Seniors are losing out on Medicare savings during open enrollment, data shows

The Medicare and Medicare Advantage open enrollment period ends on Dec. 7, but many seniors haven’t reviewed their health coverage. Even fewer decided to actually change plans, according to a new survey. (iStock)

Medicare open enrollment gives eligible Americans the chance to review their health insurance coverage options. Shopping around on the Medicare.gov marketplace can potentially help seniors save on their monthly premiums or elect a health plan with lower out-of-pocket costs.

But as the enrollment window ends on Dec. 7, many Medicare beneficiaries aren't reviewing their coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period. Even fewer are actually changing their plans, according to MedicareGuide. A new survey of more than 2,000 Americans 65 and older found that:

  • Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) didn’t change their Medicare plan
  • Three-quarters (67%) couldn’t find a better new plan
  • Just 11% switched from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan

Even for those who did search for a cheaper insurance plan, rising monthly premiums proved to be prohibitive. Most (85%) who found a more cost-effective plan will save less than $50 annually when the changes take effect the following year.

With the rising price tag of Medicare health plan options, seniors may be looking for other ways to cut costs. Keep reading to learn more about saving money in today's low-interest-rate environment through mortgage refinancing and debt consolidation. 

Browse interest rates for a variety of financial products in the table below, and visit Credible to compare offers tailored to you without impacting your credit score. 

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3 other ways seniors can start saving money now

Searching for a cheaper Medicare plan during the annual election period isn't the only way seniors can make room in their budget. Since interest rates are historically low on several financial products, it may be possible to cut costs another way. Consider these options:

Read more about each money-saving tip in the sections below.

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1. Refinance your mortgage

Although mortgage rates have ticked up slightly over the past few months, they're still holding steady near bargain lows. This gives homeowners the opportunity for significant savings on their monthly mortgage payments when they refinance to a lower rate.

Mortgage refinancing can help you reduce your monthly payments by $300 or more, pay off your mortgage faster and save money on interest over time. But the time to lock in a historically low mortgage rate is running out, experts warn. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that the average rate on a 30-year mortgage will rise from 3.1% in 2021 to 4.0% in 2022.

If you haven't yet refinanced your mortgage, there's still time to do so before rates inevitably rise. Visit Credible to compare mortgage refinancing offers for free so you can start saving money now.

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2. Consolidate credit card debt

Credit card interest rates are at all-time highs, according to the Federal Reserve, which means that carrying revolving credit card debt is now more expensive than ever before. If you're struggling to repay your credit card balances, consider consolidating that debt into a personal loan.

Personal loans are fixed-rate loans that are commonly used to consolidate credit card debt. Plus, as credit card rates rise, average personal loan rates have dipped to near record lows, the Fed reported.

Since they offer lower rates than credit cards, borrowers can potentially reduce their monthly payments and save money on interest charges over time. A recent analysis by Credible found that well-qualified borrowers can potentially save nearly $2,400 by consolidating credit card debt with a personal loan.

You can compare interest rates on debt consolidation loans on Credible's online marketplace. Then, use a personal loan calculator to estimate your potential savings. 

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3. Compare other insurance quotes

Health insurance premiums aren't the only insurance costs that many consumers work into their monthly budget. You should also consider your auto, homeowners and life insurance policies to see if you have the potential to cut costs.

Comparing quotes across multiple insurance companies can ensure you're getting a good rate for the coverage you need. That's because insurance rates vary from company to company, and some insurers offer discounts that you don't currently qualify for under your current plan. 

Shopping around for cheaper insurance has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars per year. Visit Credible to compare quotes and coverage options for auto insurance, home insurance and life insurance.

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