The many complications of Medicare
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Open enrollment for health insurance starts Thursday. So millions of people 65 and older are getting lots of ads in the mail for insurance that covers what Medicare doesn’t.
I got my first taste this year, as I approached 65. I was Medicare to-be. In just a few months, I received 40 mailings from insurers and brokers — plus Medicare’s own 152-page guide to Medicare.
Now, because of open enrollment, the mail’s coming again.
Here’s what I learned my first time around:
1) Medicare is not free.
2) Choosing among insurance plans that cover what Medicare doesn’t is complicated, and wrong decisions can cost a lot of money.
3) I am no dope, but I expect to be confused by this every October until I die.
The graphic below shows where my direct-mail solicitations came from — I have thrown away SO much mail from AARP since I turned 50.
I’ve learned one other thing. I still work, so my wife and I have insurance through my company. But when I retire… we’ll pay a consultant to guide us through Medicare. We don’t trust ourselves to get it right. And we’re no dopes.
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