Help available for residents navigating Medicare enrollment
Beginning Friday, Oct. 15, with the start of Medicare open enrollment, the Johnson County Extension Office is serving as a one-stop shop to get everything Johnson County residents might need to keep their Medicare working smoothly for 2022.
The Extension Office, located in the Johnson County Sunset Drive Office Building, 11811 Sunset Dr., Olathe, also has informational publications regarding the best and least expensive option available for older adults looking for information on Medicare Supplements, Advantage or prescription drug plans. The 2022 Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7.
According to a recent article by the National Council on Aging, the average couple that retires today will spend close to $300,000 on health care during their retirement years. These expenses are often due to the Medicare health plans they chose. A study found seniors spend an average of $368 dollars more per year than they needed to and only 5% of seniors chose the lowest cost plan. Another 20% were overspending on their Medicare coverage by more than $500.
The Extension Office also offers quarterly classes to help residents make the transition to Medicare. The next Medicare Basics class is from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Nov. 30, via Zoom. Register at johnson.k-state.edu.
More personalized information is available either through a mailed worksheet comparison or in-person counseling. Residents should request a worksheet, complete and return. This information creates a comparison of the top three drug or advantage plans to choose from based on annual cost. This service is free of charge for Johnson County residents.
Johnson County Extension volunteers, in partnership with the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) program, provides free, unbiased information and education so that Medicare beneficiaries can have the information they need to make an informed decision about their health care.
SHICK volunteers are trained and vetted by Medicare. They are required to receive yearly training to stay up to date on any Medicare changes. The SHICK Hotline (in Kansas) and Johnson County SHICK is 1-800-860-5260. More information about the Johnson County Extension SHICK Program is available by contacting Denise Dias, family and consumer science agent, at [email protected] or 913-715-7000.