In addition to Silver plans, Mississippi provides more metal tiers with varying premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. In Mississippi, Ambetter offers the most affordable Bronze plans, while Vantage Health Plan and Molina offer the most affordable Expanded Bronze and Gold plans, respectively.
If you are looking to balance monthly premiums with quality claims and coverage, MoneyGeek analyzed the best health insurance in Mississippi.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Mississippi
Cheapest Health Insurance in Mississippi by Metal Tier
The Ambetter Virtual Access Silver - Virtual PCP selection required plan from Ambetter, an HMO plan, costs $477 per month, making it the most affordable and accessible Silver plan for the typical Mississippian.
Health insurance premiums vary by metal tier. Typically, a more expensive plan offers more comprehensive coverage. The following plans are the cheapest health insurance option in Mississippi for each respective metal tier:
- Bronze: CMS Standard Bronze with Walgreens ($406 per month)
- Expanded Bronze: Savings Bronze 5500 ($416 per month)
- Silver: Standard Silver 5800 ($463)
- Gold: Confident Care Gold 1 ($554 per month)
Compared to lower premium plans, like Bronze and Expanded Bronze plans, that only cover the most essential medical costs, valuable metal tiers, like Gold or Platinum, cost more each month but have more coverage and lower out-of-pocket maximums.
Health insurance plans are grouped into metal tiers. More valuable metals, like Gold, have higher monthly premiums, more coverage and lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Less valuable metal tiers, like Bronze or Expanded Bronze plans, may be preferred by buyers who are young and in good health, whereas more valuable metal tiers may be preferred by buyers who anticipate needing medical care. Silver plans offer a good balance between monthly cost and deductible amount, making it a good option for those with modest incomes.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Mississippi
Ambetter has the most affordable Silver plan in Mississippi, with its Ambetter Virtual Access Silver- Virtual PCP selection required plan costing an average of $477 per month. The three cheapest HMO health insurance plans in Mississippi in this category are as follows:
- Ambetter Virtual Access Silver - Virtual PCP selection required from Ambetter: $477 per month
- Clear Silver with Walgreens from Ambetter: $480 per month
- CMS Standard Silver with Walgreens from Ambetter: $482 per month
Silver plans are popular because they have lower deductibles and offer more coverage than Bronze plans. Only Silver plans qualify for CSRs, which may reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses.
MoneyGeek recommends HMO plans in this section because, while they're not necessarily the cheapest in the state, they are the most accessible for residents of Mississippi.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Mississippi
Molina's Confident Care Gold 1 is the most affordable Gold plan in Mississippi, costing approximately $554 per month. The following are the three cheapest Gold plans in Mississippi:
- Confident Care Gold 1 from Molina: $554 per month
- Confident Care Gold 1 + Vision from Molina: $560 per month
- Confident Care Gold 8 from Molina: $568 per month
With Gold plans, you’ll pay more each month, but you’ll pay less out of pocket for medical care. In contrast to Silver plans, however, Gold plans do not offer cost-sharing discounts.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Mississippi
Ambetter's CMS Standard Bronze with Walgreens plan costs approximately $406 per month, making it the most affordable Bronze plan in Mississippi. The three most affordable plans in the state are as follows:
- CMS Standard Bronze with Walgreens from Ambetter: $406 per month
- Clear Bronze with Walgreens from Ambetter: $428 per month
- Cigna Simple Choice 9100 from Cigna: $436 per month
Bronze plans have the highest deductibles and the lowest monthly premiums, meaning, you’ll pay more out of pocket for medical services.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Mississippi
Vantage Health Plan's Savings Bronze 5500 plan is the cheapest Expanded Bronze plan in Mississippi, costing around $416 per month. The following are the three most affordable Expanded Bronze health insurance plans in Mississippi:
- Savings Bronze 5500 from Vantage Health Plan: $416 per month
- Savings Bronze 7200 from Vantage Health Plan: $416 per month
- Essential Bronze 6500 from Vantage Health Plan $422 per month
Expanded Bronze plans are the middle ground between Bronze and Silver plans — they typically cover one major service and one initial appointment before hitting your deductible. However, there is a copay.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Mississippi for Those With Low Income
Mississippi residents who meet certain requirements and have an income of less than 250% of the FPL are eligible for cost-sharing reductions, also known as CSRs. These reduce the financial burden of patients' medical bills following treatment.
MoneyGeek determined that Standard Silver 5800 from Vantage Health Plan is the most affordable plan for low-income individuals in Mississippi. Depending on your annual income, you’ll likely receive a plan with one of the following reduced MOOPs:
- Income lower than $20,385 per year: Standard Silver 5800 ($1,700 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year: Standard Silver 5800 ($3,000 MOOP)
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year: Standard Silver 5800 ($7,200 MOOP)
CSRs are only applicable to Silver plans. It should be noted that the income brackets above are for an individual — yours will vary based on the number of people in your household.
Cost-sharing plans do not affect your premium amount. However, they allow your health insurance company to cover more of your medical expenses, thus reducing your copayment, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
Using the Standard Silver 5800 as an example, the average premium cost of both standard and low-income plans is $463. However, the standard plan has a MOOP cost of $8,900, while the low-income plan has a MOOP cost of $1,700 for individuals whose income falls below 150% of the FPL.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Mississippi by Plan Type
In Mississippi, the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan type is the most prevalent, but the exchange also has other plan types. Alternative options, such as Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) and Point of Sale (POS) plans, are also available in the state.
