Don't phone in your Medicare enrollment this fall. Here are a few recommendations to follow, according to Shea.
• Don't assume last year's plan is still right for you. Premiums go up, and the terms of your coverage can change. Review your plan during open enrollment.
• Check your mail. Around September, enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans receive an annual notice of change document that will provide a walkthrough of coverage updates. Take the time to read it, and call your insurer to clarify anything hard to understand.
• Talk to your doctor. If you're skipping medical treatment due to cost, explain your situation to your physician. He or she may be able to point you toward less expensive treatment options, as well as community resources to help you deal with the expense.
Avoiding medical attention now can lead to mounting problems — and bills — down the road.
"One of the worst things is to be penny-wise and pound-foolish, ending up in the hospital with a $5,000 out-of-pocket bill," said Shea.
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