Thank you for visiting Stockett & Associates, our family owned agency has been providing valuable health insurance advice and coverage for people in Mississippi for more than 25 years.
Medicare coverage is an essential part of that mix.
We suggest you start by reviewing this guide on Medicare in Mississippi. Our team spent a lot of time organizing this to make it easier for you to begin to understand the types of questions you should be asking when it’s time to review and choose your Medicare plan. And, we update it every year to stay current.
If at any point you would rather speak with one of our team members and ask a question, we’re accessible any time and there is absolutely NO Obligation. We fully understand how overwhelming this information can be to someone and are here to be your local resource.
Please call us locally at 601-264-0541 or email us by clicking here.
We are here to help you make a comfortable and educated decision. Below is a table of contents of what you can find in the article. We’ll go into more detail and by the end of this you should have a great basic idea of how Medicare works and how you should proceed with finding the best Medicare plan for you in the great state of Mississippi.
Table of Contents
- Summary of Your options
- Applying for Medicare in Mississippi
- What is Medicare?
- Medicare Supplements
- Supplement Costs
- How does Part D work with a Medicare Supplement?
- Medicare Advantage plans
- Medicare Part D
- Common Medicare Plans
- What defines the best Medicare plans in Mississippi?
- Mississippi social security offices
- Having both Medicare and Medicaid
- Speak to someone on our team
What are my options when I turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare?
You have a few options to consider which we will go into detail on throughout the article.
Neither of these options are best for any one individual. Any plan you choose should be carefully reviewed with a licensed agent and determined it’s in your best interest.
- Original Medicare only: When you’re on original Medicare only (Part A and Part B), you are subject to 20% plus deductibles. Therefore you should learn about the options to help offset your 20% risk. We rarely meet people on original Medicare only unless they are brand new, and when we do, the educational process proves extremely valuable.
- Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and a Part D: This is a very common solution for those looking for ways to cover the 20% Medicare doesn’t cover.
- Medicare Advantage Plan: These are private companies approved by Medicare that become primary to your Medicare coverage while also provide some financial protection of costs not covered by original Medicare.
- Medicare Medical Savings Account: This is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that works like a traditional medical savings account. You can receive a deposit from the insurance company into a medical savings account. Those funds can be used for medical expenses throughout the year.
How do I apply for Medicare in Mississippi
If you’re new to Medicare, the application process may seem a bit daunting at first.
Every person who applies for Medicare has questions. That’s normal and part of the process, so don’t worry.
Some people feel comfortable getting the answers on their own. But if you’re even the slightest bit uneasy about certain parts of Medicare and your coverage options, then we’re happy to help you, FREE of charge.
If Medicare is going to be your primary insurance, you can work with one of our guides who will take you through the initial application process by setting up your Medigap and Part D plans. In addition.
We have been helping people with Medicare in Mississippi since 1995. Located in Hattiesburg, we’re a local, family-owned business and independent insurance brokerage which represents all the major plans in Mississippi and surrounding states.
Our years of experience and existing relationships with top insurers means you get the best coverage at the best prices, backed by our commitment to an ongoing personal relationship with you.
We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (601) 264-0541 or send us an email to start a conversation to help you make the best possible health insurance decisions for you and your family.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a nationwide government-sponsored healthcare program for people 65 years and older but also covers some others with disabilities or special circumstances. As Medicare is a federal program, the benefits are the same for those living in Mississippi as it is for those in other states.
In fact, almost 600,000 Mississippians were covered in the state under Medicare in 2018. That represents about 20% of the state’s population and it continues to grow in 2020.
Of these, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) remains the coverage of choice for 4 out of 5 Mississippi Medicare beneficiaries. We’ll explain more about Medicare Part A and Part B further in the article and what exactly this means, because it’s critically important for you to understand.
About 425,000 Mississippi residents also carry Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. In 2019, 44% of people got Extra Help with their prescription drug premiums and out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. We will explain more about Part D, but it’s a required element for Medicare beneficiaries and the extra help is an element that residents of Mississippi can qualify for to reduce their prescription drug costs.
Mississippi is noteworthy because it has the highest rate of Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible for benefits because they’re disabled. Nationwide, 16% of all Medicare beneficiaries are eligible due to disability, but in Mississippi, 23% of beneficiaries are eligible. That ties the state with Alabama and Kentucky. Both states also have 23% of their Medicare beneficiaries eligible due to disability.
