Medicare Myths

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As a licensed sales broker, Ms. Bruneman has been using her Medicare experience to educate consumers about their Medicare options since 2009. The scope of this work has been to promote Medicare sales training and consumer advocacy. Her focus has been to ensure that South Florida’s underserved 65+ communities receive vital services and education so they can make healthcare decisions that are most beneficial for their specific needs.

Through her volunteer position on the Advisory Board of the Latino Center on Aging, she participates in the “Para Mayores” program on the first and third Saturday of the month on the radio station La Poderosa 670 AM. Additionally, Ms. Bruneman hosts her own weekly radio program titled “Radio Salud” every Wednesday at 11:15 am on La Poderosa 670AM.

Here, she shares some tips that will be very useful for our readers:

Myth #1 – When I turn 65, I “MUST” enroll in Medicare, or I will be penalized.

Is not true. If an employee turning age 65 is covered by an employer with more than 20 employees, this is considered “creditable” coverage and the employee CAN opt out of Medicare until he or she chooses to opt out of his or her employer’s coverage, WITHOUT PENALTIES. Creditable coverage, in the context of Medicare, refers to health insurance coverage that is at least as comprehensive as the standard coverage provided by Medicare.

Myth #2 – I can only switch to one Medicare option during my employer’s Open Enrollment.

Is not true. Because Medicare is federal, it takes precedence over any state and local regulations. As such, if an employee wishes to shop around for their Medicare coverage options, they can apply and do so at any time during the year. They cannot be restricted in any other way.

Myth #3 – Once I turn 65, I can’t contribute to my employer-sponsored HSA.

Is not true. If you choose to remain covered by your employer’s group-sponsored health coverage and disenroll from Medicare after age 65, you CAN continue making contributions to your HSA. Only if you decide to switch to Medicare WHILE you are still employed, you will NOT be able to continue contributing to your HSA, but you CAN use your HSA funds to pay for Medicare and other healthcare-related expenses.

Myth #4 – Once I choose a Medicare coverage option, I can’t change it during the same year.

Is not true. Each year, especially in the state of Florida, there are at least 2 times a year, if not more, when changes can be made to your Medicare Supplement coverage. Additionally, leaving employer group coverage creates a “Special Election” that allows a path to Medicare any time of year.

Myth #5 – “Retirement” means I have to stop working.

That is not true. Retirement can refer to when you stop working, but more officially, it refers to when you can begin collecting your full Social Security retirement pension (income).

If you have questions or for more information, you can contact Lupe Bruneman at 786.322.8633



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