There’s only a week left: Medicare enrollment runs through Dec. 7.
Here are seven mistakes for your clients to avoid during enrollment, according to PlanPrescriber, a subsidiary of eHealth.
1. Overlooking prescription drug coverage and changes in those benefits.
Medicare Supplement plans (also called Medigap) don’t include prescription drug coverage. If your client gets coverage through a separate Part D plan, he or she needs to know that most plans change their pricing and benefits each year. You can use an online tool to see whether and how your prescriptions drugs will be covered in 2013. According to a study by PlanPrescriber.com, the average person could have saved $654 in 2012 by changing their coverage to a plan that covered their drugs at the lowest possible cost.
2. Picking the drug plan with the lowest monthly premium.
All drug plans are not created equal. While the average prescription drug plan covers about 70 percent of all Medicare-approved drugs, some plans cover as few as 49 percent, according to the PlanPrescriber.com study. That’s why it’s important to look beyond the monthly premium and see if the plan covers the drugs your client takes.
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3. Forgoing vision or dental care.
Original Medicare may pay for certain vision and dental services in an emergency, but routine care and check-ups are not covered. Historically, Medicare Supplement plans haven’t offered this coverage either, but a few supplement plans in select states have begun to include benefits like dental insurance. Your client also has the option to purchase separate “stand-alone” insurance policies for dental and vision coverage.
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4. Believing supplement plans cover everything.
Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies and are designed to fill in some of the gaps not covered by original Medicare. Supplement plans cover some copays, coinsurance and deductibles. However, they don’t cover everything. With a few exceptions, if it’s not a benefit covered by Medicare, your client’s supplement won’t cover the copay for it either.
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