You can find the right Kancare plan from Witchita to Topeka.

There’s no place like home—that is unless you’ve found yourself overwhelmed trying to get answers to your Kansas Medicare questions. Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas have many Medicare options, which is a great thing. But it can also cause a lot of confusion.

If you are currently or will soon be eligible for Medicare in Kansas, also known as “Kancare,” you may have a lot of questions. In this guide, we provide a little extra help by walking you through all the options so you can choose the best plan for your needs.

Save money on Medicare with the Insurify Medicare comparison tool. Discover plans, compare your options and find the Medicare plan that’s right for you. We know your health plan choices can be overwhelming— that’s why we have licensed insurance agents available to provide objective assistance, free of charge. Give us a call at  1-844-965-1378 (TTY 711) Monday-Friday 8am – 8pm ET.

 

 

How Much Does Medicare Cost in Kansas?

The cost of Medicare in Kansas depends on your healthcare needs and the type of plan you enroll in. To help guide you through the decision-making process, let’s take a look at the costs of each part of Medicare.

The Cost of Original Medicare in Kansas

Original Medicare is a Medicare health insurance program made up of two parts: Medicare Parts A and B.

The great thing about Medicare Part A is that most people do not have to pay a monthly premium for coverage. Individuals are eligible for premium-free Part A coverage if they:

  • Are over the age of 65 and are receiving, or eligible for, retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board
  • Are over the age of 65 and have Medicare-covered government employment or a spouse that does
  • Are any age and have received Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or disability benefits for 24 consecutive months
  • Are any age and have ESRD

For those who do not qualify for premium-free Part A, you can expect to pay a monthly premium between $259 and $471 in 2021. The amount depends on how much you and your spouse have paid in Medicare taxes over the years. 

Medicare Part B is a little less straightforward. You pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. To make payment easier, your monthly premiums can be deducted from the benefits you receive from Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or the Office of Personnel Management. Otherwise, you will receive a monthly bill for your Part B premium.

The standard Part B premium cost in 2021 is $148.50. If you earned a modified adjusted gross income of $87,000 or more two years prior to enrolling for Medicare Part B, then you will need to pay an extra charge on top of your premium. This charge is called an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Your IRMAA varies based on your income bracket. This means that Medicare Part B can cost anywhere from $148.50 per month to $491.60 per month, depending on your previous income.

The Cost of Medigap Plans in Kansas

Medicare Supplement plans, or Medigap, offer additional coverage for healthcare services and costs like deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance. Depending on your medical needs, it may be cost-effective to supplement your coverage with a Medigap plan. 

When it comes to the cost of Medigap health coverage in Kansas, there’s no easy answer. Since Medigap plans are not offered through the government and instead are sold through private insurance companies, the cost of Medigap can vary depending on the particular insurance company, your location, gender, age, and other factors.

There are 10 standardized Medigap plan types available, each labeled with a letter from A to N. Across the board, each plan type offers the same types of Medicare benefits. For example, Medigap Plan G offered by one private company will offer the same benefits as Plan G offered by any other company. 

While price is a big deciding factor in choosing which provider you purchase Medigap from, you may also want to consider other key factors, like the quality of their customer service, the ease of use of their website, and whether it’s easy to speak to a representative over the phone. Sometimes, it may be better to spend a little more for a company that offers excellent customer service than to purchase based solely on who can offer the lowest monthly premium.

The Cost of Medicare Advantage in Kansas

Kansas Medicare Advantage plans at a glance:

Medicare Advantage is an alternative health plan to Original Medicare. It’s important to remember that even if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will still need to sign up for Original Medicare during your initial enrollment period in order to qualify.

Seniors may choose Medicare Advantage for the extended coverage benefits, like:

  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Welness programs
  • Prescriptions
  • Emergency care coverage outside the country
  • Transportation to health-related services, like the doctor’s office or pharmacy
  • Adult daycare services

While all Medicare Advantage plans cover what is included in Original Medicare, not all Advantage plans will have the same set of additional benefits. This is why it’s important to shop around and compare plans based on the benefits you need most.

