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Rates for one company on Mississippi’s insurance exchange to fall by 25%

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 30 Jul 2014 04:52pm | comments
Commissioner Mike Chaney
Health insurance rates for one company on Mississippi's insurance exchange will fall by 25-percent according to Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.
The falling rates could be a sign that the exchange is working as it heads into the second year of enrollment.
Insurance Commissioner Chaney says Magonlias health Plans over-estimated its rates for the first open enrollment period and is now seeking to decrease its premiums by one-fourth, which could be the biggest decline in the country.
Mississippi entered the first year with the second highest rates in the nation due in part of poor provider networks and a lack of competition.
Chaney says the other company, Humana, has filed to increase rates by 6-and-a-half percent which will close the gap between the two companies and bring them more closely in line with the rest of the country.
"Its a a sign that the exchange is working. They are trying to get more people into the exchange. Mississippi just did not have a lot of people that signed up. I attribute a lot of that to the federal government's effort to try and sign people up. We had less than 70-thousand sign up for the federal exchange. That is not a lot of people compared to the number of uninsured people that we have," Chaney said.
Still, the very future of the exchange and the federal subsidies that make premiums affordable are now in jeopardy.
One federal court ruled last week that subsidies cannot go to people living in states like Mississippi that have federally run exchanges. 
Lt. Governor Tate Reeves was among the Mississippi Republicans who applauded the decision and says it is another demonstration of the unconstitutional nature of the entire health care reform law.
"It was federal judges who said last week that that part of Obamacare was unconstitutional. The fact of the matter is that Obamacare was a poorly thought out piece of legislation when the congress hurried to pass it several years ago. Mississippians are hurting now because of it," Reeves said.
Reeves declined to say if he would push the state to take over the exchange if that were necessary to keep subsidies flowing.
Currently, about 62-thousand Mississippians are enrolled in private insurance through the exchange.
Enrollment re-opens in November.


Commissioner Mike Chaney



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