If you’re looking for nice senior-to-hospital ratio in your hometown, then Topeka, Kansas, is a great place to live. With only about 20,000 seniors and 10 hospitals, the availability of care is much higher than in many larger cities in the country. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the healthcare provided at those hospitals will be affordable. Medicare coverage gaps can still prevent you from getting the treatment that you both need and deserve. By having to pay thousands of dollars each year in out-of-pocket expenses, you risk losing your financial and personal independence. Fortunately, there are two possible ways of avoiding Medicare coverage gaps. Either you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or you enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.

Facts and Figures

  • There are 20,522 seniors living in Topeka right now.
  • There are 10 hospitals in the Topeka area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care.
  • 15% of Kansas seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 46% of Kansas seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
  • Which leaves 39% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!

Just about two out of every five seniors in Topeka lack a reliable form of health insurance that enables them to receive the care that they require. Unfortunately, if you are one of those thousands of seniors, your problems are only going to worsen with time. To explain this, healthcare professionals refer specifically to a phenomenon known as “age-related illnesses.” Age-related illnesses are diseases that increase in prevalence among older people. That means that, as you age, your risk of developing new illnesses increases. On top of that, the risk of any and all of your current age-related symptoms can worsen in both frequency and severity, providing for a significantly worsened quality of life. The chart below demonstrates just how prevalent a few of the most common age-related illnesses are in the Topeka area.

Disease Prevalence in Topeka, KS
Arthritis 26%
High Blood Pressure 35%
Coronary Heart Disease 7%
Diabetes 11%
Kidney Disease 3%

Healthcare Costs in Topeka, KS

As you develop new or worsening symptoms, you can expect your healthcare costs to increase. In order to treat your new or worsening symptoms, you will have to undergo new or more invasive treatment options, increasing the amount that you have to pay in annual out-of-pocket costs as a result of the Medicare coverage gaps. Even if your symptoms stay the same, you could end up paying more for treatment with each passing year because of the fact that medical costs are rising across the board. Since seniors are now living longer lives than ever before, there is more time in your life for those costs to increase. Over these prolonged periods of time, the out-of-pocket costs of the Medicare coverage gaps will really begin to add up. The chart below shows estimates for the annual costs of treatment of the five aforementioned age-related illnesses.

Disease Prevalence in Topeka, KS Annual Cost of Treatment
Arthritis 26% $291
High Blood Pressure 35% $354
Coronary Heart Disease 7% $9,187
Diabetes 11% $2,173
Kidney Disease 3% $8,569

Medicare Advantage Savings in Topeka, KS

Only about 3,000 seniors in Topeka have enrolled into a Medicare Advantage plan, but more are enrolling with each passing day. The point of a Medicare Advantage plan is to use private coverage options to replace Original Medicare when Original Medicare is no longer working for you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be losing benefits. Not only does the government require that all Medicare Advantage plans provide the same minimum benefits as Original Medicare but many providers of Medicare Advantage plans also offer the option to add additional coverage options at an additional cost. Since the government covers most or all of your Medicare Advantage premiums, it is possible to enjoy a significantly expanded suite of coverage options without paying so much as a penny in premiums.

If you are suffering from age-related arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure, for example, the savings from a Medicare Advantage plan can become quite incredible in the five- and ten-year periods (as the chart below demonstrates). That is because Medicare Advantage plan providers provide the option to add additional prescription drug coverage and minor medical equipment coverage to your plan. That means that things like glucose monitors and testing strips could be entirely covered by your insurance. With the comprehensive nature of the prescription drug coverage options as well, you can save thousands of dollars each year. When Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage simply doesn’t cut it, many seniors in these circumstances will turn to Medicare Advantage.

On top of the above savings, you can stand to save even more money each year through the addition of dental and vision care coverage. Neither Original Medicare nor Medicare Supplement Insurance provide anywhere near the level of benefits that Medicare Advantage providers provide. The reason for that is that neither Original Medicare nor Medicare Supplement Insurance are capable of adding those benefits directly to your coverage options. However, through a Medicare Advantage plan, adding both vision and dental care coverage directly to your array of coverage benefits becomes as easy as enrolling in a plan. The chart below should help you narrow down your top few choices.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Topeka, KS

Medicare Supplement Insurance is also commonly referred to as Medigap insurance. Whereas Medicare Advantage plans entirely replace your existing Original Medicare plans, Medigap plans simply supplement them, making it possible to enjoy your Original Medicare coverage benefits without having to worry about paying the coverage gaps. A good way of looking at Medicare Supplement Insurance is to think of it as an insurance plan for your coverage gaps. Every single one of the ten plans for Medicare Supplement Insurance provides hefty benefits to help cover the coverage gaps of Medicare Part A, which can be exceptionally expensive for seniors suffering from age-related kidney and/or heart disease.

The first few plans in the Medigap arsenal are Medicare Supplement plans A, D, K, and L. Each of these plans provides its own benefits and comes with its own particular costs. In order to know exactly which one is right for you, it’s best to talk to a skilled professional. The commonalities that each of these plans share, however, help to make sure that you won’t have to pay the exceptional out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare Part A and treatments related thereto. That means things like hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing care become less of a financial burden and more of a standard part of life.

The remaining Medigap plans are Medicare Supplement plan types B, C, F, G, M, and N. As above, each of these plans provides its own array of costs and benefits; however, they tend to provide much more than what the previous batch of Medigap plans can provide. These plans provide coverage not just for Medicare Part A coverage gaps but also for Medicare Part B coverage gaps, meaning that just about everything from emergency services to the end of your hospital stay can be covered, saving you from the costly Medicare coverage gaps. It is important to know that Medigap type F plans will no longer be offered as of 2021. That means that the last year to enroll in a Medigap type F plan will be 2020 and you will have to settle for a less comprehensive plan if you don’t enroll before the deadline.

A common complaint against Medigap plans is that it is impossible to add prescription drug coverage, dental care coverage, or vision care coverage directly to your coverage options. Although that is true, it’s not actually as big of a problem as it sounds. By enrolling in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, you can potentially receive all of the prescription medications that you need. And by enrolling in a dental and vision care insurance plan through a private provider, you can obtain coverage for treatments in those categories as well. That means that, although your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan doesn’t cover any form of non-emergency dental or vision treatment, your private dental and vision coverage plan can do just that.

Living in a place like Topeka, Kansas, comes with a firm responsibility to keep yourself healthy so that the community stays healthy. If you put off finding the right kind of insurance, between the development of new or worsening symptoms and rising medical costs, you could be setting yourself up for the complete and total loss of your financial and personal independence. So don’t put it off. Head over to Medigap.com today and start on the path to securing the access to healthcare that you both need and deserve.

Medigap Plan Minimum Monthly Premium Maximum Monthly Premium Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)
Plan A $79 $209 $280
Plan B $107 $237 $308
Plan C $127 $270 $334
Plan D $109 $221 $301
Plan F $128 $260 $330
Plan F (high deductible) $30 $83 $192
Plan G $108 $222 $301
Plan K $50 $112 $217
Plan L $78 $158 $254
Plan M $103 $160 $267
Plan N $92 $200 $282
by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.