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Mississippi Health Insurance

mississippi health insurance rates

Since it was signed into effect in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has made sweeping changes to the way health care works in the U.S. The earliest changes made under the law affected the way insurance policies could operate; for example, insurers are now prohibited from declining coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

The law also requires that all insurance policies offer full coverage for certain preventive care and provide reasonable caps for out-of-pocket expenses. 

In Mississippi, the law has been met with some political opposition. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Gov. Phil Bryant blocked efforts to form a state marketplace for residents to shop for ACA-compliant insurance. Many large insurance companies are refusing to participate in the national marketplace in some states. It may be difficult to find cheap health insurance in Mississippi, as monthly health insurance premium rates are about $100 higher than the national average, according to the Mississippi Business Journal. 

As of 2015, the ACA will require companies with more than 50 employees to provide insurance to their workers. Individuals who do not qualify for employer-based insurance are required to purchase individual policies or pay a tax penalty. Health insurance exchanges, an accessible way to find coverage, enable people to compare and shop for plans.

What is a health insurance marketplace?

A health insurance exchange acts as a comparison site and broker for insurance policies. It is not an insurance company, but it works to provide individuals with the information they need to obtain the right insurance plan. Each state had the opportunity to establish its own insurance exchange or to partner with the federal site, HealthCare.gov

Mississippi is one of 27 states that chose to use the federally run site rather than establish a separate state exchange. At this time, many insurance companies in Mississippi are reluctant to work with the exchange, and exchange-approved policies are not currently available in all counties. 

Through HealthCare.gov, you can browse available Mississippi health insurance plans. To use the site, you will need to sign up for an account and answer a few basic questions about your lifestyle, income and family size. This will help match you to the best plans for your needs as well as help you determine whether you qualify for financial assistance. 

Do I qualify for a Mississippi health insurance subsidy?

If you live in an area supported by the insurance marketplace in Mississippi, you may qualify for financial assistance to help pay your premium.

The federal government supplies a tax subsidy to individuals and families with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This works out to between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual and between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four. The higher your income, the lower the subsidy.

In 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This law provides $1.9 trillion of federal aid to Americans struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. The relief measures include additional premium subsidies for those who purchase health insurance through Healthcare.gov. People who apply for 2022 coverage under a special enrollment period can access these subsidies. 

Many who purchase coverage through the federal exchange receive assistance in the form of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). CSRs automatically reduce your premiums and lower your costs when you use your insurance benefits—for example, when you go to the doctor, get lab work, or have to stay in the hospital. CSRs are available to people who make between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level.

Health insurance companies participating in the Mississippi exchange

The following companies currently participate in the federal health insurance marketplace for Mississippi:

  • Humana
  • Molina – offers statewide coverage
  • Ambetter from Magnolia Health Plan – offers statewide coverage for individuals and family plans through the Mississippi Marketplace to residents of all counties.  
  • Cigna – Enhanced offerings include personalized support for chronic health conditions and more access to simple, easy-to-use tools and services
  • Vantage Health Plan of Mississippi – coverage area consists of southern and western Mississippi

Health care for low-income families

As a response to the Affordable Care Act, some states have opted to expand Medicaid coverage to provide health care to low-income families. At this time, Mississippi is one of 12 states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid. However, aid is still available to children of low-income families in the state. 

To qualify, a child’s family must earn between $1,369 and $1,838 per month, depending on the age of the child. Additionally, the Children’s Health Insurance Program of Mississippi offers health benefits to children whose families earn below $2,001 monthly. No Medicaid benefits are available to adults in this state. 

Mississippi health and coverage statistics

Mississippi population (2021): 2,961,536
Population 65 and older (2021): 16.4 percent
Life expectancy (2019): 74.4 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2019): 720,826
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2020): 609,420
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 459,600

Overall state health ranking: 50

Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.

Mississippi health insurance resources

Mississippi State Department of Health: http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/

Federal marketplace: https://www.healthcare.gov/

Mississippi Insurance Department: http://www.mid.ms.gov/

Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/tag/mississippi/

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