K-State Research and Extension, McPherson County will offer an educational session to help you understand Medicare and the different parts. The sessions will be offered at 10 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Jan. 24 at the McPherson County Extension Office at 600 W. Woodside. These information sessions are free and open to. The topic will be “What is Medicare” and the parts A, B, C and D. To be sure there are enough copies of the handouts, call 620-241-1523 or email email@example.com to reserve a space.
Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, younger than age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with permanent kidney failure (called “End-Stage Renal Disease”). You must have entered the United States lawfully and have lived here for five years to be eligible for Medicare.
Medicare has two parts: Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps pay for inpatient care you get in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or hospice, and for home health care if you meet certain conditions. Most people don't have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A because they or a spouse paid Medicare taxes while working in the United States. If you don't automatically get premium-free Part A, you may still be able to enroll, and pay a premium.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay for medically-necessary doctors' services and other outpatient care. It also pays for some preventive services (like flu shots) to help keep you healthy and some services that keep certain illnesses from getting worse. Most people pay the standard monthly Medicare Part B premium ($96.40 in 2008).
You have choices about how you get your Medicare coverage. Here are the two main options:
Original Medicare Managed by the Federal government, it provides your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. (You can choose to have either one, or both parts.) You have to pay a deductible, and you are usually charged coinsurance each time you get services. You can add Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Costs and benefits vary by plan. You also can choose to buy a Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) policy to help pay some of the health care costs' “gaps” (like copayments, coinsurances, and deductibles).
Medicare Advantage Plans (called Part C). You must have both Part A and Part B to join one of these plans. The plans provide all of your Part A and Part B services and generally provide additional services. You usually pay a monthly premium, and copayments that will likely be less than the coinsurance and deductibles under original Medicare. In most cases, these plans also offer Part D prescription drug coverage. These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Costs and benefits vary by plan.
Extra help is available. If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for help paying your Medicare health care and/or prescription drug coverage costs. For more information, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, visit www.socialsecurity.gov on the web, or apply at your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office. If you have a question about Medicare or the Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, visit www.medicare.gov on the web, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Contact the McPherson County Extension Office at 620-241-1523, or check our website, www.ksre.ksu.edu