This means that up to 16% of all Medicare eligible residents of Mississippi could possibly be under the age of 65.
People ask us all the time, “can I get Medicare if I’m under 65?”
Absolutely, it’s available for those on disability, but you still have to go through the eligibility process which is discussed in further detail.
Medicare is divided into four parts that you need to understand before you ever make a decision on choosing what type of Medicare plan to enroll in.
Medicare Part A is for Hospital Care
Medicare Part A covers skilled nursing facility care, hospital stays, and some related costs. It also covers home health services and hospice care when certain conditions are met.
The way you get Medicare Part A is simple, it’s based on the fact you have worked 40 quarters or 10 years and paying social security taxes. Once you have hit that threshold, you have earned your right for Medicare Part A.
Here are some other additional details about qualifying for Medicare Part A.
- If you don’t have enough working quarters, you can still get Part A coverage by paying a monthly premium. You should contact your local social security office if you don’t think you will qualify.
- You or your spouse held government jobs that paid Medicare taxes.
- You are a dependent parent with a deceased child who was fully insured.
However, If you’re under 65, you can qualify for Part A coverage at no cost if you meet the following criteria:
- You have been on disability for 24 months and then become eligible for Medicare on the 25th month.
- You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and currently receive Social Security disability benefits.
- You have end-stage renal disease, receive kidney dialysis or have had a kidney transplant, and meet other requirements.
In either scenario of being over or under 65 years old, if you qualify, Part A coverage is will be available to you at no cost until you use it.
The only exception is some deductibles for hospital stays.
Medicare Part B covers your outpatient medical expenses
Think of it this way.
Part A is for hospital and Part B is for doctors. Said another way, Part A is for inpatient and Part B is for outpatient.
These two parts of Medicare combined are known as “Original Medicare.”
Part B covers the bundle of services, commonly referred to as “outpatient care.” It includes services and supplies that are medically necessary to treat a disease or a condition.
Said another way, Part B covers the majority of what people use health insurance for outside of accidents, major surgeries, or unforeseen events requiring an in-patient hospital stay.
Here are a few key examples to help you better understand what Part B covers.
- When you go to the doctor and they request that you get some lab tests.
- You have an out-patient surgery in a hospital or surgery center
- Your annual visit to see your primary doctor or specialist
- Annual immunizations like flu shots
- X-rays when you go to the doc for a chest cold or other related x-rays.
- Certain types of durable medical equipment like a four point cane
- Preventative cancer screenings or other preventive measures for conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
There are many other things covered under Part B, and you can see a full list by visiting the Medicare website.
How much does Medicare Part B cost?
Unlike Part A which in most cases doesn’t require a monthly premium, Part B carries a cost which is in most cases deducted directly from your social security check each month.
Everyone pays a monthly premium for Part B coverage, as well as a small annual deductible. People with higher incomes may be subject to paying higher premiums for Part B which is very common for those still working after they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.
To recap, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are what make up “Original Medicare”.
How does Original Medicare work?
After you meet your Part A and Part B deductibles, Medicare covers 80% of the cost for treatment and services and you’re on the line for the remaining 20%.
This liability of deductibles and 20% is exactly why Medicare Supplements and Medicare Part C are important considerations for you in order to protect yourself financially from healthcare costs.
Enrolling in Part A and Part B
You have several opportunities to sign up
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
This is a seven-month window surrounding your 65th birthday when you first become eligible for Medicare in Mississippi.
- 3 months before your 65th birthday
- The month of your 65th birthday
- 3 months after your 65th birthday
You can be penalized if you do not enroll in this designated time frame.
Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from January 1 to March 31. This time frame is allows you to make one switch to your Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D plan before being locked in for the remainder of the year.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This enrollment period is designed for special circumstances outside of the traditional enrollment windows. You can qualify for SEP in a number of ways such as moving outside your current plan’s service area, becoming eligible for Mississippi Medicaid, or in some cases having a chronic health condition.
Please talk with a Medicare agent if you believe you might qualify for a special enrollment period, they can help you navigate your options.
Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage, which you probably see commercials on TV all the time as well as received tons of direct mail.
Part C is an alternative insurance to original Medicare and Medicare Supplements provided by private companies. Part C is required to provide the same benefits as Original Medicare and sometimes includes additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, fitness and wellness programs, and some others..
You don’t lose your Original Medicare, it just isn’t the primary payor at the time of service.
Many Medicare Advantage plans also provide prescription drug services, as well.
