Assisted living facilities primarily help residents with non-medical needs. Although minor and infrequent medical services, such as first-aid for a wound, can sometimes be met on-site by nurses. These communities may sometimes also be called ALFs, residential care facilities, retirement homes, or long-term care facilities.
The financial options available to help pay for senior care is dependent on, among other things, the type of care that is required. If you are just beginning the research process on how to pay for long-term care, it is helpful to have an idea about the type of care you or your loved one currently requires, as well as to anticipate future needs. In addition, it is important to be familiar with the associated eldercare terminology.
Can using home care technology help your family save money caring for an aging loved one? The answer is most certainly “Yes”. Our goal is not to provide a comprehensive list, but rather to make sense of those that are available on the market today and can reduce the care hours required by elderly persons. As such, they can reduce a family’s out-of-pocket care costs or reduce the hours they spend providing care themselves.
Medicare Advantage (Part C), a privately offered alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B), has grown in popularity over the years. Despite the growing popularity of Medicare Advantage, some seniors face obstacles that prevent them from truly understanding how it works and who it benefits. Common mistakes about Medicare Advantage include misunderstanding its differences from Original Medicare, getting it confused with other forms of private Medicare insurance (like Medigap or Part D), or not understanding how to look up or evaluate plans.
When comparing Original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage (MA), beneficiaries should notice some distinct differences. One of the biggest differences is they receive Original Medicare through the federal government and purchase Medicare Advantage plans through private insurance companies contracted by Medicare. These companies must follow the rules governed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but can make some of their own decisions about out-of-pocket costs, referrals and provider networks.
Another significant difference is MA plans bundle more types of health care coverage into a comprehensive solution. These plans provide Medicare Part A and Part B like Original Medicare but also usually include Part D to provide prescription drug coverage. Recipients must purchase Part D separately under traditional Medicare plans. Medicare Advantage also may provide other types of coverage not included with Original Medicare, such as hearing, vision and dental coverage.
Mississippi had more than 600,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 2020, but only about 22% of them chose Medicare Advantage. It’s a much lower percentage compared to the national average of 38% that same year. However, Medicare Advantage enrollees in Mississippi are rising like in many other parts of the country. About 28% of Medicare beneficiaries in Mississippi opted for MA plans over Original Medicare in 2021. The number of MA plans available has also increased, with 61 plans available statewide in 2022 compared to 54 in 2021. While plans rise, premiums decrease, falling from $22.52 in 2021 to $21.41 in 2022.
This guide offers a breakdown of Medicare Advantage plans in Mississippi, including an overview of what these plans cover and the top providers in the state. It also provides information on eligibility requirements, how they work and where to find plans servicing a specific area.
The Top 10 Medicare Advantage Plans in Mississippi
With the rising number of plans available, seniors in Mississippi will find various types of Medicare Advantage plans to compare. They can also choose between numerous providers who serve one or more areas of the state. Listed below are the top 10 Medicare Advantage providers arranged by total enrollment. Because they typically offer more than one plan, the table combines enrollment numbers for every plan offered by an insurer to create an overall total by provider. The table also provides cost ranges of averages to demonstrate plan pricing better. Provider information was last updated in April 2022. Beneficiaries may visit Medicare.gov to get up-to-date information on the plans available.
Wellcare by Allwell
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Vantage Health Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
How Medicare Advantage Plans Work in Mississippi
Seniors can choose between several distinct Medicare Advantage plan types in Mississippi. While many plans available are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, several Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans are also available. Beneficiaries will also find some Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans and Special Needs Plans (SNP) in some parts of the state. Below is a compilation of information about the different types of Medicare Advantage plans available in Mississippi to help Medicare recipients make informed health care coverage decisions.
What Medicare Advantage Plans Cover in Mississippi
Medicare beneficiaries in Mississippi who choose Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare may have a lower deductible but with the same level of coverage. MA plans must provide Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, such as Original Medicare to ensure recipients still receive hospital and medical coverage. However, Medicare Advantage typically offers more comprehensive coverage with some extras that Original Medicare doesn’t provide. Some perks might include vision and dental care, prescription drugs and hearing aids.
Coverage Available With Medicare Parts A & B?
Coverage Available With Medicare Advantage?
Durable Medical Equipment
*Select plans offer this coverage
** Most plans offer this coverage
Eligibility for Medicare Advantage in Mississippi
To qualify for Medicare Advantage in Mississippi, recipients must have Medicare Parts A and B. They must be at least 65 years old. Residents also might be eligible if they’re younger than 65 if they’re disabled and receive Social Security Disability Insurance. They’re also eligible if they’ve been diagnosed with certain medical conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or end-stage renal disease that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Eligibility stipulations also require recipients to be U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants. To qualify for a specific Medicare Advantage plan in Mississippi, the beneficiary must permanently reside in an area serviced by the plan. Some MA plans have additional eligibility requirements, so check these details carefully. Like everywhere in the nation, seniors may also sign up for Medicare Advantage or switch their existing plan during one of the designated enrollment periods outlined below.
