Mississippi Medicare insurance offers comparatively more affordable health insurance coverage for qualified beneficiaries all over the US. In a state like Mississippi where the median household income is only $39,680, this option is a relief for many who cannot afford other types of health insurance. The average cost of monthly premiums for health insurance in Mississippi is $432 per month, and that’s too high for some in a state with a poverty rate of 21.5%.
Medicare is a health insurance program funded by the US government. However, the state of Mississippi has various programs that offer different kinds of assistance to Medicare beneficiaries in the state.
The program is meant mainly for individuals over the age of 65. However, some workers with certain disabilities may qualify even before reaching the age of 65.
Qualified applicants can obtain coverage from Medicare directly, and this coverage is called Original Medicare. It is the combination of 2 parts, called Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A covers hospital services while Part B covers various medical treatments, preventive services, and durable medical supplies.
Both Part A and Part B may require premiums, although this is an unusual occurrence for Medicare Part A. Both will also involve deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance expenses which beneficiaries may have to pay for out-of-pocket.
Beneficiaries of Original Medicare may wish to add to their Medicare coverage by purchasing supplemental plans from private carriers with Medicare approval. These plans generally require a separate premium, but they may cover new health services that are not covered by Medicare Part A and Part B.
Other plans may help cover the cost of deductibles, copays, and coinsurance expenses. It is also possible to obtain a stand-alone Medicare supplemental plan to cover the cost of prescription drugs. This type of prescription drug plan is called Medicare Part D.
These Medicare-approved private carriers may also offer Medicare Advantage Plans to replace Original Medicare. These are also known as Medicare Part C. Like Original Medicare, these plans have to cover the same services that are covered by both Medicare Part A and Part B.
However, many of these plans include coverage for other health services that are not covered by Original Medicare. Some plans also have Medicare Drug prescription coverage as well.
Medicare expenses include premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs. All these may be too expensive for many in Mississippi, which is why the Mississippi Division of Medicaid offers Medicare Cost-Sharing Coverage for certain groups of qualified Medicare beneficiaries.
All the beneficiaries of these programs must be eligible for Medicare Part A. These programs also have an income limit for qualified beneficiaries. However, unlike the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) in other states, there is no resource limit in Mississippi.
These Medicare Cost-Sharing groups include the Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB), who will receive a Medicaid card. Medicaid will pay for their Medicare premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles. The income of individuals or married couples cannot exceed 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For an individual, this is an income limit of $1,032 per month. Married couples must have a combined income of less than $1,392 per month.
The next group pays for just the Part B premium. This is for Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries whose income cannot exceed 120% of the Federal Poverty Level. This means individuals cannot earn more than $1,234 a month while the combined income of a married couple should be less than $1,666.
There is also a group for Qualified Individuals, who can qualify with an income of less than 135% FPL. This program also pays for only the Part B premium, and it is funded by a limited federal allotment. If the resources run out, so do the benefits. This is why application approval for QIs runs on a “first come, first served” basis.
An individual can be one of the QIs with an income of $1,386 per month. Married couples have an income limit of $1,872.
Another program that may help comes from Social Security, and it is called Extra Help. This provides subsidies for low-income individuals to afford prescription drugs.
Mississippi has a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) that offers counselling and answers to questions about Medicare and other health insurance matters. Residents of the state can call Mississippi SHIP at 1-800-948-3090.
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