Part C coverage is offered through HMOs, PPOs, PFFSs, and Special Needs Plans.
What does this mean for you?
This means that if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, you do not need additional benefits as they are all consolidated into one plan that follows a copay schedule similar to the insurance you’ve been used to using your entire life.
For example, depending on the plan you have, you would pay a copay when you go see a doctor or specialist. You would also have a copay for things like ER visits and hospital stays.
Everything you do is classified in the plan and may or may not have a copay. Each plan is different and you should always review all the details as well as your doctors and medications before ever making any type of decisions.
A licensed agent is trained to walk you through that process in detail.
Medicare Part D – Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Medicare Part D is for your prescription drugs. Any person who is eligible for Medicare Part A can purchase a Part D plan, regardless of income or health status.
If you don’t enroll in Part D at the time of your eligibility, you may receive a lifetime penalty. Even if you’re not taking medications, you should always enroll in a Part D plan to avoid penalties that can impact you down the road.
Benefits and costs can vary widely from company to company. As we mentioned above, in many cases, Part C will also include drug coverage as part of the policy.
Part of the differences in coverage can also include which drugs are covered, whether or not you need prior authorization and what quantity of prescriptions you can purchase at any one time. You may also be limited to buying less expensive generic drugs than what your doctor prescribes.
These plans change every year which means you need to review your benefits on an annual basis between October 15th and December 7th to ensure you’re in the best plan for your situations.
Medicare Supplements (Medigap)
Medicare provides a relatively generous benefit to enrollees, but there are still “coverage gaps” that exist.
As previously mentioned, Original Medicare creates a gap of 20% that you’re responsible to pay. This is where choosing a Medicare Supplement and Part D plan is critically important.
For example, one gap may be that Medicare does not include international travel. However, a Medigap policy could provide this added peace of mind for active seniors who enjoy traveling a lot as part of their retirement.
If you have kids that live in another state and you visit through out the year, you’re Medicare supplement would follow you across state lines and ensure you’re protected against your 20% liability.
Depending on the benefits of a particular Medicare Supplement plan, costs could be covered entirely, which could provide a significant benefit for you and your family.
Medigap plans only work with Original Medicare. You can’t have both a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s one or the other.
There are ten standardized Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Mississippi. These are identified by the letters A through N (plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available, and Plan F will no longer be available starting in 2020).
Because they are standardized, as an example, this means that a Medicare Supplement Plan G in Alabama will include the same primary benefits as Plan G in Texas or Tennessee. If you take that a step further, a Plan G from one insurance company is exactly the same as a Plan G from another insurance company with the only difference being costs.
Plans charge different premiums for exactly the same coverage.
Does Medicare Supplement insurance cover dental, or hearing aids?
No, Medicare Supplements do not offer dental or hearing aids. These are two examples where it’s important that you shop additional private plans for dental or hearing coverage.
In 2020, the Medicare Supplement Plan G will be the most comprehensive standardized Medigap insurance plan, and carries the following added benefits:
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Part B preventive care coinsurance
- Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care coinsurance
- Foreign travel emergency care (80% of Medicare-approved costs, up to plan limits)
Here’s a quick overview of how each Medigap plan provides basic benefits:
It’s important to note that although the names are similar, Part A and Part B of Medicare are not the same as Medigap Plan A or Medigap Plan B.
What are the most common Medicare Supplement insurance plans?
In our experience, the most common Medicare supplement plans are as follows and in order:
- Plan G
- Plan N
- Plan L
How Medicare Part D Works with a Supplement
Each state, including Mississippi, decides how its State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP) works with Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Each plan that offers prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D must give at least a minimum level of coverage set by Medicare. Plans can vary the list of prescription drugs they cover (called a formulary) and how they place drugs into different “tiers” on their formularies.
For example, BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi has a search tool you can use to find out if the drug you need is covered under their formulary. Other Medicare companies have these same types of tools, which are typically what your licensed agent uses when helping you navigate the system.
Plans include brand-name prescription drugs and generic drug coverage. The formulary consists of at least two drugs in the most commonly prescribed categories and classes. That makes sure that people with different medical conditions can get the prescription drugs they need.
All Medicare drug plans generally must cover at least two drugs per drug category, but plans can choose which drugs covered by Part D they will offer.
A Supplement plan may not include your specific drug, but most of the time, a similar drug should be available. If your doctor writes a prescription but believes that none of the drugs available in your formulary will work, you can contact Medicare for an exception.
