Beware! There is A LOT of bad information floating around out there about Medicare.
Some of it is just well-intentioned bad advice. And some is spread by unethical people who are trying to make money by spreading outright lies about Medicare.
In this article, we look at 5 of the most common myths people have about Medicare. This will help you understand the program better. And that can help prevent you from falling victim to the bad information that’s out there.
Top 5 Medicare Myths
Medicare is free
This is probably one of the biggest myths about Medicare going around. A large portion of society thinks that Medicare is free. But, if you read our previous article on Medicare Basics, you know that’s not true. There are some parts of Medicare that are free. But there are other parts that do require a monthly fee.
Medicare Covers Everything
Medicare only offers assistance in paying for your medical expenses. But it doesn’t cover all types of medical procedures and care. Some of the things that aren’t typically covered by Medicare include standard vision, hearing and dental care, most cosmetic surgeries, out-of-country medical care and others.
Medicare Automatically Signs You Up When You Reach 65
There are some seniors who are not automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and B when they turn 65. If you’re over 65 and didn’t receive a Medicare card in the mail at least 3 months before your 65th birthday, then you’ll need to apply for a Medicare plan.
Also, you’ll need to enroll during the IEP (Initial Enrollment Period) or the normal enrollment period. The IEP is a 7 month window you have to enroll. It begins 3 months before you turn 65.
Failure to enroll in Part B or D of Medicare during this period can result in a penalty when you eventually enroll in Medicare.
(This also debunks the myth that seniors can enroll in Medicare anytime they wish!)
Medicare & Medicaid Are The Same Thing
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Yet it is still a very common myth that many people believe.
To be clear, Medicare and Medicaid are NOT the same thing. To find out how they’re different, please read our article about Medicare vs. Medicaid to find out the difference between the two.
Medicare Is Going Bankrupt
Our 5th myth about Medicare is that it is about to go bankrupt. Not true! Medicare is not exactly in great shape, but it’s not going broke. So you are not in danger of losing your benefits.
The money being generated from payroll taxes will still be able to continue funding the program for tens of millions of seniors enrolled. And while there certainly will need to be changes made to the program, it should be around for a long time to come!