Mississippi's most affordable EPO and POS health insurance plans are:
- EPO: Cigna Connect 4450 from Cigna ($487 per month)
- POS: Standard Silver 5800 from Vantage Health Plan ($463 per month)
EPO and POS plans differ mainly in terms of flexibility. PPO plans give you the freedom to use out-of-network doctors for a higher cost. EPO plans cost less but have fewer network options.
When shopping for health insurance in Mississippi, you can choose between HMO, EPO and POS health insurance plan options.
- HMO plans: HMO plans are typically the cheapest but also the least flexible. Policyholders must seek care from doctors and facilities within their insurer’s network, except in emergencies. You will also need a referral from a primary care provider to see a specialist.
- EPO plans: EPO plans are perfect for budget-conscious individuals who don’t mind using their insurer’s network of providers. Unlike HMO plans, you may not need a referral to see a specialist.
- POS plans: With these plans, you can use both in- and out-of-network providers, but the latter will cost more. Specialist visits require a referral from your primary care doctor.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Mississippi by County
Some plans aren’t available in every area in Mississippi. Because of this, the cheapest option in one county may not be the cheapest in another. For instance, the following are the monthly rates for the cheapest Silver plan in the largest county in Mississippi, Hinds, and the smallest county, Issaquena:
- Hinds County: Ambetter Virtual Access Silver - Virtual PCP selection required ($485)
- Issaquena County: Ambetter Virtual Access Silver - Virtual PCP selection required ($461)
Evaluate the Silver plan options available in your county using the table below.
Health Insurance Costs in Mississippi by Age and Metal Tier
Other factors that impact the cost of health insurance include age and metal tier. Consider the impact of metal level on the average monthly premium for a 40-year-old in Mississippi:
- Bronze: $893
- Expanded Bronze: $1,364
- Silver: $1,490
- Gold: $1,967
Health insurance rates increase as you age. In Mississippi, a Silver plan typically costs $3,165 for seniors, $1,490 for middle-aged people and $740 for younger adults.
What to Know About Mississippi Health Insurance
Information from private health insurance policies was used to determine the most affordable health insurance in Mississippi. During the open enrollment period, prospective purchasers can compare various plans and select the one that best meets their requirements and coverage criteria.
Mississippians also have the option of determining their eligibility for less expensive government-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is available to low-income persons, whereas Medicare is for seniors and people with disabilities.
Private Health Insurance in the Mississippi Marketplace
Open enrollment for private insurance plans normally runs from November 1 to January 15 each year. This period is allotted for customers to obtain health insurance through the exchange.
You have additional time to adjust your plan before the term expires if you register early. The deadline to enroll in coverage is December 15, 2023, for coverage to begin on January 1, 2024.
Mississippi residents who qualify can access a special enrollment period, during which they can purchase private health insurance.
Qualifying events include getting married, having a baby, losing your job and more. Generally, you have up to 60 days before or after the event to reapply for or make adjustments to your health insurance.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
More valuable metal tiers have higher monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs. Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold plans are offered in Mississippi.
- Bronze: These feature higher deductibles and lower monthly payments, making them a good option for those in good health that infrequently need medical services.
- Expanded Bronze: These have out-of-pocket costs that are lower than Bronze plans but higher than Silver plans.
- Silver: Silver plans are the most popular option since they offer a balance between monthly premiums and MOOP costs. Through CSRs, your out-of-pocket expenses, like your co-insurance, copayment and deductible, are reduced.
- Gold: Gold plans’ premiums are greater than those of the Silver and Bronze plans, but you’ll pay less out of pocket when you receive care.
Medicaid in Mississippi
Medicaid is a government program that provides free health insurance to those who qualify. Mississippi has not embraced Medicaid expansion, so eligibility is limited to those who meet the state's standards. Typically, this includes persons with disabilities, relatively low family income and low-income children. Additionally, pregnant women may qualify.
Medicare in Mississippi
Applying for Medicare, a federal program that offers health care at comparatively reasonable costs, may be possible if you are 65 years of age or older or have an eligible disability or disease. In contrast to Medicaid, Medicare policyholders must pay for some coverages.
Medicare is divided into three parts:
- Part A (Hospital Insurance): Provides coverage for hospital stays, skilled nursing facility services, hospice care and a part of home health care services. As it is free, it is often referred to as premium-free Part A.
- Part B (Medical Insurance): Partially covers the cost of physician services, outpatient treatment, medical supplies and preventive services. Income-based premiums are charged for this part of Medicare.
- Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage): This benefit covers both recommended vaccinations and prescription medications. The cost depends on the insurance policy you choose.
Mississippi Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Concerns regarding the cost and availability of different health insurance plans are common. MoneyGeek answered the most frequently asked questions to help you find the cheapest health insurance in Mississippi.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- HealthCare.gov. "Health Plan Categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum." Accessed January 12, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Special Enrollment Period." Accessed January 12, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Federal poverty level (FPL)." Accessed January 12, 2023.