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Can You Pass The Medicare Myth Quiz?

medicareBaby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, started turning 65 in 2011, and that made them eligible for Medicare. Unfortunately, surveys show many of them still have a lot to learn about the basics of Medicare. Many failed to correctly answer four basic questions about common Medicare myths.

Since health care is one of the biggest costs after retirement, see how you do with this quiz.  And, you can get more answers to your questions with our online information about Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans.

Medicare Myth #1: Medicare works just like a regular health insurance – 60 percent of participants didn’t know this was false.

Medicare Fact #1: Medicare doesn’t work like the health insurance you’re used to – Medicare Parts A and B have different cost-sharing requirements (deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays). Part A deals with hospital care, basically.  Part B is mainly for doctor services. And, the Part A deductible is not annual, so you could have to meet it more than once per year.

Medicare Myth #2: Medicare is free – 30 percent of participants didn’t know this was false.

Medicare Fact #2: For most people, Part A is free, but everyone pays for Part B – You, or your spouse, probably already paid toward Part A through payroll taxes.

Medicare Myth #3: A person can enroll in Medicare at any time after they turn 65, without a penalty – 77 percent didn’t know this was false.

Medicare Fact #3: You can’t enroll in Medicare at just any time after you’re 65 without paying a penalty – Medicare has a seven-month “Initial Enrollment Period” (IEP) when people first become eligible, either based on disability, or when they “age in” by turning 65. If you don’t sign up during those seven months, you may have to pay higher premiums when you enroll at a later date.

There are certain exceptions.  For instance, if you’re still working and are covered by your employer during IEP, you probably won’t get hit with higher premiums.

Medicare Myth #4: Medicare covers everything – 19 percent didn’t know that this was false.

Medicare Fact #4: Medicare doesn’t cover a lot of health care – It has no limit on your annual out-of-pocket costs to meet deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays.  Plus, it provides almost no prescription drug coverage, but there are supplemental private insurance plans that help you fill these coverage gaps.


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  • Fred Adams

    These statistics are staggering, and really illustrate just how confused the average American is about how Medicare truly works. Three in ten thinking Medicare is free shows just how much additional education our society needs before being capable of making an informed decision.

  • Jim McFadden

    Thanks for the feedback Fred. If anyone out there is still confused about Medicare, please call one of our professional Medicare advisors for help in understanding your options.

  • Patrick Dunn

    The above stats reflect the huge knowledge gap involved for people approaching Medicare eligibility. As my wife approached retirement and we were going to lose her employer-provided medical insurance, I spent more than 150 hours determining the appropriate steps for my wife and I to take regarding our personal situations. I think of the experience as making our way blindfolded through a maze, the “Medicare maze”. Wish I’d known about Medigap Advisors at that time!

  • Ed Velez

    All those letters attached to plans can definitely confuse a shopper…. Our agents are definitely empathetic to
    how a new Medicare beneficiary must sort out the confusion! Thanks for the statistics.

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