A friend of mine recently enrolled in Medicare for the first time and faced an interesting situation that I wanted to share. This friend is a very detail-oriented accountant—not surprisingly, he even took Medicare classes to learn everything he could about the tedious process. There are so many Medicare nuances that can easily be missed if you rush through it. You’ll soon see why doing the research and considering your future are key steps in the process!
For context, Blue Cross is a common supplemental provider in our area. They offer several in-network options, but in the Twin Cities, few plans offer Mayo Clinic as in-network.
Back to my friend’s conundrum—anticipating working from his family’s cabin in the post-COVID world, and a daughter residing in Florida, he wanted to ensure he and his wife would have sufficient in-network coverage if they wanted care while residing away from the Twin Cities.
IMPORTANT: He learned that if you don’t initially elect the national plan, but then decide you want it later, you will then need to QUALIFY for the plan’s parameters. The point—consider your future living situation and what plans could be best if you decide to move.
It’s potentially an irrevocable decision that could put your coverage at risk if you decide to spend an extended period away from our winters. Snowbirds should be aware of this policy!
The more inclusive plan my friend elected was also more expensive (to the tune of $100 per month in premiums), but it was worth it for him and his wife to have peace of mind. He enjoys the much lower deductible of a few hundred dollars (down from about $7,000 with a private plan).
The takeaway—enroll in Medicare when you turn 65 to avoid the penalties. Also, please do your research or reach out to a Medicare insurance expert to guide you through the pros and cons of your situation.
Thanks for taking a look, and thanks to my friend for sharing this helpful information!