Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) is a free program offering older Kansans an opportunity to talk with trained, community volunteers and get answers to questions about Medicare and other insurance issues.
There are several online tools that are available to Medicare beneficiaries:
To enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical), please visit the Social Security Administration’s website at http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/links_medicare.htm.
You can visit Medicare’s website to shop around and enroll for Part D (prescriptions) coverage from a private insurance company at http://www.medicare.gov/MPDPF/Public/Include/DataSection/Questions/MPDPFIntro.asp.
Part C is optional coverage available to you. There are Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Please note you are not permitted to enroll in both a Medigap and Medicare Advantage plan.
Medigap plans, offered by private insurance companies, are supplemental plans that cover what Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not. You can learn more and shop around for Medigap plans by visiting the Kansas Insurance Commissioner’s website at http://www.ksinsurance.org/consumers/medicare.htm. Please note that Medigap plans do not offer prescription drug coverage.
Part C of Medicare also offers beneficiaries Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Health Plans. They are offered by private insurance companies and provide all of the same coverage of Original Medicare, generally offer extra benefits (e.g. dental or vision coverage), and many include prescription drug coverage. In some instances, your expenses for services may be less costly than Original Medicare; however it is very important to check with the plan because your out-of-pocket costs (e.g. copays, deductibles) for services will differ. To shop around for a Medicare Advantage plan available in your area, please visit Medicare’s website at http://www.medicare.gov/MPPF/Include/DataSection/Questions/SearchOptions.asp.
Low-income beneficiaries may be eligible for “extra help” or additional cost savings on Medicare Parts A, B and D. Medicare Savings Programs and Part D’s Low-Income Subsidy can help decrease the costs of premiums, copays and deductibles. To learn more and apply for “extra help” with your prescriptions please visit http://www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp/index.htm. In order to make application for one of the Medicare Savings Programs, please print, fill out, and mail in the form found at http://content.srs.ks.gov/ees/keesm/forms/es-3100.8_application_redetermination_01-06.pdf to your local Department of Social Rehabilitation Services (SRS). If you do not know where your local SRS office is located, please visit http://www.srs.ks.gov/Pages/FindSRSLocations.aspx.
DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START? Please call the SHICK Hotline at 1-800-860-5260 to speak to a volunteer. If you are a resident of Wyandotte or Leavenworth County, you can reach a local volunteer at 913-573-8531.