Medicare in Kentucky
This article was updated on: 09/16/2018
Medicare beneficiaries in Kentucky may choose from several Medicare coverage options, ranging from the federally run Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, to private insurance companies contracted with Medicare that offer Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement insurance plans.
Not every Medicare plan offered in Kentucky will be available in each county.
Types of Medicare coverage available in Kentucky
- Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, refers to federal Medicare coverage. Medicare Part A covers 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, and Medicare Part B provides beneficiaries with coverage for doctor services, some preventive care, and durable medical equipment. Medicare Part A and Part B are available to eligible Medicare beneficiaries in any state in the United States.
- Medicare Advantage plans, Part C, are Medicare insurance offered by private Medicare-approved insurance companies. These plans must offer everything that’s covered under Original Medicare, Part A and Part B (except for hospice care), and some might include additional benefits, such as routine vision and dental services, or prescription drugs. When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may want to explore all available options so you can find the one that works best with your needs.
- Medicare Part D is optional Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you have Original Medicare, you can get this coverage through a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, which offers stand-alone prescription drug coverage for beneficiaries with Medicare Part A and/or Part B and is offered by private Medicare-approved insurance companies. Costs and coverage details may vary. You can also get Medicare Part D coverage wrapped into a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.
- Medicare Supplement insurance plans, like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, are sold by private insurance companies, filling in coverage “gaps” left by Original Medicare. Medicare Supplement, also called Medigap, insurance features up to 10 standardized plans in most states, each with a letter designation (Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N). Benefits of each lettered plan are the same no matter where the plan is purchased (for example, Plan M that you buy in Maine has the same coverage as Plan M that you buy in West Virginia), and not every Medigap insurance company will offer all 10 plans.
Local resources for Medicare in Kentucky
- Medicare Savings Programs in Kentucky: For beneficiaries with limited income, Kentucky Medicare Savings Programs may offer financial assistance by paying for some of your health-care expenses. These savings programs may potentially help with out-of-pocket costs, such as Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles, and copayments.
- Kentucky State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): The Kentucky State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides free information and assistance to seniors and disabled beneficiaries. This program seeks to educate Medicare beneficiaries so that they can make informed decisions about their care.
How to apply for Medicare in Kentucky
To apply for Medicare in Kentucky, you must be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. You’re generally eligible when you are 65 or older, but you may qualify under 65 through disability or having certain conditions. You will be enrolled automatically if:
- You are under 65 and receive Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits. You’ll be automatically enrolled on the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday falls on the first day of the month, you’ll be automatically enrolled on the first day of the month prior to your 65th birthday.
- You are under 65 and receive disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board for two years. You’ll be automatically enrolled in the 25th month of receiving disability benefits.
- You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). You’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare in the first month disability benefits begin.
If you need to apply for Medicare manually, you may do so in person by visiting your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. You may also apply via Social Security, either online or over the phone.
- 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.
- 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.
When looking to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, or a Medigap policy, you may apply by contacting the plan directly or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY users call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also find Medicare plan options through a private insurance broker, such as eHealth.
Can I answer some questions for you about Medicare options in Kentucky? You can check out my profile by clicking on the “View profile” link below. If you’d like to arrange a telephone call with me or request some information about Medicare plans, just follow the links below. If you’d prefer to take a look at some plan options at your own convenience, just click on the Compare Plans button off to the right.