Medicare in Mississippi – Medicare is a federal government program that provides health insurance to people who are 65 and older and to younger individuals with certain health conditions. There are currently more than 500,000 people enrolled in Medicare in Mississippi. If your 65th birthday is around the corner, now is the time to start learning about your Medicare options.
When you bring the transition into Medicare, you’ll start with Original Medicare, which includes Part A and Part B. You’ll need to be enrolled in both parts before you can purchase a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan. You must be enrolled in at least one of the two parts to get a prescription drug plan. (More on all those things later!)
Let’s review your coverage and costs under Parts A and B.
Medicare Part A is inpatient or hospital insurance. It helps pay for expenses you have during a hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. While you will have a deductible and coinsurance costs, most beneficiaries receive Part A for no premium. As long as you or your spouse paid taxes for ten years, you will not pay a monthly premium for Part A. If you don’t meet that requirement, your premium will be determined based on how many years (or quarters) you have paid taxes.
Medicare Part B is outpatient or medical insurance. It will help cover costs for services like doctor’s visits, x-rays, lab tests, preventive care, and durable medical equipment. Like Part A, you’ll be responsible for a deductible and other coinsurance costs. Unlike Part A, you won’t get these benefits for no premium. Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sets a standard premium, which is what the majority of beneficiaries pay.
Part D Prescription Drug Plans
Medicare Part D includes prescription drug plans that are offered by private insurance companies, which are in turn regulated by CMS. There are hundreds of Part D plans on the market, but you can only choose from those that are offered in your zip code.
To choose a Part D plan, you’ll compare your current list of medications to those included in the drug formulary. Premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance costs will all depend on which of the specific plans you choose. Mississippi has 21 Part D plans available to its residents.
Part C Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage, otherwise known as Part C, is one of two ways beneficiaries can enhance their benefits under Parts A and B. Like the prescription drug plans, Part C plans are also sold by private carriers. They must offer at least as much coverage as Original Medicare, but most plans include many extra benefits. You can find coverage for routine dental, vision, and hearing care, gym memberships, transportation, over-the-counter stipends, and more. What’s more, Medicare Advantage plans have low premiums – sometimes $0 per month!
It’s easy to see why these plans are attractive, but there is still a lot to know before you decide to enroll. You’ll have out-of-pocket costs for services and depending on which type of plan you choose, you may need to see certain providers. The five types of Medicare Advantage plans include:
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
- Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS)
- Special Needs Plans(SNP)
- Medicare Savings Accounts (MSA)
Medigap plans, otherwise known as Medicare Supplements, are the second way you can choose to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. Parts A and B offer great benefits, but they do leave you with quite a few out-of-pocket costs. A Medigap plan will pick up some of those remaining expenses.
Mississippi residents have a few options when it comes to Medicare Supplements. These plans are named by a letter of the alphabet. The most popular plans are Plans F, G, and N, and many carriers offer them. The helpful thing about Medigap plans is that they are predictable and have fewer rules to follow when compared to Medicare Advantage plans. The trade-off is that they come with higher premiums.
Mississippi residents have plenty of options when it comes to Medicare. So many options that it can even feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there is an easy way to sort through the sea of choices. Speak with one of our licensed Medicare advisors! Our agents understand the local market in Mississippi and can help find a plan that fits your needs.