If you use a drug that isn’t on your plan’s formulary, you’ll pay full price instead of a copayment or coinsurance, unless you do qualify for a formulary exception.
Changes in Plans
As long as Supplement plans follow guidelines set forth by Medicare, they can make changes to their formulary from time to time. Changes might take place if new drugs are released, drug therapies change, new medical information becomes available, or if the FDA rules that a drug is not safe or if the drug manufacturer removes the drug from the market.
If a plan changes a drug you’re currently taking, then your plan must give you at least 30 days written notice or provide written notice at the time you get a refill that the change is taking place.
There is also an important new rule that took effect in 2019. Drug plans offering Medicare prescription drug coverage that meet specific requirements can now remove brand name drugs from their formularies and replace them with new generic drugs. They can also change the cost or coverage rules for brand name drugs when adding new generic drugs.
Keys to Saving Money
There are two keys to saving money on prescription drugs. Medicare drug plans negotiate to get lower prices for drugs on their formularies, so using those drugs will save you money. Also, you can save even more when you use generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs.
Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as brand-name prescription drugs. The FDA defines generic drugs as copies of brand-name drugs if they are the same as terms of:
- dosage form
- route of administration
- performance characteristics
- intended use
In addition to a standard baseline of coverage set by Medicare, each Supplement plan can place certain prescription drugs into different “tiers” on their formularies.
Each tier costs a different amount. In most cases, a drug in a lower tier will cost less than a drug in a higher tier.
Here’s an example of how tier pricing might work, although your plan’s tiers might be different.
- Tier 1—lowest copayment: most generic prescription drugs
- Tier 2—medium copayment: preferred, brand-name prescription drugs
- Tier 3—higher copayment: non-preferred, brand-name prescription drugs
- Specialty tier—highest copayment: very high-cost prescription drugs
If you have a drug in a higher tier, and your doctor thinks a drug in a lower tier might work for you, it’s possible to seek an exception to try and save money on your prescription costs.
How much do Medicare Supplements cost?
Medicare supplement costs vary based on the plan you choose. Let’s look at some examples of Medicare supplement costs across the state of Mississippi.
Below shows the top 5 Medicare Supplements by price.
For this example, I used Hattiesburg, MS with a zip code of 39402
As you can see, the costs for a Medicare Supplement in Hattiesburg ranges from $93 to $330. If the plans are required to be exactly the same, why would you pay more if you don’t have to?
This is exactly why it’s important to meet with an independent agent who can walk you through all of these options.
Here’s another example from Gulfport, MS in zip code 39501.
You’ll notice the cheapest plan available in Hattiesburg isn’t available in Gulfport.
We ran results across the biggest cities in Mississippi and found this to be the common pattern. Below are the cities we review during our analysis of Medicare Supplement costs.
- Jackson, MS
- Gulfport, MS
- Southhaven, MS
- Biloxi, MS
- Hattiesburg, MS
- Tupelo, MS
- Olive Branch, MS
- Meridian, MS
- Greenville, MS
- Hornlake, MS
We looked at a sample set of an additional 336 cities in Mississippi and found similar results.
What does this mean for you?
It reinforces you should be working with someone who can help you learn how to choose the best Medicare plan for you.
How to find a Medicare agent near me in Mississippi?
We have more than 1,000 licensed agents that can support you regardless of where you live in Mississippi.
You can get paired up with an experienced licensed Medicare agent in Mississippi that will take the time to answer your questions and run the plan and cost comparisons for you.
Medicare Companies in Mississippi
The best way to know which Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans are available would be the following.
- Talk to a licensed agent certified to sell Medicare plans in Mississippi with all the major companies such as Cigna, Aetna, UHC, Humana, as well as any regional plans if they exist. The reason you want to talk to a broker who offers all the plans is that they can compare all the plans for you vs. only educating you on one or two options. You really need to conduct a comprehensive review of your options.
- Open your 2020 Medicare and You book and look in the back. It will list all the available Medicare Advantage and Part D plans across the state of Mississippi for you to choose from.
What is the Best Medicare Plan in Mississippi?
There is no single best Medicare plan in Mississippi as all Medicare Supplement plan types are required to be the same. i.e. Plan G = Plan G regardless of the company.
The best plan is the one that is the most suitable for you.
With help from Stockett & Associates, you need to decide what benefits make the most sense for you, add in what kind of premiums work for your budget, and then compare providers who offer policies in your part of Mississippi.
