Affordable Mississippi health insurance

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Mississippi health insurance exchange

mississippi guide to health insurance

Mississippi has nation’s lowest post-subsidy premiums through Obamacare

June 20, 2014

Obamacare enrollment in Mississippi has ended for 2014. However, people who get married or divorced, change jobs, have a child or experience another qualifying event may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Enrollment for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) continues throughout the year. Individuals who don’t have health insurance that provides “minimum essential coverage” may have to pay a penalty: $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage through the marketplace begins Nov. 15.

Signups for qualified health plans (QHPs) in Mississippi grew 141 percent — from 25,554 as of March 1 to 61,494 — in the final weeks of 2014 open enrollment. While Mississippi is not expanding its Medicaid program, 13,779 people who visited the marketplace qualified for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under existing eligibility criteria.

Among Mississippi selecting a QHP, 94 percent qualified for financial assistance, compared to 85 percent nationally. A report released in June by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed the average monthly premium, after tax credits, for Mississippi consumers was just $23. That’s the lowest average in the nation.

Eight percent of Mississippi residents selected a bronze plan (20 percent nationally), 79 percent selected a silver plan (65 percent nationally), 5 percent selected a gold plan (9 percent nationally), 7 percent selected a platinum plan (5 percent nationally) and 1 percent selected a catastrophic plan (2 percent nationally). Thirty-one percent of Mississippi enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34.

State Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney clashed with two governors as to what form a health insurance exchange should take in Mississippi. Chaney, current Gov. Phil Bryant, and former Gov. Haley Barbour are all Republicans and on record as opposing the Affordable Care Act. However, Chaney consistently maintained that the state would be better off running its own exchange.

Chaney pushed hard for a state-run exchange. In 2011, he announced that the Mississippi Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association would operate an exchange. The Risk Pool Association developed a plan in which the exchange would be developed in four phases, with work outsourced.

Early exchange planning was carried out by the board of directors of the Risk Pool Association and an advisory board appointed by Chaney. The Risk Pool Association, the advisory board, and the insurance department continued working throughout 2012, and in November, Chaney notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that Mississippi intended to implement a state-run exchange. However, Bryant told HHS in December 2012 that Chaney had overstepped his authority. In February 2013, HHS rejected Mississippi’s exchange blueprint.

According to Kaiser State Health Facts, 18 percent of Mississippi residents were uninsured in 2012.

Mississippi health insurance exchange links

State Exchange Profile: Mississippi
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Mississippi’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.

Health Help Mississippi
Assists people insured by private health plans, Medicaid, or other plans in resolving problems pertaining to their health coverage; assists uninsured residents with access to care.
(877) 314-3843 /

MS health insurance exchange news

Centene adds members through Medicaid and commercial plans

LIfeHealthPro — Centene previously focused on government health plans like Medicaid and…

State-by-state open enrollment extension details

Curious to see how your state is handling the open enrollment deadline?  Most states…

Variety of barriers hinder Mississippi insurance enrollment

Politico — Despite a four-month, 200-stop mobile campaign by Humana, signups for health…

Navigators still face uphill battle in Mississippi

Jackson Free Press — Navigators are trained to help people compare and purchase health…

Southeast Mississippi among top 10 most expensive places to buy health insurance

Market Watch — A silver (mid-level) insurance plan costs $399 a month in George,…

Several states working on legislation to block ACA

Lawmakers in South Carolina, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are working on…

Health insurance finally within reach for some of Mississippi’s working poor

Mississippi Public Broadcasting — While Mississippi’s insurance commissioner…

Mississippi has nation’s lowest enrollment rate

USA Today — During the first month of open enrollment, just 0.1 percent of those…

States’ refusal to expand Medicaid leaves 5.2 million without health insurance

Bloomberg — Twenty-six states refused to expand Medicaid coverage through the…

Head of MS lobbying group says support growing for state-run exchange

Mississippi Business Journal— Jeff Drozda, CEO of the Mississippi Association of Health…

Voice your concerns to your
Mississippi elected officials

tell your elected officials

Let your Mississippi governor and legislators know how you feel about the state’s proposed health insurance exchange.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, MS 39205
PHONE: 601-359-3150
FAX: 601-359-3741

Contact your Mississippi State Senator
Contact your Mississippi State Representative