Initial Coverage Election Period: This is the initial 7-month period, coinciding with one’s 65th birthday, during which everyone is eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Annual Election Period (AEP): Also referred to as the Open Enrollment Period, this the time of year when anyone over 65 can enroll in Medicare Advantage for the first time or change to a new plan.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: During this period, those who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage can switch to a different plan or switch back to Original Medicare.
Initial Coverage Election Period
3 Months Before One’s 65th Birth Month
3 Months After One’s 65th Birth Month
Annual Election Period (AEP)
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
Additionally, Medicare Advantage plan participants can change their plan outside of these enrollment periods under certain qualifying circumstances, such as moving to a new state.
How to Find & Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan in Mississippi
Navigating the many intricacies of Medicare Advantage plan types, insurers, and the specific plan options available by region can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Below are several resources we’ve created to help you through the process.
First is a downloadable PDF that you can use as a guide to help you compare plans as you research. Finally, we have listed a number of organizations that you can contact with experts that will help you determine whether Medicare Advantage is right for you and what plans you should consider.
The Mississippi State Health Insurance Program, or SHIP, is a statewide network of volunteers trained specifically to help seniors and their loved ones understand, enroll in and manage their health insurance options. SHIP volunteers are available to answer questions about Medicare eligibility, discuss Medicare Advantage plans and benefits, file appeals and more. Seniors can also contact SHIP for guidance on how to keep track of their medical bills, to discuss their eligibility for Medicaid and learn about options for long-term care.
To speak with a SHIP volunteer to learn more or request assistance, seniors can contact their local Area Agency on Aging.
The Mississippi Insurance Department is a state agency providing residents with access to a wealth of information and resources related to all types of insurance. Seniors can call the department to receive Medicare and Medicare Advantage plan counseling services. On the department website, seniors can access links to educational materials on topics including tips for avoiding Medicare fraud, Medicare prescription drug coverage, the state’s Medicare Supplement Shoppers Guide and the official federal Medicare & You handbook. The Mississippi Insurance Department also helps seniors file complaints, learn about their long-term care insurance options and obtain resources regarding other types of insurance. Contact Information Seniors can contact the Mississippi Insurance Department by calling its statewide, toll-free consumers line at 800-562-2957, emailing a representative listed in its email directory or by visiting the department’s office located on the 10th Floor of the Woolfolk State Office Building at 501 North West Street in Jackson.
Seniors can contact the Mississippi Insurance Department by calling its statewide, toll-free consumers line at 800-562-2957, emailing a representative listed in its email directory or by visiting the department’s office located on the 10th Floor of the Woolfolk State Office Building at 501 North West Street in Jackson.
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid helps eligible, low-income individuals and families obtain health care coverage through the state Medicaid program. Its three Medicare cost-sharing programs can assist Medicare-enrolled seniors in paying their out-of-pocket health care costs, such as premiums and coinsurance. These include the Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB), Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) and Qualifying Individual (QI) programs. To participate in QMB, seniors must be eligible for Medicare Part A, and seniors must already have Medicare Part A to qualify for SLMB and QI. Additionally, applicants’ monthly income may not be more than 100% of the federal poverty level to qualify for the QMB program, 120% for the SLMB and 135% for the QI program.
To learn more or apply for these programs, Mississippi seniors can call their Medicaid regional office. A list of regional office locations and phone numbers is provided on the Mississippi Division of Medicaid website. They can also apply online, or call the division’s main switchboard at 601-359-6050.
Mississippi Senior Medicare Patrol protects seniors enrolled in Medicare plans within the state against scams and fraudulent practices. To do this, trained volunteers counsel and educate seniors on how to read their Medicare bills, statements and other documents, protect their identities and report errors and suspicious or fraudulent behaviors. They can also help seniors recognize deceptive or illegal marketing practices when shopping for Medicare Advantage plans. Because many volunteers are Medicare beneficiaries themselves, they serve as trustworthy, informed and unbiased supporters. Services are provided through one-on-one counseling, group presentations and via a telephone helpline.
To contact the Mississippi Senior Medicare Patrol, seniors can call 877-272-8720, email [email protected] or visit the regional headquarters located at 8440 Jefferson Highway, Suite 101, in Baton Rouge, LA.
Mississippi’s Area Agencies on Aging are located throughout the state to provide seniors with information, assistance, referral programs and access to SHIP volunteers and other Medicare and health-related counseling services. To qualify for services, seniors must be aged 60 and older or disabled. Assessments are done to evaluate an individual’s eligibility for certain services.
A list of Mississippi’s Area Agencies on Aging, the counties each one serves and their contact information can be found on the Mississippi Department of Human Services website here.
Mississippi Access to Care Centers (MAC) are places seniors can visit to learn about and apply for Medicare benefits, shop for Medicare Advantage plans and receive referrals, counseling and information about long-term care. Seniors can receive this assistance by phone, in person at a center or through a home visit. The MAC website also includes information on a wide range of other programs and services for seniors. Assistance through MAC is not limited based on a senior’s financial situation.