Short-term health plans in Mississippi
- Mississippi defaults to the federal rules for short-term plans.
- Short-term health insurance in Mississippi 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 health insurance in Mississippi.
Mississippi’s short-term health insurance regulations
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. Short-term health insurance in Mississippi is not limited by state rules, so the Trump Administration’s new regulations apply in the state.
Short-term plans duration in Mississippi
Insurers are allowed to offer short-term health insurance in Mississippi 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 short-term plan duration — and will instead continue to follow federal regulations. This includes any potential state regulations which 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.
Who can get short-term health insurance in Mississippi
Short-term health insurance in Mississippi can be purchased by residents who can meet the underwriting guidelines of insurers. In general, this means being under 65 years old (some insurers put the age limit at 64 years) and in fairly good health.
Short-term health medical insurance plans typically include blanket exclusions for pre-existing conditions, so these types of plans are not adequate for someone in the Magnolia State who needs medical care for ongoing or pre-existing conditions. It is advisable to seek a medical insurance policy that will cover those needs.
If you’re in need of health insurance coverage in Mississippi, your first step should be to see if you’re eligible for a special enrollment period that would allow you to enroll in an ACA-compliant major medical plan. There are a variety of qualifying life events that will trigger a special enrollment period and allow you to buy a plan through the health insurance exchange in Mississippi. These plans are purchased on a month-to-month basis, so you can enroll in a plan even if you only need coverage for a few months before another policy takes effect (with a premium subsidy if you’re eligible).
When should I consider short-term health insurance in Mississippi?
There are times when a short-term health insurance plan might be the only realistic option, such as:
If you missed open enrollment for ACA-compliant coverage and do not have a qualifying event that would trigger a special enrollment period.
If you’re not eligible for Medicaid or a premium subsidy in the exchange, an ACA-compliant plan might be unaffordable. People who are ineligible for premium subsidies include:
Those who earn more than 400% of the poverty level (for 2021 coverage, that amounts to $51,040 for a single person; if your ACA-specific modified adjusted gross income is just a little above the subsidy-eligible threshold, there are steps you can take to reduce it).
People who are caught by the ACA’s family glitch
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Mississippi
At least nine short-term insurance providers offer short-term health insurance 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.