some of the out-of-pocket costs.

If you want to go with Medicare Advantage (MA) or Part C, you will need to choose an insurance company and also choose one of their plans to enroll in. The difference here is that since most MA plans cover your prescription drugs, you will no longer need to get a Part D plan.

This is not really one of the biggest Medicare secrets, but so many people are not aware of these options.

6. You enroll through Social Security

The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages Medicare enrollment. You can apply online at www.ssa.gov. You can also visit your local Social Security office or call 800-772-1213.

Ok, all is well for now, but here comes another one of the Medicare secrets. For Part A and Part B, you can enroll through the SSA, but if you plan to enroll in the Medicare Advantage plan or Part D, things will be different.

The only way to sign up for these is to go to medicare.gov and sign up there. Hopefully, you can still get help with your enrollment by calling 800-633-4227 or by contacting your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

If you want to learn more about Medicare mistakes you should never make this book might help you: 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

You should also read: 6 Natural Kidney Stone Remedies You Can Try at Home

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