Kansas Answers Questions About Medicare Open Enrollment

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Today is the first day Kansas residents can renew their health insurance benefits through Medicare Open Enrollment.

More than 540,000 Kansas residents receive health insurance through Medicare, and Oct. 15 marks the first day to implement the changes that will take effect Jan. 1.

“It’s important for older adults to make sure their current providers are still participating in their 2023 plan and that the costs of all the drugs they need haven’t increased. Medicare beneficiaries can change several aspects of their coverage and take time to decide all the coverage options available to them from various insurers. We encourage people to always take advantage of this time because we all have health needs that change throughout the year, and so do Medicare plans.”

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Medicare Program Manager Emily Blanch

During open enrollment, people who are currently enrolled can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another
  • If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply

People should also be aware that benefits and premiums could change for 2023. Even if customers are convinced they want to keep their current coverage for next year, it’s important to know about any changes that may apply and check that your current plan is still the best option available.

Plans and coverage change from year to year, so it’s important to confirm before settling.

Changes to be aware of for 2023 include:

  • There are 90 Medicare Advantage plans available in 2023, compared to 88 plans in 2022.
  • All people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • The average Medicare Advantage plan monthly premium saw a change of -20.6 percent, from $7.77 in 2022 to $6.17 in 2023.
  • 23 Medicare prescription drug plans are available with premiums ranging from $2.80 to $112.60.
  • Everyone with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan has access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2022.
  • Through the CMS Innovation Center’s Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model, 20 plans will offer Medicare Advantage customers additional options, including cost-sharing reductions for certain covered benefits, such as eliminating Medicare Part D cost-sharing; reward and incentive programs related to healthy behavior; and tailored, innovative benefits that address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity and social isolation, for low-income subsidized and/or chronically ill enrollees.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services offers counseling for those who have problems and questions related to Medicare. KDADS’ Senior Health Insurance for Kansas (SHICK) will offer people the opportunity to speak with trained community volunteers about their concerns. Volunteers are located throughout the state. They can be reached at 800-860-5260.

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