Medicare in Kansas
This article was updated on: 09/16/2018
As a Medicare beneficiary in Kansas, as in other states, you have choices about how to receive your Medicare benefits. You can get them through the federal arm of the program, called Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), and optionally add supplemental Medicare insurance; or you can get all your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan.
Types of Medicare coverage in Kansas
Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, includes inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn’t the only care you need), home health, and hospice care through Medicare Part A and medical services (such as doctor visits and preventive services) under Medicare Part B. This is the coverage you typically get automatically when you turn 65 (if you’re already receiving retirement benefits) or receive disability benefits for 24 consecutive months (when you qualify for Medicare).
Medicare Advantage plans, or Medicare Part C, are a type of Medicare insurance offered through private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. A Medicare Advantage plan gives you another way to receive your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits, and many plans include other benefits as well (for example, some plans may include routine vision and dental services, or wellness programs). Not every Medicare Advantage plan may be available in each county in Kansas.
Most Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for prescription medications. These plans are known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans.
Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage. You can get this coverage through stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans that are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. This coverage works alongside Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B. You can also, as mentioned, get this coverage wrapped into your Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap, gives Kansas residents who are enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, an option to cover additional health-care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. This extra coverage might include deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and foreign travel emergency health coverage, depending on the Medigap policy.
Local resources for Medicare in Kansas
- Medicare Savings Programs: These savings programs can provide financial assistance to Medicare beneficiaries with limited income. For more information, see Medicare.gov.
- Kansas State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) is a complimentary program for Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas. You can consult with trained volunteers and get answers to your Medicare questions.
How to apply for Medicare in Kansas
The process of applying for Medicare in Kansas is the same as in any other state. To qualify for Medicare, you must be either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. If you’ve worked at least 10 years (40 quarters) while paying Medicare taxes, Medicare automatically enrolls you once you reach age 65 if you’re already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Disabled residents can get Medicare before age 65 if they’ve received Social Security disability benefits, or certain disability benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board, for 24 consecutive months. You may also qualify for automatic enrollment if you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). If you receive Medicare because of ALS, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the first month of disability benefits.
If you qualify for Medicare but you’re not automatically enrolled, you can sign up through the Social Security office in person, online, or by phone. We encourage you to sign up as soon as you’re eligible to avoid late enrollment penalties.
- Visit the Social Security website.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 7AM to 7PM.
- Apply in person at a Social Security office.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users call 312-751-4701), Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM.
Do you need more information about what Medicare options you have as a Kansas resident? I can fill you in with more details and work with you to find a plan that may meet your needs.
- You can learn more about me by clicking the “View profile” link under my photo.
- Using the links below, you can set up a phone appointment with me, or have me send you more information by email.
- You can explore Medicare plan options in your area by clicking on the Compare Plans button at right.