Home » NEWS » Health » Feds, state still in talks about exchange insurer replacement

Feds, state still in talks about exchange insurer replacement

Magnolia Humana Map_400px_rgbBy JACK WEATHERLY 

As of Monday, the federal government had not certified another health insurer for the Mississippi insurance exchange, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said.

The months-long effort to gain certification of the insurer is facing increasing pressure as UnitedHealthcare will pull its coverage from the exchange at the end of the year.

Chaney said in an interview that he cannot disclose who the insurer is, or whether the U.S. government will approve the candidate.

“I’m dealing with the federal government. It’s just hard for me to say. What they consider network adequacy is totally different from what I might consider. We have a statutory law on what network adequacy means.”

Hospitals are clamoring to know who will “replace” UnitedHealthcare, he said. Still, all 82 counties will have at least one insurer, according to the department. More than 100,000 Mississippians get their coverage through the exchange.

Chaney last week granted Humana an average premium increase of 43 percent for next year for its 13,000 policyholders and an average of 7 percent for Magnolia.

UnitedHealthcare announced in April its pullout out of all exchanges in virtually all states. UnitedHealthcare said it sustained losses of $475 million in losses in 2015 and projected a $650 million loss for 2016. It had made a bold rollout of its coverage in 2016 – for all 82 Mississippi counties.

Chaney said at the time that “there will be less competition that may result in increased rates.”

Yet he said in an Aug. 4 release that “the majority of Mississippians will receive federal government subsidies to offset the cost of premiums . . . [and] should see some rate relief in their premiums despite the overall rate increases.”

Bob Williams, director of the Life and Health Actuarial Division of the Mississippi Insurance Department, said in June that about 97 percent of Mississippians in the exchange qualified for a subsidy.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Jack Weatherly

Leave a Reply