In a statement, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announced that a carrier that he had previously recommended in an attempt to diversify the state’s health plan options on the federal insurance marketplace was turned down by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
"HHS 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.
UnitedHealthcare announced last May that it was pulling out of Mississippi’s federal marketplace, as well as the exchanges of 15 other states. Only Humana and Magnolia/Ambetter are the major insurers that remain on the state exchange.
Although two major insurers are still on the federal exchange, created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both currently do not offer their plans to all of Mississippi’s counties.
reported that for this year, Humana covered 46 counties, while Magnolia/Ambetter covered 52—including all the Northeast Mississippi counties. UnitedHealthcare, however, was the only carrier that provided its coverage to all 82 counties.
It is only through the exchanges that consumers can benefit from tax credits and subsidies to lower their insurance costs. Almost 108,000 Mississippians secured health insurance through the exchange this year, with 90% qualifying for tax credits or subsidies.
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