What You Need to Know
Medicare Supplement plans in Mississippi help cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.
Not all out-of-pocket costs, such as dental or vision care, are covered by a Medigap policy.
Medigap policies don’t cover prescription drugs. You’ll need a Medicare Part D plan for medication costs.
If you’re age 65 or older, you can sign up for the federal Medicare program. Original Medicare, or Medicare Part A and B, covers many common medical expenses — like hospital stays and lab tests — but you’ll still have out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare Supplement plans in Mississippi are offered by private insurance companies to help cover these out-of-pocket costs. Also called Medigap policies, these plans, named by letters A through N, pay for costs like copayments and deductibles.
When Can You Enroll in Medigap?
To get a Medigap policy in Mississippi, you first need to enroll in Original Medicare. After enrolling in Part A and B, you can sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan during these times:
- Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP): Your first chance to sign up for a Medigap policy is during the six months after you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. This is the best time to join a Medicare Supplement plan. Insurers can’t deny you coverage or charge you more because of health issues, or a preexisting condition like cancer or heart disease. You’ll have the most access to plans at the best prices. 1
- Outside Open Enrollment Period: You can still sign up for a Medigap policy in Mississippi if you miss your OEP. However, insurance companies can reject you or charge you more for health reasons.
- Guaranteed Issue: You might have a guaranteed issue right to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan outside of your OEP. If you qualify for a guaranteed issue right, insurance companies aren’t allowed to charge you more based on your health. They also can’t deny your application or impose a waiting period over health conditions. 2
- Special Enrollment Period: If you qualify for a guaranteed issue right, you can enroll outside of your OEP. You may qualify in certain situations:
- You enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan within the last year and want to go back to Original Medicare
- You get coverage from a group insurance plan, such as an employer or union plan, but your coverage is ending
- You’re moving out of the service area of your Medicare Advantage plan
When You Can Enroll
The best time to sign up for a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
What Are the Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans?
Among the more than 160,000 Medicare members enrolled in Medicare Supplement plans in Mississippi, the most popular is Plan F with over 100,000 people enrolled. The next most popular is Plan G, which has over 41,000 enrollees. Plan N has nearly 10,000 people enrolled. 3
- Plan F: This plan is the most popular for a reason — it pays for most costs of Medicare Part A as well as the deductible for Medicare Part A and B. Coverage includes up to three pints of blood and coinsurance for hospital and hospice care and skilled nursing care. However, people who became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020, aren’t eligible for this plan.
- Plan G: If you can’t sign up for Plan F, Plan G is a popular alternative. It covers similar expenses, such as coinsurance for hospital stays and skilled nursing care. The biggest difference is that Plan G doesn’t cover your Medicare Part B deductible.
- Plan N: Plan N pays for your Medicare Part A coinsurance and deductible, as well as Part B coinsurance. It doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible or Part B excess charges.
Medicare Supplement plans, named by letter, are the same across different insurers.
How Do You Choose a Medicare Supplement Plan?
All Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in Mississippi are standardized — the coverage for a plan doesn’t change between insurance companies. For example, you’ll get the same coverage on Plan N no matter which insurer you choose. This makes it easier to compare the cost of each plan from different insurance companies.
You should consider other costs as well, such as coverage for your medications. Medigap policies don’t cover prescription drugs. You can purchase a separate Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage.
How Much Do Medigap Policies Cost?
Insurance carriers use three ratings to determine the price of a Medicare Supplement plan in Mississippi.
- Community-rated: Everyone on the plan pays the same price.
- Issue-age-rated: Your premium amount is based on your age when you sign up and doesn’t increase as you get older.
- Attained-age-rated: Your premiums increase as you get older. 4
If you live in Jackson, for example, you might pay between $73 and $863 for Plan N. A high-deductible Plan G would cost between $29 and $299. Premiums for the regular Plan G range from $94 to $1,090. These premiums are in addition to the Medicare Part B premium of $148.50 in 2021. 5
Who Sells Medicare Supplement Plans in Mississippi?
While Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, not every insurance company has to sell every plan. Likewise, insurers may sell different plans in different locations. You can get a Medicare Supplement plan in most Mississippi locations from companies such as:
- BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi
What If You Want to Change Your Medigap Policy?
You can change your Medicare Supplement plan in Mississippi at any time by applying for a new plan. Remember that insurance companies can charge you more, require a waiting period or deny your application if you apply outside of your OEP without a guaranteed issue right. To cancel your existing plan after joining a new one, simply contact your insurance company and request to cancel your coverage.
What Are Alternatives to Medicare Supplement?
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are the most common alternative to Medigap policies in Mississippi. Also called Medicare Part C, MA plans replace Original Medicare coverage with private health insurance.
Most MA plans use a provider network, such as an HMO or PPO, to lower the cost of care. Many also include Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and have additional benefits like vision coverage.
What Are Medicare Resources in Mississippi?
- State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): SHIP is a program designed to help seniors look at their healthcare options and enroll in Medicare. You can get free, unbiased advice from Medicare counselors who can help you select a plan.
- Mississippi Insurance Department: This state agency helps protect consumers from insurance fraud and provides resources for insurance customers, including Medicare beneficiaries.
- Mississippi Division of Medicaid: Medicaid is a federal program that is run by each state. Medicaid services help eligible low-income and disabled seniors get access to no- or low-cost health insurance.
If Medicare Supplement plans are right for you, compare your plan options before your OEP starts at age 65. This gives you the chance to decide on a plan and shop around for an insurance company without missing your OEP and risking higher costs.