If you’re eligible for Medicare in Mississippi, it’s important to know what your options are. This will help you make informed choices when selecting your coverage.
Medicare is a national health program, run by the federal government, for people age 65 and over and those with certain disabilities. You get some parts of Medicare, known as original Medicare, directly from the government.
You can also purchase Medicare plans through private insurance companies. These plans can add to or replace your original Medicare coverage.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Mississippi for the 2022 plan year:
- A total of 612,813 residents of Mississippi are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased in Mississippi compared to last year — from $22.52 in 2021 to $21.41 in 2022.
- There are 61 Medicare Advantage plans available in Mississippi for 2022, compared to 54 plans in 2021.
- All Mississippi residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
- There are 11 different Medigap plans offered in Mississippi for 2022.
The Medicare coverage available from the government is often referred to as original Medicare. It has two parts: Part A and Part B.
Part A helps pay the costs of inpatient care services you get as an inpatient in a hospital setting. Part A may also pay for:
- hospice care
- a limited amount of the costs for care at a skilled nursing facility
- some home healthcare services
Part B helps pay for costs that include:
- outpatient care
- medical supplies
- preventive care you get in a doctor’s office
Medicare Advantage in Mississippi
With Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, you have the option to combine coverage into a single plan from a private insurer rather than get original Medicare plus supplemental coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are a full replacement you can enroll in instead of getting original Medicare. These “all-in-one” plans cover all of the same benefits as original Medicare.
They also have expanded coverage options, such as prescription drug benefits, dental and vision coverage, and so on.
The following private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans in Mississippi:
Medicare Advantage plan offerings vary by county, so enter your specific ZIP code when searching for plans where you live.
Medicare supplement plans in Mississippi
You can buy Medicare supplement plans, sometimes called Medigap plans, from private insurers. These plans help cover the gaps in original Medicare coverage.
They may help lower out-of-pocket costs, such as copays and coinsurance. And they may add services like dental, vision, hearing, or long-term care coverage.
Many companies offer Medigap plans in Mississippi. In 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans throughout the state include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- American Retirement
- Bankers Fidelity
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi
- Great Southern
- State Farm
You can enroll in a Medicare plan in Mississippi if you are:
- age 65 or older
- younger than age 65 and have a qualifying disability
- any age and have end stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
When can I enroll in Medicare Mississippi plans?
Your initial enrollment period for Medicare begins 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday and continues for 3 months after, regardless of whether you’re retired or have plans to retire anytime soon.
If you choose to continue working, or if you qualify for employer-sponsored coverage through your spouse, you may decide to not enroll in Part B or any supplemental coverage just yet. In these cases, you’ll qualify for a special enrollment period later on.
There’s also an open enrollment period every year from October 15 through December 7. During this time, you can enroll for the first time or change plans. The general enrollment period is January 1 through March 31 each year.
Tips for enrolling in Medicare Mississippi
Shopping for Medicare coverage is just like shopping for any insurance plan. You want to be aware of how plans might vary and how those differences might affect the ways you seek healthcare. This will help you narrow down which options best suit your needs.
It’s important to remember that while federal law says that Medicare Advantage plans must cover all the same benefits as original Medicare, insurance companies have some flexibility in plan design. When considering your options, you’ll want to ask yourself questions, such as:
- How much will this plan cost? How much are the premiums? How much will I need to pay out of pocket when I seek care or fill a prescription?
- Is the provider network sufficient? Does it include doctors and hospitals near me? What about doctors I’ve already been seeing for care?
- Will I need to choose a primary care doctor and get referrals to see specialists?
- What are other people saying about the plan? You can usually find reviews online or check a plan’s star rating. You can also ask friends and acquaintances already enrolled in Medicare plans in Mississippi what they think of their coverage.
You can learn more about your Medicare coverage options in Mississippi through the following organizations:
- Mississippi Insurance Department (800-562-2957)
- Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services (888-240-7539)
- Medicare (800-MEDICARE)
- Social Security Administration
- More than 600,000 Mississippi residents are enrolled in Medicare.
- There are several private insurance companies offering various types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans throughout the state.
- Overall, monthly premium costs have decreased for 2021 Medicare Advantage plans in Mississippi.
- There are also several Medigap plan options if you live in Mississippi and are looking for additional coverage.