Understand Medicare in Mississippi
Medicare, the United States federal medical insurance program, provides coverage for almost 500,000 people in Mississippi who qualify for Medicare. You can get Medicare if you’re 65 or older or have a qualifying disability.
Your disability typically qualifies if you’ve received at least 24 Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) disability insurance payments. You can also enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Most people have premium-free Part A but, if you have to buy it, the cost can reach up to $499 per month in 2022. Part B costs $170.10 per month but can be more if you have higher income. There are 26 Medicare Advantage Plans in the state that are an alternative to Original Medicare. Learn more about your Medicare options in Mississippi.
Medicare Plans in Mississippi
|Compare ratings of Mississippi’s Medicare plan providers:|
|Insurance company||Medicare rating||A.M. Best rating||BBB rating||NCQA rating||J.D. Power ranking|
|Aetna||4 stars||A||A+||2.5 to 4.5 stars||5 out of 10|
|Cigna||4 stars||A-||Not rated||2.5 to 4.5 stars||Seventh out of 10|
|Humana||4 stars||A-||A+||1.5 to 4.5 stars||Third out of ten|
|UnitedHealthcare||3.5 stars||A-||A-||4 stars||Fourth out of 10|
Medicare Plan Options in Mississippi
Residents of Mississippi have multiple Medicare plans to choose from. Many are tiered to help Mississippians find the plan that is best suited to your lifestyle and medical needs. For example, seniors and individuals with disabilities who don’t need much coverage can apply for Original Medicare. Mississippi’s Medicare Advantage program might be a better option if you need more comprehensive insurance. Some Medicare policies offer additional prescription drug add-ons or supplementary coverage.
|Original Medicare (Parts A and B)||Original Medicare is the basic Medicare plan, which is a fee-for-service form of insurance. It has two parts: Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance. Part A covers hospital stays and periods spent at skilled nursing facilities, lab tests an individual has performed, and hospice care. Part B covers doctor’s office visits and home health care services. It may also cover some preventive care, such as screenings for cancers and mental illnesses, including depression. With Original Medicare, you’ll pay a deductible along with your share of the fees incurred during an inpatient or outpatient visit:
|Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)||Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C, are an alternative to Original Medicare offered by private insurance companies. These plans include both Part A and Part B coverage, except for hospice care. Most services are provided by network providers, and you may need primary care physicians, referrals for specialists, and prior authorizations for treatment and medications. Medicare Advantage offers additional coverage for essential needs, such as prescription drugs, dental and vision care. Some Medicare Advantage Plans also cover gym memberships and transportation to and from medical appointments. Part C may also pay for adult day care services:
|Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans (Part D)||Many Medicare Advantage policies add Part D drug coverage automatically to their package, but you can also add Medicare prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare. Medicare prescription drug coverage is offered to all Medicare enrollees, but you may have to pay a penalty if you wait to enroll after being initially eligible. Medicare Part D plans may not all cover the same drugs or have the same costs as Medicare Advantage policies. Standalone Part D coverage is provided by Medicare-approved private insurers. Most plans require a deductible and a copay for each prescription drug:
|Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (Medigap)||Some Mississippi seniors purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, also known as Medigap. These plans are intended to fill in the gaps Original Medicare doesn’t cover. Some of these gaps include medical coverage while overseas, Part A and Part B copays, and excess Part B charges. Medigap doesn’t pay for anything related to Medicare Advantage. You cannot have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan at the same time.
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 $499 per month*
Plan B: $170.10 per month**
*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
Getting support can help when you’re making Medicare decisions. Mississippi has numerous locations where enrollees can receive help through your local Area Agency on Aging, which provide a variety of services to seniors, including help with Medicare questions. The state’s Medicaid program can also work in collaboration with your Medicare coverage to help you lower your overall costs.
Mississippi Area Agencies on Aging
There are 10 local Area Agencies on Aging throughout Mississippi. Each of these private, non-profit organizations help plan, coordinate and advocate for developing comprehensive and coordinated systems for Mississippi seniors. Services include meal assistance, legal aid, a senior companion program and home services.
Contact information: Website | 601-359-4929
Mississippi Division of Aging and Adult Services
The mission of the Mississippi Division of Aging and Adult Services is to protect the rights of Mississippi’s seniors while expanding their opportunities and access to services. The Division supports the state’s Medicaid portal, where you can apply for low cost health insurance.
Contact information: Website | 1-800-345-6347
Mississippi Division of Medicaid
The Division of Medicaid is a state-run program providing low-income residents with affordable health coverage. If you qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, thet wo plans can work together to help you lower your overall health insurance costs.
Contact information: 1-800-421-2408
Mississippi Insurance Department – Health Care Division
You can find information and resources on Medicare and other health care topics through the Mississippi Insurance Department’s health care division. The Insurance Department can also provide information on health insurance plans purchased in the state, and will help you answer questions you have about your coverage.
Contact information: Website | 1-800-562-2957
Mississippi State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
The Mississippi State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides Medicare beneficiaries and their families and caregivers with free, one-on-one Medicare counseling. Trained volunteers are available to answer your Medicare questions and can help you compare plans to find the best coverage for your situation. They can also walk you through filling out your Medicare paperwork, including enrollment, claims and appeals forms.
Contact information: Website | 601-359-4500