Medicare in Kansas
- Medicare in Kansas can help you cover the cost of medical expenses during retirement. Find out who is eligible and what plans are available.
What Kansas Medicare Plans Are Available?
Kansas residents have access to Medicare Part A, Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and optional Medicare Supplement coverage. The government provides a majority of the costs for coverage, but not all, so your expenses may vary depending on the coverage you receive and other factors. Reviewing your plans and knowing what you are required to pay will help you make more informed decisions and plan accordingly. The plans that are available in Kansas are the following.
- Medicare Part A: Many people refer to this as Original Medicare, and it covers the cost of inpatient care. Through Part A, you will be covered for emergency care, extended hospital visits, home health care, nursing home care and hospice care.
- Medicare Part B: This is the second part of Original Medicare and covers things like routine doctor visits, diagnostic testing, physical examinations, medical devices, medical transportation and your medical supplies.
- Medicare Advantage: A Medicare Advantage plan lets you choose your insurer and have more control over your coverage options. The law strictly requires these plans to offer everything that you would receive under Medicare Parts A and B but lets you seek additional coverage for things such as dental, vision or a prescription drug plan. Each Medicare Advantage plan is different, so make sure you review your coverage to understand what is covered and what is not.
- Medicare Part D: This is the government’s prescription drug plan. You are eligible to enroll in Part D even if you have selected a Medicare Advantage plan. Not all Advantage plans offer coverage for your prescription medications, so many people will enroll in Part D even though they have opted for Medicare Advantage.
- Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans: Medicare only covers a portion of your medical expenses. This copayment varies with Medicare Advantage plans, but with traditional Medicare, you are required to meet a deductible and then 20% of the cost of your medical care afterward. A Medigap plan helps you by covering that which you must pay out of pocket and is an excellent way for people to further reduce their expenses.
Most people prefer the original Medicare over Medicare Advantage in Kansas. In 2020, around 433,000 residents enrolled in Medicare Part A and B while only 109,000 chose a Medicare Advantage plan. What you choose for yourself should be based on whether traditional Medicare will offer complete coverage for your needs. If you are concerned about needing to cover copays, a Medicare Supplement plan will provide you more peace of mind and security.
Who Is Eligible for Kansas Medicare?
Everyone who is 65 years of age or older is eligible to receive Medicare, but your specific circumstances may affect the process through which you enroll for coverage. If you have been receiving Social Security benefits already for the four months before your birth date, you will be enrolled automatically in Medicare Part A and B. However, if you have not contributed to Social Security for at least 10 years during your life or have not yet begun to draw your benefits, you will need to sign up manually.
Medicare Part A costs nothing as long as you contributed to Social Security over your lifetime, but it is still available for a monthly premium to those who failed to meet this requirement. Part B may cost you up to $150 a month, and this could rise and fall over time. Part B premiums are deducted from your retirement benefits so you don’t need to worry about paying a monthly bill.
You can choose to receive coverage privately with a Medicare Advantage plan, and a portion of your monthly premium will be offset by the value of your traditional benefit. This will reduce your monthly premium, but what you will pay will depend on the specific Medicare Advantage plan that you enroll in. Some people have found Advantage plans that cost very little, but it will depend on whether you are receiving upgraded coverage for additional services. Medicare Part D is not free, and you will be able to select a coverage option that suits the level of prescription coverage you seek.
If you do not sign up for Medicare or are not automatically enrolled, you may be penalized for not signing up within your initial enrollment period. This period begins three months before you turn 65 and lasts another three months. Failing to enroll may increase your monthly premiums for the rest of your life, so there is an incentive to enrolling during this time. Should you miss your initial enrollment period, you will be able to enroll during a general enrollment period each year that begins on January 1 and runs until March 31.
If you could not enroll for Medicare due to having or caring for someone with a disability, serving or volunteering overseas or remaining on a work health plan, you can avoid penalties by waiting to enroll during a special enrollment period. Medicare will then provide the same coverage without increased rates as if you met your initial enrollment period.
Medicare Supplement plans are offered through private insurers, so your expenses will be determined by the terms of your plan. If you enroll in a Medigap plan within six months of turning 65, you have special protections under the law. Insurers may not deny you coverage due to your age or medical history, and your rates may not be inflated so long as you enroll during this window.
How Do I Enroll for Medicare in Kansas?
To check to see whether you will be enrolled automatically or to change your plan, visit Medicare.gov and follow the instructions. You do not need to mail in any paperwork, and you can sign up online. Since Medicare does not facilitate Medigap policies, you will need to work with the insurer you choose for enrollment.
Contact Information for Kansas Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance Help
For more information on Medicare and how to receive financial aid or help enrolling in an insurance plan, please refer to the following resources.