Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to beneficiaries residing in Kentucky. With more than 938,100 Kentucky beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, we’ll cover some very important information below about Medicare in Kentucky. We want to help you better understand your options and make the decision-process as seamless as possible once you’re ready to enroll in Medicare or discover different coverage options.

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Kentucky?

Medicare covers most Kentucky residents who are 65 or older, and it also covers disabled Kentucky residents. Along with Alabama and Mississippi, Kentucky has the highest percentage of disabled Medicare beneficiaries in the country. In general, Medicare enrollment in Kentucky works the same way as it does in the rest of the country. If you qualify for Original Medicare, also known as Part A and Part B, it will help cover 80% of your health care costs.

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You’ll be responsible for paying this penalty for as long as you have Part B, and you could have a gap in your health coverage.

Once you reach Medicare eligibility, you can begin choosing additional coverage options to help pay for the remaining 20% of your medical expenses through Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medigap, and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan.

Who Qualifies for Medicare

Kentucky Medicare Enrollments

577,808

Original Medicare Plans
(Part A and B)

360,370

Medicare Advantage & Other Health Plans

728,250

Stand-alone Medicare
Part D (Drug plans)

938,178

Total Medicare Beneficiaries
in Kentucky

Kentucky Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

More than 34% of Kentucky Medicare beneficiaries select Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage plans are private, Medicare-approved insurance companies. They provide all of your Original Medicare benefits and often include extra benefits such as drug, dental, and vision coverage.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries in Kentucky who already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or drop their Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in Original Medicare.

More than 34% of Medicare beneficiaries in Kentucky were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2019. As of 2020, 81 Medicare Advantage plans are available in Kentucky. The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium in Kentucky changed from $27.37 in 2019 to $25.29 in 2020. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Kentucky. 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as of May 2020, there are 360,370 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and other plans in Kentucky.

Kentucky Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans

Although insurers offer Medigap plans throughout Kentucky, there are no guaranteed-issue rights for enrollees under age 65.

Medigap plans are used to supplement Original Medicare, covering some or all of the out-of-pocket costs (for coinsurance and deductibles) that beneficiaries would otherwise incur if they only had Original Medicare on its own. Typically, Medigap plans are popular for those who want little to no copay when they access healthcare services.

There are two initial times to enroll in a Medigap plan before and after you turn 65:

  • 6 months prior to turning 65
  • Once you turn 65, your 6 month period begins the month you enroll in Part B.

During this period, an insurance company can’t use medical underwriting. 

Unlike the other nearly two-thirds of other states, Kentucky doesn’t guarantee access to a Medigap plan if you’re under 65 and eligible for Medicare as a result of a disability. Although there’s a possibility that some insurers that offer Medigap plans in Kentucky may consider an applicant who’s disabled and under 65, there’s still no guarantee.

Kentucky Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Original Medicare doesn’t cover outpatient prescription drugs. However, Medicare beneficiaries can get prescription coverage via a Medicare Advantage plan, an employer-sponsored plan (offered by a current or former employer), or a stand-alone Part D plan. Medigap plans don’t cover prescription drugs unless they’re covered under Part B.

As of 2020, there are 434,599 Medicare beneficiaries in Kentucky enrolled in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans and 295,379 enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. For 2020 coverage, there are 28 stand-alone Part D plans available in Kentucky, with premiums ranging from about $16 to $92 per month.

Nearly 94% of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan have access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2019. About 32% of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan get Extra Help (also called the low-income subsidy, or LIS).

When deciding on a Part D plan, it’s important to evaluate several factors such as each plan’s premium, formulary, and copays since every plan is different. Learn how you can save money on your out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap plan, fill out this form or give us a call.

Medicare Health Plan Resources in Kentucky

  • Kentucky State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): SHIP provides information, counseling, and assistance to seniors and disabled individuals, their families, and caregivers. This service is provided at no charge by local, well-trained counselors. The program seeks to educate the general public and Medicare beneficiaries so they are better able to make informed decisions about their health care. SHIP does not sell any health insurance products.
    Contact: Call 877-293-7447 (state-wide hotline number) or 502-564-6930

  • Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL): DAIL oversees the administration of statewide programs and services on behalf of Kentucky elders and individuals with disabilities. In partnership with Kentucky’s Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living, community mental health centers, Center for Independent Living, and other community partners, DAIL provides leadership and addresses issues and circumstances that stand in the way of elders and individuals with disabilities achieving the best possible quality of life.
    Contact: Call 502-564-6930 or email [email protected]

  • Kentucky Disability Benefits 101 (DB101): DB1010 is a Kentucky-related branch of the World Institute on Disability. DB101 helps people with disabilities and service providers understand the connections between work and benefits. DB101 will help you make informed choices and show you how you can make work part of your plan. DB101 is written by benefits experts in the disability community who understand programs and make sure DB101 is always up-to-date and correct.
    Contact: Kentucky Disability Benefits 101 can be accessed at the organization’s website.

  • Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living is one of Kentucky’s Area Agencies on Aging, and it covers residents in the Bluegrass region, which includes Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nicholas, Powell, Scott, and Woodford Counties. As a comprehensive resource for aging members of the Bluegrass community, the Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living provides area resources for assisted living and day programs, health and financial benefits, Medicare and Medicaid, and other essential services. Counseling for Medicare services is available for seniors living in the service area. Resources through the Agency are free to those living locally.
    Contact: Call 859-266-1116, email [email protected], or via the website contact form.

The licensed agents that are partnered with Timefor65 can help you compare the availability, benefits, and costs of Medicare plans in your specific region of Kentucky. Our process makes it easier for you to access your Medicare eligibility in Kentucky so that you receive personalized, affordable, and easy-to-use coverage options and solutions. Fill out the form or give us a call at (866) 327‑0148 anytime to get a free quote or to ask any questions.

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