Topeka, KS– More than 540,000 Kansas residents receive health coverage through Medicare, and the time to review benefits is only days away. The program’s fall open enrollment period, when you can make changes that take effect January 1, starts October 15, 2002 and runs through December 7, 2022.

“It’s important that older adults make sure their current providers are still participating in their plan for 2023 and that the cost of any medications they need haven’t increased,” KDADS Medicare Program Manager Emily Blanch said. “Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to several aspects of their coverage and take the time to weigh all the coverage options available to them from various insurers. We encourage people to always take advantage of this time as all of us have health care needs that change over the course of a year and Medicare plans change as well.”

By shopping available plans and comparing costs, beneficiaries may be able to find a Medicare health or drug plan with better coverage or a lower premium in 2023. The Medicare Plan Finder allows users to compare pricing between Original Medicare, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies.

During open enrollment, those currently enrolled may:

If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must meet some basic criteria:

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for 2023, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment, assuming your current plan will still be available in 2023. If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you will receive a non-renewal notice from your carrier prior to open enrollment. If you don’t, it means you can keep your plan without doing anything during open enrollment.

Be aware that benefits and premiums could be changing for 2023. So even if you’re confident you want to keep your current coverage for the coming year, it’s important to understand any changes that may apply and check to make sure your current plan is still the best available option. The available plans and what they cover change from one year to the next, so even if the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year.

Each year, there’s a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 – March 31. During this time, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to change your health plan, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan with or without drug coverage or go back to original Medicare and, if needed, also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Changes to be aware of for 2023 include:

State-by-State Fact Sheets are available at (Kansas’ Fact Sheet pgs. 49-51).

For more information on these changes and other Medicare-related issues, please contact KDADS’ Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK), a free program that offers Kansans an opportunity to talk with trained community volunteers and get answers to questions about Medicare and other insurance issues. SHICK has counselors throughout the state that can assist people, so they stay informed on changing conditions in health care insurance. Call 800-860-5260 for this free counseling service.

SHICK counselors receive training on Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Long-Term Care and other health insurance subjects that concern older Kansans. The counselors do not work for any insurance company, their goal is to educate and assist the public to make informed decisions on what’s best for each individual situation.