Aug. 26--JACKSON -- Efforts to keep three health insurers in the mix for Mississippians shopping on the federal exchange have been unsuccessful.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has been trying to recruit a third insurer to offer policies on the healthcare.gov exchange, which will open for 2017 enrollment Nov. 1. This spring, United Health announced it was pulling back from covering counties in Mississippi and 15 other states in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, leaving only Humana and Magnolia/Ambetter.
"HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) did not approve a carrier that wanted to offer exchange coverage in all 82 counties of the state, citing lack of an adequate network and specialists in each county," Chaney said in a statement.
Humana and Magnolia/Am-better will still offer insurance through the exchange. Most Mississippi counties will have only one choice of insurer on the exchange, although the carriers offer different plans with varying premium, deductibles and copays.
United was the only carrier offering coverage in all 82 Mississippi counties. In 2016, Humana covered 46 counties; Magnolia/Ambetter covered 52, including all the Northeast Mississippi counties.
The health insurance exchanges are the only place consumers can access tax credits and subsidies to help them pay for health insurance. Nearly 108,000 Mississippians purchased health insurance through the exchange for 2016; roughly 90 percent qualified for tax credits of subsidies.
(c)2016 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)
Visit the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.) at www.djournal.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.