Keep in mind that you have the option of going with Original Medicare only (Part A and Part B), enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), or a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) plus Part D.
Most Medicare Advantage plans in Mississippi include prescription drug coverage. There is no need to enroll in any standalone Part D drug plan if your plan covers it. For a few plans, you may need separate Part D coverage. Be sure to check your Summary of Benefits when shopping for a plan.
The two most common Part C plans are Medicare Advantage HMO plans and Medicare Advantage PPO plans.
HMO plans have smaller networks, and you must use providers in the network except in emergencies.
PPO plans have more extensive networks and provide more flexibility. You can see doctors outside the network, but you will pay a higher cost to do so.
There are Medicare Advantage available in every county in Mississippi in 2019 and that will likely be the same for 2020.
The number of available plans varies widely from county to county. Some have only four plans to choose from, while others have as many as 21 plans from which to choose.
In addition, according to Medicare there are 24 stand-alone Part D plans sold in Mississippi in 2019. Those premiums range anywhere from about $11 to $100 per month.
Medicare Enrollment Information
You’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B if you already receive Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
Typically you’re effective date will be the first day of the month that you trun 65. If a person is under 65, they are also automatically enrolled after 24 months of disability payments from Social Security. Those who have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) get automatic benefits when Social Security disability benefits start.
Your initial election period for Medicare is 3 month before, the month of, and 3 months after your 65th birthday.
While you definitely have a big window, it’s important to get your questions answered so you aren’t pressed to make an uninformed decision.
You only need to sign up for Medicare once. After that, enrollment is permanent.
Where and How Do I Apply for Medicare in Mississippi?
There are several ways to apply for Medicare in Mississippi.
Visit the Social Security website and submit an online application.
Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users dial 1-800-325-0778. They can help you even if they aren’t in your local area.
Visit a local Social Security office in Mississippi to enroll in Medicare.
Social Security Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 9 am to 4 pm
Wednesday – 9 am to noon
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Offices are closed on Federal Holidays
There are 23 social security offices in Mississippi. You can visit any of the offices listed below, or use the Social Security Office Locator to find the office closest to you.
Or you can google “social security office near me” and the closest location should show up.
Forest Social Security Office
558 Deer Field Drive
Forest, Mississippi 39074
1-866-829-2497 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
Greenville Social Security Office
Eisenhower Federal Building
305 Main Street Room 201
Greenville, Mississippi 38701
1-866-602-8776 or TTY: 1-662-334-9100
Gulfport Social Security Office (also serving Biloxi)
9394 Three Rivers Road
Gulfport, Mississippi 39503
1-877-897-0609 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
Hattiesburg Social Security Office
1911 Broadway Drive
Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39402
1-866-331-2186 or TTY: 1-601-264-9749
Jackson Social Security Office
100 W Capitol Street Ste 225 McCoy Federal Bldg.
Jackson, Mississippi 39269
1-866-331-8135 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
Meridian Social Security Office
4717 26th Avenue
Meridian, Mississippi 39305
1-866-403-8014 or TTY: 1-601-483-7328
Olive Branch Social Security Office
8760 Mid South Dr
Olive Branch, Mississippi 38654
1-866-739-4771 or TTY: 1-662-890-0435
Tupelo Social Security Office
199 Saddle Creek Drive
Tupelo, Mississippi 38801
1-866-504-4267 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
Vicksburg Social Security Office
4155 Clay Street Suite 132
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183
1-866-964-0996 or TTY: 1-601-630-0123
What is the Cost of Medicare in Mississippi?
The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees is $135.50 for 2019. The part B premium for 2020 will be $144.60 which is a $9.10 increase.
The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $185 in 2019 and will increase to $198 in 2020.
For detailed information on premiums and deductibles for 2019, including Part B premium costs based on income, go here.
Benefits, premiums, and copayments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year.
For Medicare Supplement plans, each provider establishes how much they charge for premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and what services they will provide, as long as they meet Medicare minimum guidelines.
Just as it is for Original Medicare, provider plan costs can change only once a year, beginning on January 1.
Another cost to note is Medicare Advantage plans have out-of-pocket maximums for each year. Original Medicare does not. After you reach that maximum, there are no charges for covered services.
When you use a brokerage such as Stockett & Associates, part of what you’ll do is figure out the sweet spot between the amount and type of services you’re likely to use. We’ll also assist you with the kind of services you may need, and whether you want to pay more each month for a small deductible for services or cheaper copayments for doctor visits.