The Cost of Prescription Drug Plans in Kansas

Kansas prescription drug plans at a glance:

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage, a Medicare prescription drug plan, Part D, can help fill that gap. When shopping for a Medicare Part D plan, you will want to check for the plan’s formulary, which is essentially a tiered pricing scale. Part D is broken into four tiers:

  • Tier I generally covers inexpensive generic drugs.
  • Tier II covers expensive generic drugs and inexpensive brands.
  • Tier III covers expensive brand-name drugs.
  • Tier IV covers specialty drugs.

If you have specific medication preferences, it will be important to check if that particular brand is covered under the Part D plan you choose.

Cost of Special Needs Plans in Kansas

Kansas Special Needs Plans at a glance:

Special Needs Plans make Medicare affordable for people with certain illnesses or people with low income. This option makes choosing a health care plan more accessible for those who wouldn’t be able to afford healthcare otherwise.

People who require nursing home care or other types of long-term care can qualify for a Special Needs Plan. Additionally, people with the following medical conditions may qualify:

  • Chronic heart disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney failure (end-stage renal disease)
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal government program that provides health insurance for those aged 65 and over and for people of any age who have certain qualifying disabilities. Run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Medicare program is funded partially by Social Security and Medicare taxes that U.S. citizens pay on their income. Medicare is also funded in part by the federal budget and through premiums that Medicare recipients pay.

Medicare covers your basic healthcare needs, but it doesn’t cover everything. Certain care is always covered, but the extent of what’s covered for you will depend on your Medicare insurance plan(s). Here is a breakdown of the different parts that make up Medicare:

  • Medicare Part A: This is referred to as Original Medicare. Part A covers inpatient care, such as hospital stays, hospice, and skilled nursing facilities. It’s often called your hospital insurance. 
  • Medicare Part B: Part B is the second half of Original Medicare. This covers outpatient care, like doctor’s visits or preventative care. It’s often called your medical insurance. 
  • Medicare Part C: Known as the Medicare Advantage plan, Part C covers everything that both Medicare Part A and Part B covers. Usually, Part C will come with additional benefits like coverage for dental, vision, and hearing.
  • Medicare Part D: Part D is a Medicare prescription drug coverage plan. It’s an optional addition that works with Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part C.

Although these Medicare plans pay a large portion of healthcare expenses, they will likely not cover everything healthcare-related. For example, Medicare will not cover services like acupuncture, hearing aids, or at-home nursing care. Some individuals may find it beneficial to purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance in addition to their plans to help fill the gaps that Medicare doesn’t cover. Since this type of insurance helps pay for gaps in Medicare, it is often referred to as “Medigap.” 

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Kansas?

To be eligible for the federal Medicare program, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. resident for at least five consecutive years. If you meet those conditions, then you may enroll for Medicare in Kansas if you also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are age 65 or older
  • Have been receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or disability benefits for 24 consecutive months or more
  • Have end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease

If you are receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or disability benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65. Otherwise, you will need to go through the enrollment process.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can contact the Medicare Service Center at 1 (800) MEDICARE, or 1 (800) 633-4227. TTY users can call 1 (877) 486-2048.

How Do I Choose Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

The biggest decision you’ll make when choosing a Medicare plan is deciding between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Both plans have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Since each person’s health circumstances are unique, there isn’t a universal right answer between the two. Below, we’ve outlined the major pros and cons you’ll want to consider when choosing between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Plan Type Advantages Disadvantages
Original Medicare
  • Extensive network of providers
  • Large service area across the U.S.
  • Low monthly premiums
  • Many Medigap plan options to help cover costs
  • No caps on out-of-pocket coverage
  • Must purchase add-ons like Medigap, prescription drug coverage, and stand-alone dental, vision, and hearing 
Medicare Advantage
  • Can purchase a comprehensive plan to cover medical, medication, vision, dental, and hearing
  • Many plan options, including types of plans like HMO, PPO, or PFFS (private fee-for-service)
  • A smaller network of providers
  • Small service area restricted to your state or a region within your state
  • Premiums can be more expensive

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How Do I Apply for Original Medicare in Kansas?

