As a retired citizen, keeping healthy should be on the top of your to-do list. You should stick to specific exercise regimens, eat healthy foods, and commit to practices that keep diseases at bay. If you ever get sick, Medicare will help cover any ad hoc medical costs, though Medicare costs have been increasing over the years.
According to CNBC, many Medicare beneficiaries end up paying as much as 20% of their income or more on it. If you are in this situation, your finances are highly likely to take a hit. The good thing is that there are a lot of ways to control your health insurance costs. It’s just a matter of approaching your insurance the right way.
Here are four tips for lowering your Medicare supplement insurance premiums:
(1) Enroll For Insurance on Time
While most people get automatically enrolled in Medicare, some will need to manually sign up for insurance from any of the best Medicare supplement companies 2020. Ideally, you have seven months for enrollment, known as the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This period includes three months before turning 65, the month you turn 65, and three months after this.
Failure to enroll in good time can result in you paying high monthly premiums as penalties for late enrollment. Some of these penalties include:
- Part A: you will have to pay 10% more in premiums for twice the number of years you delayed to enroll for Medicare.
- Plan B: you will pay 10% more than the typical Part B premium for each 12-month period you delayed enrolling. This price will extend to the entire time you are using Part B.
- Part D: if you spend 63 days and above after the IEP without any form of qualifying prescription drug coverage, you could have to pay more for Part D premiums.
(2) Shop Around
Private companies that sell Medicare supplement plans tend to offer the same basic coverage for each part. However, others can add extra coverage to make their premiums more attractive, which comes at a higher price. If you are only interested in basic coverage, this additional expense could cost you more than you want to spend.
This is why you should shop around. Compare different prices from different insurance agencies. You can also compare the extra perks that come with the additional costs – some might be worth your while. Luckily, you can make all comparisons online through Medicare’s comparison tool.
(3) Apply for Medicare’s Extra Help Program
Medicare’s Extra Help program is reserved for people with limited resources and income, making it tough for them to manage the costs associated with prescription drug plans. Some of these costs include monthly premiums, copay, and deductibles. If you are using Extra Help, you will not be required to pay Part D’s late enrollment penalties.
Some people automatically qualify for Extra Help:
- People with full Medicaid coverage
- Individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income benefits from the SSA
- People who get help from an MSP (Medicare Savings Program)
If you do not automatically qualify for the program, you need to meet specific income and resource limits to quality. Feel free to check out SSA’s Extra Help Website to determine if you qualify or apply for it.
(4) Use Your Medicare Benefits
Even though this tip sounds contradictory, it can help keep your premiums in check. Most insurance plans like Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage offer specific wellness benefits. If you get regular physical and patient-specific tests, the chances are that you can discover minor health problems before they can fester. These regular checkups result in early intervention, which costs less and demands fewer copays.
Even with affordable Medicare supplement plans, the cost of owning insurance can add up if you aren’t careful enough. The good thing is that there are programs that can always help you pay less, reducing the financial implication. Be sure to keep healthy and attend regular health checkup sessions to control your insurance costs.
Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.