Look, we get it. You’re likely bombarded with commercials, direct mail, aids and info on Medicare. Sometimes, it’s so overwhelming, you toss it to the side and push it off for another time. Before you cause yourself penalties, missed deadlines or fees, consider these 3 common mistakes and how to avoid them.

#1 Not signing up on time

It’s true what they say; timing is everything. Make sure as you turn 65, you enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period. This is a seven-month window, consisting of 3 months before your birthday month, your birthday month, and 3 months after. There are other times to sign up, but it will cost you. Plan ahead, set a reminder and be sure to sign up on time! Don’t wait!

#2 Not comparing Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

The type of coverage you receive will depend on your location, conditions and needs.

Choose wisely.

Original Medicare consists of Part A and B. This means they cover hospital visits, doctor visits, and outpatient services. Most doctors will take this insurance and you are most likely covered throughout the U.S. However, it doesn’t include prescription drugs and there is no limit on your out-of-pocket annual costs.

Medicare Advantage usually consists of Part A, B, and D. This means they cover hospital visits, doctor visits, outpatient services and prescription drugs. Many plans offer additional benefits such as vision, dental, and hearing. Other impressive benefits can include transportation to visits, access to doctors by phone, gym memberships and more. However, not all doctors accept these plans and you need to be in your network.

If you aren’t sure which plan would be best for you, let us help! It’s completely free and we will help you compare hundreds of plans to find one that best suits your needs, location, budget and current conditions.

#3 Assuming your doctor takes Medicare

While many doctors do accept Medicare, some do not. If you have a doctor you have gone to for years and have no intentions of leaving, make sure to double check that they accept Medicare.

Talk to you doctor about if they accept Medicare before you try to use it at their office.

We hope these 3 tips will help you as you select your Medicare plan.