Making the best decisions about your health is always a priority. Yet, as you near retirement, you may be concerned about how you can maintain the best possible health coverage while on a fixed income. Medicare is a federal health program available to eligible individuals in the United States. We’ll go into greater detail on Medicare eligibility requirements in this article and answer frequently asked questions about Medicare in Kansas.
Like all other states in the U.S., Kansas has a Medicare program. There are over four million Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas, including:
There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to enroll in Medicare in Kansas. If you're an American citizen or you're a permanent legal resident living in the US for five years or more, you can qualify for Medicare coverage if one or more of the following situations apply to you:
There are a few different ways to sign up for Medicare in Kansas. Some people are automatically enrolled upon turning 65. However, you might have to take certain steps to enroll. How you sign up for Medicare in Kansas depends on your unique situation.
If you're receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement, or disability benefits, you'll be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) three months before you turn 65 or your 24th month of disability. You'll be notified of your enrollment and have the opportunity to opt-out of Part B if you choose. Since Part B requires a monthly premium, some people who are eligible choose to opt-out because they already have health coverage under another plan.
Apply for Medicare
If you don't qualify for automatic Medicare enrollment in Kansas, you'll need to take steps to apply. The best time to apply is during your initial enrollment period which begins three months before your birthday month and ends three months after the month of your birthday. There is also an annual enrollment period and [special enrollment periods]. Learn more about Medicare enrollment in this guide.
There are a few different ways you can apply:
If you chose to delay Part B enrollment, there are certain steps you need to take for successful enrollment. Most commonly, beneficiaries delay Part B enrollment because they have healthcare coverage from another source. You can enroll in Medicare Part B without a penalty during a special enrollment period which occurs any month in which you are still covered under your current enrollment; or the eight-month period beginning with either the date your employment ends or the date your group health plan ends, whichever comes first.
The cost of Medicare in Kansas ranges from one person to the next, depending on several factors. Your age, your zip code, the plans you choose, your work history, and your income can affect your Medicare premiums. The cost of copays and deductibles depends largely on your plan choices.
Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) requires no monthly premium if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for 10 years while working. However, certain copays and deductibles apply when you use Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part B (medical services) requires you to pay a standard monthly premium. Part B doesn't pay 100% for most services. You will be required to pay an annual deductible and a copay each time you visit the doctor. The exception is preventive care, in which most services are 100% covered.
Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, bundles the benefits from Part A, Part B, and sometimes Part D into a single policy. These policies have several different costs, including your Part B monthly premium, an additional monthly premium for your Medicare Advantage plan, annual deductible, and copays, but there are some premium-free plans available in some areas. These policies have certain advantages, like a cap on out-of-pocket costs and prescription coverage bundled into some plans.
Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage, provides coverage for medications since they're typically not covered by Original Medicare. Costs associated with Medicare Part D may include a monthly premium, annual deductible, and copays, depending on your chosen plan. Most Part D plans also require you to pay a deductible. When you have a Medicare Part D plan, you pay full cost for your prescriptions until you meet your deductible. After your deductible is met, you are required to pay different copays based on whether you're in the initial coverage stage, coverage gap stage, or catastrophic coverage stage. Learn more about the stages of Medicare Part D in this guide.
If you can't afford your Medicare premiums, you may qualify for a Medicare Savings Program. You can apply for KanCare online, or call 1-800-792-4884 to apply by phone.
Medicare Advantage is a Medicare alternative for Medicare Part A and Part B and is available in all 50 states, including Kansas. If you are eligible for Original Medicare, you are eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas.
Medicare Advantage plans have added benefits. Some plans include coverage for dental, vision, and prescription costs. Some Medicare Advantage plans include discounts for gyms and health clubs to help you maintain your best health. Medicare Advantage plans also include a cap on maximum out-of-pocket costs.
Maintaining your best health means visiting your doctors regularly and taking certain preventive measures. Having the best health care coverage can help you meet these goals. Learning about Medicare options can be confusing, but we’re here to help. Compare Medicare plans on our website or contact us to speak with a licensed insurance agent.