How to Lower Medicare Costs

The older you get, the more medical aid and health care you need. This can add up to quite an expense if you didn’t know how to work with what you have and reduce the cost of your Medicare.

Sign up On Time

Most Americans become eligible for Medicare at 65. The seven-month sign-up window for Medicare begins three months before your 65th birthday and continues three months after your birthday month.

Enrolling for Medicare before the deadline ends costs nothing, but signing up late does come with a hefty penalty, with the original Medicare monthly premium going up by 10% for every 12 months. This penalty lasts as long as you’re enrolled in Part B.

Comparison Shop

Shopping around for Medicare may take a bit of time, but choosing the right coverage for you can spare you from expensive deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

You should consider your medical needs first, such as the services and medications you need. You can check what Medicare Advantage plans cover and compare them to what’s offered through parts A and B.

A Medicare Advantage plan could cost you anywhere from the regular Part B premium right up to an additional $100 or more a month.

Review Your Coverage

Medicare isn’t a type of set-it-and-forget-it insurance. It does need to be renewed yearly during the open enrollment, running from mid-October until early December. Any changes that you make to your coverage will take effect the following January 1.

This system allows beneficiaries to review their medical needs every year and sign up for the plan that gives them the best of coverage.

Explore Your Programs

Payments like coinsurance, premiums, deductibles, and copays can really add up. For this very reason, Medicare offers four savings programs that help lower-income retirees with these kinds of costs.

The first is the QMB program, or the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary,  which might cover the Part B premium, coinsurance as well as deductibles.

The SLMB program, or the Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary, and the QI program, or the Qualifying Individual, can also pay enrollees’ Part B monthly premiums.

Once you have enrolled in one of the previously mentioned Medicare savings programs, you can automatically qualify for Extra Help, which will help you pay for the majority of your prescription costs through Part D plans.

Manage Health Conditions

Research has found that 80% of seniors have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

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