Medicare and Aging
It is important that every Medicare Beneficiary take a look at the Prescription Plan options available to them each year. During Open Enrollment 2019, over $82,000 was saved by the 89 clients served by Flint Hills District K-State Research & Extension through the Medicare Counseling services we provide.
During the Open Enrollment Period (October 15 - December 7), appointments are available at the Council Grove Office by calling (620) 767-5136 or at the Chase County Senior Center by calling (620) 273-8511. Call after August 15 to make your appointment to review your Medicare Part D Prescription coverage costs and options.
Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) Partner
Are you turning 65 and wondering how to sign up for Medicare? Maybe you know how to sign up but need assistance figuring out what Medicare Supplement you need, or maybe you are wondering if you need to switch Part D Plans. Extension Agent Shandi Andres is a SHICK partner with the Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging. If you would like help with Medicare issues, please contact the Council Grove Office at (620) 767-5136 to set up an appointment to talk to Shandi or schedule a one-on-one appointment for assistance.
Medicare Savings Program
Many people on Medicare find it difficult to pay for their Medicare premiums and sometimes even their Medicare Supplemental Insurance. There is a program that may be able to help. Medicare Savings Programs are provided through State Rehabilitation Services (SRS) and can pay for the Medicare Part B premium, Medicare Part D premium, and may even provide free supplemental coverage. These programs are not subject to estate recovery and are an excellent option for someone who qualifies.
There are three levels of Medicare Savings Program QMB, LMB, QI or QDWI.
Be Aware: Preventing Medicare Fraud and Abuse
Part of the goal of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) is to stop fraud and abuse of the Medicare System. The website www.stopmedicarefraud.gov was designed as a resource for Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and families to learn about Medicare fraud and abuse and how to report it.
Below I have included some tips on how to identify Medicare fraud and abuse.
Be suspicious of doctors, health care providers or suppliers that do anything on this list.
- Equipment or service is offered for free and you are then asked for your Medicare number for "record keeping purposes"
- 'Medicare' wants you to have the item or service in exchange for your Medicare number
- Tell you to use Medicare to pay for the item or service and all that is needed is your Medicare number
- You are told the more tests provided, the cheaper the tests become in the future
- Don't charge co-payments without checking on your ability to pay
- Advertise "free" consultations to people with Medicare
- Call or visit you and say they represent Medicare or the Federal Government
- Use telephone or door-to-door selling techniques
- Use pressure or scare tactics to sell you expensive medical services you do not have
- Bill Medicare for services you never received or a diagnosis you do not have
- Offer non-medical transportation or housekeeping as Medicare-approved services
- Bill home health services for patients who are not confined to their home, or for patients who still drive a car
- Bill Medicare for equipment for people in nursing homes
- Bill Medicare for tests you received as a hospital in-patient or within 72 hours of admission or discharge
- Bill Medicare for a power wheelchair or scooter when you don't meet Medicare's qualifications
If you think you have been a victim of Medicare Fraud or Abuse then you should contact the Kansas SMP Program at 1-800-432-3535.