Every month, thousands of Americans turn 65.
By the time that landmark birthday rolls around, they've already been inundated with mail and phone calls about an important decision: choosing Medicare insurance.
That flood of brochures is meant to help you choose the plans that fill in the gaps of Medicare.
That's the first Medicare trap people are vulnerable to falling into, says Steve Vernon, author of "Retirement Game-Changers: Strategies for a Healthy, Financially Secure, and Fulfilling Long Life."
The most common mistake people make when choosing a Medicare plan is thinking that basic Medicare will be enough. It's understandable, because people think Medicare will closely resemble the workplace insurance plan they had when they were working.
"If that was enough, this will be enough," Vernon said.
But Medicare doesn't equate to employment-based health insurance for several reasons. First, most insurance plans have one set of deductibles and copays.
"You only need to pay one premium to obtain comprehensive coverage," Vernon said.
Medicare is much more complicated, Vernon said, and "contains significant gaps that create the first trap for the unwary."