Medicare Plan Options

Once you’re enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you have two ways of getting Medicare coverage. You can stay in Original Medicare, which is administered through the federal government, with the option of joining a private Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan or Part D prescription drug plan to help with additional costs. You can also move your Parts A and B coverage to Mississippi’s Medicare Advantage program and receive a variety of benefits through a single plan.

Original Medicare

Original Medicare is a basic plan that covers essential services such as emergency transportation by ambulance, inpatient hospital stays, consultations with doctors and specialists, X-rays, lab tests, and health screenings. You pay monthly premiums to keep this basic coverage active and for your own health care until you meet your Part A and B deductibles. Once the deductibles are met, Original Medicare begins to pay its share, but you’re still responsible for copays and coinsurance. Additional costs you might incur such as vision care, hearing aids, and prescriptions aren’t included.

Medicare Advantage Plans

To offer more choice in your health care coverage, private insurers are permitted to offer Medicare Advantage Plans in Mississippi. Known as Medicare Part C, these plans cover medically necessary services (Parts A and B) and additional benefits in a single plan. The extra health-related benefits aren’t available through Original Medicare and may include eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental cleanings, medication, visits to a chiropractor, and gym memberships. Insurance companies must follow certain guidelines set by Medicare but have flexibility in the structure and costs of the plans. The main types of Medicare Advantage Plans are HMO, PPO, PFFS and SNP. You can compare plans offered in your service area to find one that matches your particular health and financial circumstances.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans

Prescription drug plans help pay for medication that your doctor prescribes to treat an illness or health condition. These plans are offered by private insurers and aren’t mandatory, but you may want to sign up for a drug plan when you first join Medicare. Permanent, late penalties are charged on your monthly premiums if you join a Medicare drug plan after your initial enrollment period if you’ve been without drug coverage for 63 consecutive days. You can get drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drugs as a benefit or through a Part D prescription drug plan that’s added onto Original Medicare or some Medicare Advantage PFFS plans.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are offered in Mississippi as an add-on to Original Medicare. Also known as Medigap, these plans help pay for out-of-pocket costs you incur under Original Medicare. These expenses include Part A and B deductibles, excess charges beyond Medicare-approved amounts and coinsurance for inpatient hospital, hospice and skilled nursing care. Insurance companies may sell 10 types of Medigap plans in Mississippi but aren’t required to offer every one. You may only join a Medigap plan if you’re getting your health coverage through Original Medicare.

Medicare in Mississippi by the Numbers

People enrolled in Original Medicare Average plan cost Annual state spending per beneficiary Spending per beneficiary compared to the national average
461,095 Plan A: $0 to $471 per month*
Plan B: $148.50 per month**
$11,427 13.00%

*Most people pay no premium, but this can vary depending on how long they paid Medicare taxes.
**This is the average number, but it can vary based on income.

Medicare Resources in Mississippi

It’s a good idea to review your Medicare coverage annually as your health needs may change. Whether you’re joining Medicare for the first time or shopping for a new plan, check out these resources that can help you understand the Medicare options available in Mississippi.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

SHIP’s trained volunteers help Mississippi seniors and caregivers navigate Medicare programs. Individual counseling is available to help explain how Medicare works and how to find one with the benefits you need. Counselors can help you compare plans, submit paperwork, review hospital and doctor bills, file claims, and make appeals. SHIP is delivered through local Area Agencies on Aging.

Contact Information: Website | 601-359-4500

Central Mississippi Planning & Development District (CMPDD)

CMPDD serves as the Area Agency on Aging for seven counties: Copiah, Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren and Yazoo. It provides extensive support to Mississippi seniors, including outreach, nutrition programs, legal services and referrals. CMPDD administers the SHIP program locally. You can receive individual, private counseling to better understand the options available to you through Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid and Part D prescription drug plans. SHIP counselors can also help with enrollment, claims and other paperwork.

Contact Information: Website | 888-995-9925

Mississippi Insurance Department (MID)

MID oversees the sale of insurance products in the state and ensures consumers are adequately protected. Its website has general information about how health insurance plans work, including Medicare Advantage Plans offered by HMOs and PPOs. MID has online resources with questions you should ask before enrolling in a plan. A consumer phone line is also available if you need assistance regarding Medicare plans in the state or have concerns about an insurance company or agent.

Contact Information: Website | 800-562-2957

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