Introduction to Medicare Advantage in Kansas (Part C)

Have you ever heard of Medicare supplement insurance? It’s a special type of insurance policy designed to protect seniors living on a fixed income from the potentially disastrous medical expenses. Sadly, Medicare Parts A and B doesn’t cover everything when it comes to doctor and hospital services. One particular policy which is designed to protect seniors from these gaps in coverage is called Medicare Part C (or “Medicare Advantage” for short).

Federal Regulations for Medicare Advantage

Unlike most Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare Advantage is a fully comprehensive policy which replaces your Traditional Medicare benefits with coverage from a private company. But don’t worry – the government closely regulates these policies to make sure you don’t get sold any less coverage than you deserve. Most plans include the same exact coverage as Medicare Parts A & B, as well as benefits for their coverage gaps. Some plans, called MAPD plans, also incorporate Part D prescription drug benefits.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment In Kansas

Medicare Advantage isn’t the most popular choice in Kansas. Only 13% of seniors are currently trusting their health to a Medicare Part C plan. Of those, the most popular type of Advantage plan seems to be an HMO plan, as indicated by the chart below.

Plan Type Enrollment Percentage
HMO Plans 59%
Local PPO Plans 13%
Special Needs Plans 11%
Regional PPO Plans 9%
Private Fee-For-Service Plans 5%
Other (Cost Plans, MSA’s, etc.) 3%

Plan Coverage & Cost

There are dozens of factors which can raise or lower your monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan. Enrolling in Medicare late (after the age of 65) might raise your costs, but a non-smoker will naturally get a lower rate than a smoker. The chart below displays estimated quotes of what seniors like you might be paying in your area; your exact rates will vary.

Most Popular Medicare Advantage Plans in Kansas

One unique characteristic about Medicare Advantage plans is that they give their members access to medical care based on a provider network (other supplements are much less restrictive). The provider network you choose will depend on how much you want to pay, versus your need for medical care. HMOs, for example, are relatively inexpensive, but the network is extremely limited. There are other networks which give you greater choice for doctors and hospitals, but they usually charge a higher monthly rate.

Helpful Medicare Advantage Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

For some seniors, you may be required to switch doctors or hospitals in order to receive care within your provider network. HMO networks are more restrictive with fewer options, while PPO and PFFS networks are more inclusive. Additionally, your provider has the ability to change who is and is not included within your provider network at any time. So be prepared to deal with these unexpected changes before you officially sign up for a policy.

Doctor/Providers List

Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage

One positive benefit of Medicare Advantage, despite its drawbacks, is simplicity. You can purchase all different types of ancillary coverage options – including dental care and/or Prescription drug benefits – under one solitary policy. This makes managing your healthcare easier than juggling multiple insurance policies. However, keep in mind that the more you add to your policy, the more expensive it will be on a monthly basis.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

Applying for a Medicare Advantage plan is fairly straightforward for seniors 65 years of age who are within their Initial Enrollment Period. However, if you are outside of that window, you may have to provide more information about your health status. You are also more likely to be rejected for pre-existing conditions, such as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Your state department of insurance will have more information regarding how to qualify for coverage with a pre-existing condition. You can also visit our Medicare Advantage Enrollment Page to learn more.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: For best results, try to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan within your first 6 months of Medicare enrollment.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You have the option of changing or cancelling your Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plan between October 15th and December 7th every year.
  • Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you lose your employer plan coverage, move out of your coverage area, or lose coverage from your provider, you could qualify for an SEP.

What Medicare Advantage Plan Is Best For Me?

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