It’s also worth noting that Supplement plan providers are allowed to price their plan premiums in several ways:
• Community no-age-rated: Medicare Supplement insurance plans that charge premiums that are the same across the board, regardless of age.
• Issue-age-rated: Premiums based on your age when you first enrolled in the policy. The younger you are when you enroll, the lower your premium will be.
• Attained-age-rated: Like issue-age-rated, these plans base premiums on the age you were when you first bought a policy. The difference is that premiums increase as you get older.
Regardless of what rating method an insurance company uses, premiums can increase over time for reasons other than age, such as inflation.
Can I Have Medicare and Medicaid in Mississippi?
It is possible to have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage in Mississippi, as long as you meet eligibility requirements.
If you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, you are a classified as a dual eligible which make you qualified for additional benefits.
Medicare and Medicaid are sometimes confused. The main difference between the two is the Medicare offers coverage based on reaching 65 or if you have a qualifying disability, while Medicaid is income and asset-based. If you fall below certain thresholds, you can qualify to receive Medicaid coverage.
The other important distinction is that Medicare is administered at the federal level, while Medicaid is a state program. The state determines eligibility, covered services, and payment levels.
A person eligible for Medicaid may be able to use those benefits to pay for expenses not covered by Medicare (i.e., dental and vision benefits, prescription drugs, etc.) as well as monthly Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments.
Others who are eligible for Medicaid in Mississippi include people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and children under the state’s assistance for adoption or foster care. Some nursing home or long-term care patients with limited income may also qualify.
Medicaid pays a health care provider directly, so patients should only use healthcare providers who accept Medicaid payments.
To better understand how Medicare and Medicaid can work together to provide benefits, contact the state Division of Medicaid at 1-800-421-2408.
What is the Medicare Savings Programs in Mississippi?
These are commonly called assistance programs by agents in the field. They federal programs that can offer financial assistance to qualified individuals.
If you meet certain conditions, you can get help paying your Medicare premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
There are four kinds of Medicare Savings Programs you should know about.
Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program. Medicaid pays your Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. Eligibility begins one month after the date you’re approved. You must be eligible for Medicare Part A. Your total monthly income must not exceed 100% of the federal poverty level for an individual or couple if you are married.
Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program. Medicaid pays only your Part B premium as of the date that the Division of Medicaid starts your eligibility. An SLMB does not qualify for any additional Medicaid benefits. Eligibility begins in the month a person is qualified, which may be up to three months before the month of application.
You must have Medicare, Part A (Hospital Insurance). Total monthly income cannot exceed 120% of the federal poverty level for an individual or couple if you are married.
Qualifying Individual (QI) – Medicaid pays only your Part B premium as of the date that the Division of Medicaid starts your eligibility. A QI does not qualify for any additional Medicaid benefits. Eligibility begins in the month a person is qualified, which may be up to three months before the month of application. You must have Medicare Part A. Your total monthly income cannot exceed 135% of the federal poverty level for an individual or couple if you are married. A limited federal allotment funds this group. If these funds run out, this group could be affected.
Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program. This program helps you pay the Part A premium. You qualify if you’re a working disabled person under 65, and you lost your premium-free Part A when you went back to work. You must not be getting any medical assistance from the state.
If you qualify for the QMB program, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage.
If you have or you’re eligible for Part A and your income and resources are at or below program requirements, call the State Medicaid Program to see if you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program in Mississippi.
Additional Resources for Mississippi Medicare beneficiaries
For more information on Medicare and Mississippi health services, please refer to the following resources:
- Mississippi Department of Insurance: Find educational resources on the Medicare program, long-term care services, and avoiding insurance fraud. Call (601) 359-3569 or (800) 562-2957.
- Mississippi Department of Human Services: The Division of Aging and Adult Services has information on state-run programs for older adults, including meal delivery and transportation services. Call (601)359-4956 or (888)240-7539.
- Mississippi Medicaid: If you have limited income, you can get help paying for health benefits, including Medicare and long-term care costs.
- Mississippi State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): Get free counseling for Medicare and Medicaid questions.
Choosing the right Medicare plan is extremely important and a process you shouldn’t rush. Below are the best practices to remember.
- There are four common ways people use Medicare.
- Medicare Advantage is NOT the same as Medicare Supplements.
- Plans can change every year and you should always review your benefits during the annual enrollment period.
Please call us locally at 601-264-0541 or email us by clicking here.