Health Insurance Policy Relief for Mississippians Granted by Federal Government
Jackson, MS – Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney announced today that in a landmark move impacting thousands of Mississippians, new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price said that HHS will grant transitional relief for insureds living in Mississippi and possibly 34 other states. This action stops a projected rate increase averaging 65 percent.
“I applaud Senator Roger Wicker, Senator Thad Cochran, and Congressman Greg Harper for the extensive work they have done in highlighting this important issue for Congress, the new Administration and Secretary Price,” Chaney said.
“This action by HHS will help bring stability to the health insurance market and keep rates affordable for small business and individuals in Mississippi.”
In 2013, HHS allowed individuals and small groups to maintain certain “Grandmothered” insurance plans also known as Transitional Plans. These are plans that were purchased after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and before October 1, 2013, that were not required to comply with certain ACA reforms. Transitional relief was set to expire at the end of 2017.
Senators Wicker and Cochran, along with 21 of their colleagues sent a letter to Secretary Price requesting that HHS extend the current transitional relief policy indefinitely, which would give the states the opportunity to allow individuals and small groups to maintain their current health plans.
Commissioner Chaney has been working since early 2016 to seek the extension of the transitional relief policy for over 200,000 Mississippians. These individuals would have seen an average rate increase of more than 65 percent had the policy been allowed to expire on December 31, 2017. Without the extension, those Mississippians could have joined the ranks of the uninsured.