Medicare in Mississippi
- Medicare offers great coverage for older adults, but when do you need to apply? Find out more in this guide to Medicare in Mississippi.
What Mississippi Medicare Plans Are Available?
Individuals age 65 and older as well as those with qualifying disabilities have access to insurance through the federal government's Medicare program. Medicare is broken down into several different parts to assure coverage over a wide spectrum of medical service types.
Also known as the original component of the Medicare program, this portion is funded by the federal government and provides coverage for inpatient services. Facilities generally covered under the Part A plan include hospitals, surgical centers, hospice and skilled nursing care and even some home health facilities. Premiums for Part A coverage are determined by amounts paid into the payroll tax system via traditional employment.
Medicare Part B emphasizes coverage for preventative care. It covers annual physicals, in-office appointments, some diagnostic services and other elements of preventative healthcare. Premiums for this portion of Medicare are based on income.
Those who do not automatically qualify may purchase Parts A and B as standalone policies. Beneficiaries are responsible for copays with Part B coverage.
The Medicare Advantage program is a supplemental policy that replaces many of the coverage components in Parts A and B. However, only those who have enrolled in the original components of Medicare can purchase an Advantage plan. These plans are administered through private insurers and offer varying degrees of coverage options.
There are four options for a Medicare Advantage program:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Private Fee-for-Service
- Special Needs Plan
Advantage plans generally cover elements not addressed by Parts A and B, including dental and vision services.
Part D/Prescription Drug Plan
The prescription drug benefit of Medicare helps cover the costs of necessary medications for beneficiaries. It is a supplement to the other components and may also be purchased as a standalone policy.
Part D is an optional policy that beneficiaries can choose when signing up for Parts A and B. Enrollment after this time is allowable but may incur a penalty for doing so.
Medigap coverage helps with the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by the original Medicare components. This includes financial assistance with copays, deductibles or coinsurance policies.
Medigap may also help with the cost of medical supplies and even some prescription medications. Similar to Medicare Advantage, Medigap programs are administered via private insurance companies, so there may be differences in premium costs and availability.
Of the individuals receiving benefits through Medicare in Mississippi, 22% are enrolled due to disability versus age parameters. Roughly 25% of those receiving Medicare coverage in Mississippi have an Advantage plan.
There are 65 insurance companies offering Medigap plans in the state. Roughly half of those receiving Medicare in Mississippi have a standalone Part D plan.
Who Is Eligible for Mississippi Medicare?
Eligibility for Medicare in Mississippi is automatic for those already receiving Social Security benefits and begins four months before the beneficiary's 65th birthday. For those not automatically enrolled, beneficiaries can sign up in the three-month period prior to their 65th birthday, their birthday month and in the three months thereafter.
Medicare also offers specific enrollment periods:
- Annual enrollment: Extends from January 1 through March 31 and benefits begin July 1.
- Fall enrollment: Extends from October 15 through December 7 and benefits begin January 1. This is the point at which beneficiaries can choose new Part D or Advantage coverage.
Those who qualify but have not enrolled during one of these times may still do so without incurring a penalty if they just moved back into the country, no longer qualify for Medicaid or lost coverage from an employer-sponsored plan. Individuals who wish to enroll and don't have special circumstances may have to pay a fee to do so.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare in Mississippi?
Enrollment in the Medicare program in Mississippi can be done in one of three ways:
- Via the Social Security Administration website
- Apply via phone at (800) 772-1213
- In person at a local Social Security Administration office (appointments are suggested)
Contact Information for Mississippi Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance Help
There are a slew of resources available regarding Medicare in Mississippi as well as information about other information resources.
- HelpAdvisor:Check out the HelpAdvisor website to learn more about what benefits are provided by Medicare in Mississippi and how to get help with enrollment/eligibility.
- Mississippi Insurance Department: The state's Department of Insurance provides counseling and assistance with Medicare online or via phone at (601) 359-3569.
- Mississippi State Health Insurance Program (SHIP): The Mississippi SHIPprogram helps with Medicare counseling and obstacles to enrollment. Access this program online or via phone at (844) 822-4622.