October 6, 2016
Kansas residents with Original Medicare may have the option of alternative means of receiving their Medicare coverage from private insurance companies. Private insurance companies offer a variety of Medicare plans, some of which may be available where you live. Your options will depend on your zip code and county of residence and your personal preferences.
Original Medicare is the “original,” fee-for-service program that provides health insurance to adults 65 years and older and individuals under the age of 65 with disabilities. The program is administered by the federal government and works in the same way for all 50 states, including Kansas.
If you have Original Medicare, you are not restricted to receive care from designated health-care providers, inside or outside the state of Kansas. Your out-of-pocket costs for care are generally, lower, however, if you receive Medicare covered services from a provider who accepts Medicare assignment (that is, a payment agreement with Medicare). Therefore, it’s a good idea to always ask in advance of receiving care, if the provider accepts Medicare assignment.
Typically, you’re eligible for Medicare benefits if you’re either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years and age 65 or older. You may qualify for Medicare before age 65 by disability; in this case, you automatically receive Medicare after 24 months of disability benefits. You may also receive Medicare, regardless of age, if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Original Medicare comes in two parts: Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage). Part A covers most inpatient care and services, including hospital and skilled nursing facility stays, hospice care, and short-term home health care. Part B covers outpatient care, such as doctor visits, preventive screenings, lab tests, and durable medical equipment.
Many Kansans receive Medicare Part A without a premium if they’ve worked at least 10 years (40 quarters) and paid Medicare taxes during that time. Otherwise, they can still sign up and pay a monthly premium for Part A. Most people pay a premium for Part B coverage.
Not everything is covered by Original Medicare. You won’t be covered for:
Some of the above items may be covered through a Medicare Advantage plan offered by a private insurance company approved by Medicare, as discussed later in this article.
Kansas residents, like beneficiaries in other states, can enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B during the following periods:
Medicare-eligible individuals can enroll in Original Medicare through Social Security. You can apply for Medicare at the same time that you apply for retirement benefits, or you can apply for Medicare only. You may submit your Medicare application:
Applicants who worked at a railroad should apply through the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), by calling 1-877-772-5772; TTY users dial 1-312-751-4701. The RRB can be reached Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM.
Kansas beneficiaries have alternative ways to receive their Medicare coverage. Private insurance companies approved by Medicare also offer plans. Some types of Medicare coverage, most notably prescription drug coverage (Part D), are only available through private insurance companies.
Listed below is a brief description of different types of Medicare insurance offered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare in Kansas and nationwide.
Whether you are exploring your options in the selection of a Medicare Advantage plan, a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Supplement plan, remember the availability of Medicare plans in Kansas may vary by county. The plan premiums as well as type of coverage may vary by insurance company, also. Therefore, you may want to compare the costs and coverage of plans available where you live in Kansas. Feel free to enter your zip code in the Plan Finder located on this page if you would like assistance refining your research of Medicare plans available where you live.
Learn more about how Medicare plans work in Kansas, including:
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.