There are more than 533,000 beneficiaries that have Medicare in Kansas. This includes Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Part D plans. Your health is unique, and the benefits that you value will differ from your neighbor. Do you know which type Kansas Medicare plan is right for you?
Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage). Part A covers hospital stays, nursing homes, hospice, and home health services. Part B covers ambulance travel, medical equipment, mental health, partial hospitalization, lab tests, and X-rays. Once you are enrolled in parts A and B, you can start to explore other types of plans that offer additional benefits (like health and financial benefits, or prescription drug coverage).
There are four types of Medicare plans in Kansas. Original Medicare is the same no matter which state you live in and is regulated by the federal government. Beyond parts A and B, plan options include a stand-alone Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare Supplement or Part D plan that works alongside your Original Medicare coverage. These can be purchased through private insurance companies.
Roughly 83,000 beneficiaries are utilizing Medicare Advantage (MA) in Kansas with 17 plans available throughout the state that offer additional benefits that Original Medicare does not. Some of the most popular benefits include vision, dental, hearing, over-the-counter drugs, non-emergency transportation, and group fitness classes (like SilverSneakers and Silver & Fit). MA plans are sold through private insurance companies and can be bought through a licensed agent. To get started, click here or call 833-438-3676.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans can be purchased to work alongside Original Medicare. They provide financial protection through a range of benefits. These benefits include:
There are ten different types of Medigap plans that you can choose from, and each plan offers a different combination of benefits. Generally, the more benefits a plan has, the higher the monthly premium will be. You must be enrolled in parts A and B before enrolling in a Medigap plan, and it’s important to understand that they do not replace Original Medicare. One of our licensed agents can show you plans in your area and help you enroll. Click here or call 833-438-3676.
Part D plans can be purchased alongside Original Medicare to provide prescription drug coverage. If you purchase a Part D plan, you'll need to meet your deductible first ($415 in 2019). Once your coverage starts, you will be responsible for a copay for each prescription drug you purchase. This will continue until you reach your spending limit of $3,820. After this point, you’re considered to be in the “donut hole” (but don’t worry, the donut hole is going away in 2020). While you’re in the donut hole, you will be responsible for 37% of generic drugs costs and 25% of brand-name drug costs. This will continue until you reach catastrophic coverage (after $5,100 in spending) and you will only pay 5% of your drug costs for the remaining part of the year.
The cost of Medicare in Kansas will vary depending on which type of plan you select. The Part A premium is based on how many quarters you have worked and paid Medicare taxes. If you have worked for 40 or more quarters, you will not have to pay a monthly premium. If you have worked 30-39 quarters, you will have to pay $240 per month in 2019. For any amount worked less than 30 quarters, you will have to pay $437 per month in 2019. The Part B premium is based on your income, but most beneficiaries will pay $135.50 per month. If you choose to enroll in an additional plan (Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Part D), your costs will vary based on the carrier, location, and benefits.
Medicare eligibility is the same regardless of which state you live in. Most people don’t qualify until they turn 65. However, if you have ESRD (end-stand renal disease) or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), you can qualify for Medicare before your 65th birthday. You’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare if you have been receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) for at least 24 months. To qualify for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, or Part D, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare first.
It is possible to have both Medicaid and Medicare. In fact, there are more than 73,000 people enrolled in both programs throughout Kansas. If you qualify for Medicaid and Medicare, you may also be eligible for a Dual Special Needs Plan (DSNP). DSNPs provide extra benefits, lower costs, and a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). SEPs allow you to make changes to your plan regardless of the time of year.
If you qualify for a DSNP, you may be eligible for other cost-saving programs. Medicare’s prescription drug program, Extra Help, can help you save more than $4,000 per year on prescription drug costs. Other Medicare Saving Programs can help provide coverage for other Medicare-related costs like premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Several programs throughout Kansas are designed to help older adults, disabled individuals, and families maintain health, independence, and comfort. These programs include:
Home Services: The Home Services Program helps with bathing, shaving, dressing, cooking, eating, laundry, and other in-home tasks.
Legal Assistance: The Legal Assistance Program provides legal consultation, representation, education, and assistance on housing, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, powers-of-attorney, living wills, and consumer advocacy issues.
Nutrition: The Nutrition Program provides hot meals at neighborhood centers and delivers hot lunches to homebound older adults.
Caregiver Support: The Caregiver Support Program empowers and supports caregivers through counseling, support services, and respite care. The program also helps caregivers determine which type of services their loved ones need the most.
Care Management: The Private Care Management Program helps people over the age of 60 live independently through needs assessments, personalized planning, and coordinating in-home services.
You can sign up for Original Medicare through your Social Security office. Visit their website (www.socialsecurity.gov), give them a call (1-800-772-1213), or visit your local office. Once you are enrolled in parts A and B, you can schedule an appointment with a licensed agent to start exploring Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Part D plans. Click here or call 833-438-3676.
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