Buying a short-term plan in Mississippi
- Mississippi defaults to the federal rules for short-term plans.
- Plans can have initial terms of up to 364 days, and total duration, including renewals, of up to 36 months.
- Short-term plans must be approved by the Mississippi Insurance Department.
- The Department may issue additional regulations for short-term plans in the near future, but will not limit their duration.
- At least nine insurers offer short-term plans in Mississippi.
Mississippi defaults to federal guidelines
Until October 2, 2018, federal law limited short-term health plans to three months and prohibited renewals. Those rules have been relaxed, however, allowing for much longer short-term plans unless states impose their own restrictions. Mississippi does not limit short-term plans, so the Trump Administration’s new regulations apply in the state.
Short-term plan duration in Mississippi
Insurers are allowed to offer short-term plans with initial terms up to 364 days and the option to renew for a total duration of up to 36 months. Insurers can still cap their short-term plans at shorter durations, however, and prohibit renewal if they choose to do so.
All short-term plans in the state have to be filed with the Insurance Department and approved before they can be sold. The Mississippi Insurance Department confirmed in October 2018 that the state wass working on requirements and regulations pertaining to short-term plans, so the rules might change in the future. The Department has noted, however, that they do not plan to limit the duration of short-term plans — they will continue to follow federal regulations in terms of the length of time a short-term plan can last. So any potential regulations would address other issues (for example, things like filing requirements, disclosures, medical underwriting practices, state benefits mandates, etc.). As of January 2019, the Insurance Department confirmed that they had not yet finalized any new regulations, and were still considering the issue.
At least nine insurers offer short-term plans in Mississippi
- Companion Life
- Everest Prime
- Independence American Insurance Company
- National General
- Standard Life
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule)
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.