Here’s the Rundown: Did you know that there are over 600,000 who have Medicare in Mississippi, as of February 2020? Are you one of these people? Or are you about to become eligible for Medicare?
If so, you may want to learn more about what your coverage options are through Medicare in Mississippi.
You have a few options for receiving your benefits.
- An all-in-one Medicare Advantage plan
- Original Medicare plus a stand-alone prescription drug plan plus a Medicare Supplement insurance plan
Read on to learn more about Medicare in Mississippi.
Original Medicare in Mississippi
Original Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for people 65+. Younger people with certain disabilities, ESRD, or ALS also may get Medicare.
Original Medicare coverage doesn’t include everything. It doesn’t cover most prescription drugs, nor does it cover routine vision or preventive dental care.
You also don’t have to stay within a certain health care network, you can visit any provider that accepts Medicare.
Medicare in Mississippi Eligibility Requirements?
Most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn age 65 if they are a citizen or a permanent resident of 5 years.
But you can get Medicare before age 65 if you have a qualifying disability or illness, such as ALS or ESRD.
To apply for Medicare:
- 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. Social Security representatives can be reached Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) to apply for Medicare. The RRB contact number is 1-877-772-5772; TTY users can dial 1-312-751-4701. Call Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM to speak with an RRB representative.
- Visit a local Social Security office. To find locations in Mississippi, use the Social Security Office Locator.
You can enroll in Original Medicare during:
- Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): This is the seven-month period when you can get Medicare. It begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months later.
- General Enrollment Period (GEP): If you missed your IEP, you can enroll during this time. This happens every year from January 1 to March 31. You may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you don’t sign up when you’re first eligible.
- Special Enrollment Period (SEP): You can sign up for Original Medicare if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
For example, if you had coverage through your job and wait until you retire to enroll in Medicare, you may qualify for an SEP.
This Special Enrollment Period period is 8-months long.
It will begin after your credible coverage ends.
You won’t have to pay a late enrollment penalty in this case.
Medicare in Mississippi Coverage Options
You can get your Medicare coverage from a private insurance company. You may have a few different options for plans depending on where you live.
You can sign up for any of these available plans during your IEP.
Some plan options you may have are:
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C): Medicare Advantage (MA) plans must offer the same benefits as Original Medicare (except hospice care which remains covered under Part A).
Some Medicare Advantage plans have extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as routine vision and dental coverage.
Some MA plans offer basic coverage plus extra coverage at $0 per month.
Many MA plans, have prescription drug coverage. These MA plans are called MAPD plans.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D If you have Original Medicare, you can get prescription drug coverage by enrolling in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance. If you decide to stay with Original Medicare, another option you may have is to sign up for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan. These plans help pay for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs.
Keep in mind that Medigap only works with Original Medicare. You can’t use these plans to pay for Medicare Advantage costs.
Medicare in Mississippi Resources
For more information on Medicare and Mississippi health services, please use the following links:
- Mississippi Department of Insurance: You can find resources on the Medicare program, long-term care services, and avoiding insurance fraud.
- Mississippi Department of Human Services: Find info on state-run programs for older adults. Some programs include meal delivery and transportation services.
- Mississippi Medicaid: 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 questions on Medicare and Medicaid.
Learn more about how Medicare plans work in Mississippi, including: