Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to beneficiaries residing in Mississippi. With more than 607,700 Mississippi beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, we’ll cover some very important information below about Medicare in Mississippi. 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 Mississippi?

Medicare covers most Mississippi residents who are 65 or older, and it also covers disabled Mississippi residents. Along with Kentucky and Alabama, Mississippi has the highest percentage of disabled Medicare beneficiaries in the country. In general, Medicare enrollment in Mississippi 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

Mississippi Medicare Enrollments

464,527

Original Medicare Plans
(Part A and B)

143,211

Medicare Advantage & Other Health Plans

315,617

Stand-alone Medicare
Part D (Drug plans)

607,738

Total Medicare Beneficiaries
in Mississippi

Mississippi Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

Nearly 20% of Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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.

As of 2020, 40 Medicare Advantage plans are available in Mississippi. The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium changed from $28.47 in 2019 to $24.89 in 2020. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Mississippi. Medicare Advantage plans for sale in all 82 counties in Mississippi. Availability for Medicare Advantage plans in Mississippi ranges from four to 21 plans, depending on the county.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as of May 2020, there are 144,335 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and other plans in Mississippi. Nearly 20% of Mississippi Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a private Medicare Advantage plan in 2019. 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Mississippi Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans

Medigap insurers in Mississippi are required to offer all plans to beneficiaries 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.

Mississippi Medigap insurance is available to everyone with Medicare in the state, including those who are under 65 and are enrolled in Medicare. Mississippi has rules implemented that ensure at least some access to Medigap coverage for people under age 65. Often, Medigap plans in Mississippi can be more expensive if you don’t enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period and wait for an Annual Open Enrollment Period. 

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.

Mississippi 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 314,779 Medicare beneficiaries in Mississippi enrolled in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans and 134,051 enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. For 2020 coverage, there are 25 stand-alone Part D plans available in Mississippi, with premiums ranging from about $11 to $100 per month. About 42% 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.

Local Medicare Health Plan Resources in Mississippi

  • Mississippi State Health Insurance Program (SHIP): SHIP is a counseling program designed to answer the elderly’s questions about health insurance. Whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental insurance or other coverage, volunteers are trained to answer questions, compare policies, organize paperwork, and help with claims and filing appeals.

    SHIP volunteers help elderly citizens and caregivers understand Medicare benefits; organize doctor and hospital bills; file Medicare appeals; review Medicare Supplemental Insurance; evaluate Medicare+ Choice or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) options; understand Medicaid eligibility, and explore long-term care options. For information on Medicare+ Choice options, visit Medicare.
    Contact: To speak with a SHIP volunteer to learn more or request assistance, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

  • Mississippi Insurance Department is a state agency providing residents with access to a wealth of information and resources related to all types of insurance. The Mississippi Insurance Department also helps seniors file complaints, learn about their long-term care insurance options, and obtain resources regarding other types of insurance.
    Contact: Call 800-562-2957, email a representative listed in the email directory, or visit the department’s office located on the 10th Floor of the Woolfolk State Office Building at 501 North West Street in Jackson.

  • Mississippi Senior Medicare Patrol programs help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries prevent, detect, and report health care fraud. In doing so, they not only protect older persons, they also help preserve the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Because this work often requires face-to-face contact to be most effective, SMPs nationwide recruit and teach nearly 5,000 volunteers every year to help in this effort. Most SMP volunteers are both retired and Medicare beneficiaries and thus well-positioned to assist their peers.
    Contact: Call 877-272-8720, email smp@eqhs.org, or visit the regional headquarters located at 8440 Jefferson Highway, Suite 101, in Baton Rouge, LA.

  • Mississippi Access to Care Centers (MAC): MAC Centers are welcoming and accessible places where people can obtain information and assistance in locating long-term care services or applying for benefits. They provide a central source of reliable, objective, and unbiased information about a broad range of programs and services, and help people understand and evaluate the various options available to them.
    MAC Centers serve the elderly, disabled, those individuals’ family members and representatives, or any person seeking assistance with long-term care. They provide Information & Referral to needed services and supports, Person Centered counseling, and screening for Medicaid waivers. All of this is available, regardless of an individual’s financial ability, within a person’s local MAC center, over the telephone, in a person’s home, or at another convenient location upon request.
    Contact: Call 844-822-4622. A list of MAC centers throughout Mississippi, including their locations and contact details, is available on the program’s website.

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 Mississippi. Our process makes it easier for you to access your Medicare eligibility in Mississippi 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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