You can enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration. You can enroll in one of three ways:

  • Online by logging into your account at SSA.gov
  • Over the phone by calling 1 (800) 772-1213 (TTY users call 1 (800) 325-0778)
  • In-person at your local Social Security office

Most people apply for Original Medicare during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is a seven-month period of time that begins three months before your 65th birthday and lasts for three months after your birthday. 

If you wait until after your IEP, you will need to wait until other enrollment periods during the year. You can apply for an Original Medicare plan during open enrollment from October 15 through December 7. There is also a late enrollment period from January 1 to March 31.

Even though you can still enroll in Original Medicare after your Initial Enrollment Period, it’s in your best interest to act quickly and apply for Medicare while your IEP is still active. When you sign up after your IEP, you will pay a late-enrollment penalty that is added to your monthly premium. For both Part A and Part B, your monthly premium may increase up to 10 percent for each 12-month period you could have had Original Medicare but did not sign up. Also, if you enroll after your Initial Enrollment Period, your Part B coverage may be delayed.

How Do I Apply for Medicare Advantage in Kansas?

To apply for Medicare Advantage in Kansas, you will first need to enroll in Original Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period. Once you have that taken care of, you can choose to switch your coverage to Medicare Advantage during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period from October 15 to December 7.

Remember, you can use the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to review all of your options and find the best Medicare Advantage plan for you.

What’s the Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Kansas?

What works best for one person may not be the best option for another. Since everyone has unique health concerns, lifestyles, and budgets, the best Medicare Advantage plan will be completely dependent on your priorities and preferences.

Take time to create a list of your medical needs and any prescription medications you may take. Your primary care physician may also be able to offer helpful advice since they are familiar with your healthcare needs.

Learn More: Best & Worst Medicare Advantage Plans 

 

 

FAQ: Kansas Medicare

How much will I have to pay for Medicare when I turn 65?

This depends on the Medicare plan type you choose. If you enroll only in Plan A, chances are you will not have to pay any monthly premiums. However, Plan A coverage by itself does not cover everything, so it is recommended to apply for both Plan A and Plan B (preferably with supplement coverage) or Medicare Advantage. Your monthly premium will vary depending on the combination of plans you choose. 

Do you automatically get Medicare when you turn 65?

It depends. If you are receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or disability benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65. If you are not receiving any of these benefits, you will need to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period, which begins three months before your 65th birthday and lasts for three months after. If you are approaching your 65th birthday and are unsure, you can always call a Medicare representative at 1 (800) MEDICARE to verify. 

Who is eligible for Medicaid in Kansas?

U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents of five years or more are eligible for Medicare in Kansas when they turn 65. Other qualifying factors for eligibility include those who are receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or disability benefits for 24 consecutive months or more, those who have end-stage renal disease, or those who have Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Are there any Kansas Medicare Resources I can take advantage of?

Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) is a free program run by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, and it offers Kansas citizens free Medicare counseling. In this program, anyone can speak with a trained community volunteer who will answer all questions about Medicare. All volunteers receive training on Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, long-term care, and other health insurance plans and subjects. To provide unbiased advice, counselors are not affiliated with any insurance company. 

Conclusion: Compare Kansas Medicare Plans Before You Buy

Medicare can be tricky to navigate. With the numerous plans available on the market, it may seem impossible to narrow down the best healthcare option for you. It all starts with understanding what each Medicare plan type has to offer. From there, you should ask yourself questions like:

  • What can I realistically budget for my monthly Medicare premium?
  • What is the maximum deductible I would be willing to pay for each insurance term?
  • Are there any doctors I want to keep that need to be within the plan’s network list?
  • Are there any services or prescription medications that I know I’ll need covered?

The answers to these questions will help guide you when comparing Medicare plans. For example, if you take prescription medications and know that you want that expense covered, you should consider enrolling for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage in addition to Original Medicare.

Remember, the Insurify Medicare comparison tool can make shopping and comparing Medicare plans in your area easier. Simply enter your ZIP code to find a variety of options available to you.

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Updated May 11, 2021

Emily Vasquez is a content marketing writer based in Tampa, Florida. A graduate from the University of South Florida, Emily has worked as a copywriter, communications lead, and content strategist for high-growth start-ups and global brands and retailers. You can learn more at www.emvwrites.com