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Medicare Advantage in Kansas

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) is optional private insurance available to Medicare beneficiaries, and it lets you get your health benefits through a private health plan rather than directly through Medicare. Availability of Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas (as in any state), may vary depending on your zip code.

How Medicare Advantage works in Kansas

If you get a Medicare Advantage in Kansas, as in any state, you’ll receive your Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) benefits through a private plan that contracts with Medicare. The government requires Medicare Part C to cover at least the same medical and hospitalization benefits as Original Medicare, with some Medicare Advantage plans also offering extra benefits, like vision services and prescription drug coverage.

If you decide to join Medicare Advantage, you must first enroll in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. You also need to live in the plan’s service area, and in most cases you can’t have end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

You can sign up Medicare Part C during your Initial Coverage Election Period.

  • Your Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP) is when you’re first eligible to enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s the seven-month period starting three months before the month where you turn 65, including your birth month, and running three months after that month.
  • Your ICEP is different if you delay enrollment in Medicare Part B (for example, if you’re covered through an employer’s health plan). In this case, your ICEP is the three-month period before your Part B start date. For example, if you enrolled in Part B during the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31), your Part B start date would be July 1, so your ICEP would be April 1through June 30.

You can also join a Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas (as in the other states) or switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7. Your new coverage goes into effect on January 1 of the following year.

Under certain circumstances, you may qualify for a Special Election Period, when you can join or switch Medicare Advantage plans. Those situations include, but aren’t limited to: moving to a new address where your old plan isn’t available, losing your current coverage, or experiencing changes in your current plan that affects your health benefits. Special Election Periods vary according to the reason you need to change plans.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas but want to switch back to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, you can do this during the annual Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to February 14. You can buy a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan during that period as well.

Types of Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas

There are various kinds of Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas, as in the rest of the United States. Here’s a look at the main types of plans:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): Usually requires you to visit doctors, health-care providers, and hospitals included in your plan’s network, and you may also need a referral from your primary doctor to receive coverage for a number of health services.
  • HMO Point-of-Service: Sometimes a more flexible option which lets you go out-of-network for some health services, but generally at a higher cost.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): Generally lets you choose doctors, health-care providers, and hospitals outside of your plan’s network, but typically at a higher cost.
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS): Decides how much it will pay for your doctor, health-care provider, and hospital visits (instead of Medicare making this decision). This type of plan also determines your share of each expense.
  • Medical Savings Account (MSA): Combines a high deductible with a savings account, letting you use the savings account to pay for your health care expenses.
  • Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP): Limits enrollment to people with particular health needs and offers coverage tailored to suit those specific needs. There are Medicare SNPs for diabetes patients, for example; other conditions include, but aren’t limited to, beneficiaries with congestive heart failure, those living with HIV/AIDS, and those in nursing homes.

Most Medicare Part C plans, including the majority of those listed above, include prescription drug coverage. Known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans , they combine health and prescription drug coverage into a single insurance plan.

If you decide to join a Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas, or in any state, remember that you may have to continue paying your Medicare Part B premium in order to retain your health coverage.

Comparing Medicare Advantage plans available in Kansas

As a Medicare beneficiary in Kansas, you may find it useful to compare all the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.

The availability and cost of Medicare Advantage plans can vary depending on your county of residence, the insurance company selling the plan, and plan details. You may find that some Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas offer premiums as low as $0, but other plan costs to compare include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits beyond what is included in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, so you’ll want to think about which coverage options are important to you, plus whether or not you want prescription drug coverage with your Medicare Advantage policy. With all these options available in Kansas, you can see why it’s important to review and compare each plan to try to find one with benefits and costs suited to your individual health and budget needs.

To start comparing Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas today, enter your zip code above for a customized list of plans available in your area. You can also enter your prescription drug needs to further refine your search and cost estimates.

For more information about Medicare in Kansas, you can follow these links:

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

To learn about Medicare plans you may be eligible for, you can: