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Is Medicare Free? | 3 Common Medicare Myths

Posted on July 6, 2021 by Elissa Arms

Debunking Medicare Myths

Most people have a basic understanding of what Medicare is, but few take the time to learn the ins and outs of the public health program until they’re ready for enrollment. Unfortunately, there is plenty of misinformation out there, and unless you’ve done some research, you may be under the impression that some of those myths or misconceptions are true.

Whether you’re about to turn 65 or you have another reason to learn more about Medicare, our guide below will help you separate fact from fiction.

Want to speak to a professional agent for personalized assistance? Call (800) 950-0608 for help with all your coverage related needs.

Myth: There is Only One Medicare Option text next to image of confused man

MYTH: Medicare is a one-size-fits all program.

If you haven’t looked into Medicare, you may think there is only one enrollment option that provides all the different types of healthcare coverage you’ll need.

FACT: There are several parts of Medicare, some of which are optional.

Medicare is actually made up of several different sections, called “parts”. Most people who qualify are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, which covers services and treatment received in a hospital setting. 

You must take action to enroll in the additional parts of Medicare, including Medicare Part B, or the medical insurance part of Medicare. If you miss your Original Enrollment Period for Medicare Part B, you may experience a lapse in coverage, or you may need to pay a late enrollment penalty.

If you plan to rely solely on Medicare for your health insurance, you will likely need to enroll in more than one part of Medicare to get the coverage you need.

The Parts or Medicare:

  • Medicare Part A – Covers hospital care, including inpatient surgery
  • Medicare Part B – Covers medical care not received in a hospital setting
  • Medicare Part C  (Medicare Advantage) – Optional plans offered by private insurance companies that generally expand on Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, often with lower premiums
  • Medicare Part D – Covers prescription medications
  • Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) – Optional plans offered by private insurance companies that cover gaps in Medicare Part A and Part B coverage for an additional monthly premium

Together, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are known as Original Medicare.

Myth: Medicare is Free text next to image of confused woman

MYTH: Medicare is free.

One of the most common Medicare questions is: Is Medicare free? You’ve been paying Medicare taxes your entire working life, so it’s easy to assume at least Original Medicare will be free once you reach retirement age.

FACT: You will pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B.

While there is generally no premium for Medicare Part A as long as you’ve worked at least 10 years, most beneficiaries will pay a monthly cost for Medicare Part B. The exact premium you pay is determined by your income. Medicare Part D and Medigap plans also come with their own charges.

In addition, you will likely be responsible to share the costs of any medical services you receive on Medicare in the form of deductibles and copayments, which vary depending on the plan you have and the exact services you receive.

Myth: Medicare Covers Everything text next to mage of confused man

MYTH: All medical services are covered by Medicare.

If you enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, any health related service you receive in a hospital or doctor’s office should be covered, right?

FACT: Some types of care or medical treatments are not covered by Original Medicare.

Original Medicare doesn’t cover all the services many beneficiaries need to stay healthy and maintain quality of life. This includes necessities like glasses, dental work, and hearing aids.

On Original Medicare you’ll pay the full cost for these items out of pocket.

Because some vital services are not covered by Original Medicare, many enrollees decide to increase their coverage with an optional Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans often offer additional benefits, and can even decrease costs overall with lower premiums.

Additionally, not all providers accept every Medicare plan. You should verify your healthcare provider accepts your Medicare insurance before you receive any services.

Where can I learn more about Medicare?

Our licensed agents are on hand to answer all your questions about Medicare coverage. If you’re wondering how much you’ll pay for Medicare, or if you’re looking to potentially lower your premium costs or increase your coverage, give us a call at (800) 950-0608 for live assistance.

About the Author

Elissa Arms

Elissa is a professional writer with nearly a decade of healthcare experience.

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