Curious about health care in the Magnolia State? According to a study by US News, Mississippi has the worst health care ranking in the country. That study looks at access, quality, and good public health. But there are still options for Mississippians seeking health care.
Health insurance options in Mississippi
According to the MS Insurance Department, there are several ways for residents to access health care.
- From your employer
- Through your spouse's employer
Individual or family plans
- Through HealthCare.gov
- Directly from a health insurance company
Where do most Mississippi residents get their health insurance coverage?
|Individual or family||5%|
|Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population|
12 percent of MS residents are uninsured, more than the national average. That could be a setback for policyholders, as a high number of uninsured residents can raise prices for insured people.
Mississippi health insurance companies
There are a few options for MS residents when it comes to health care companies in the state. These health care providers offer individual and family plans on the exchange:
There are other insurers active in the state, but they sell plans outside of the exchange.
Mississippi health insurance costs and rate factors
MS residents spend an average of $7,646 per year on health care expenditures, a few hundred less than the national average. What influences your health care prices in your state? Rates vary person to person, but depend primarily on these factors:
Marketplace plans come in metal tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The more health care coverage you want, the higher you’ll pay in monthly premiums.
How much should you expect to pay for coverage in MS? These are the average monthly premiums for a middle-aged state resident in 2020:
|Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Change in Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier|
A gold plan costs about 36 percent more than a bronze plan. That price jump is because gold plans cover 80 percent of medical costs, whereas bronze plans cover 60 percent of medical costs.
You may qualify for a catastrophic plan, the lowest level of coverage available. These plans come with a $8,150 yearly deductible. Even with higher monthly rates, you may save money with a bronze or silver plan when you need to use your health insurance. In Mississippi, it makes sense to consider a silver plan instead of a bronze plan, since the rates are so close.
Body mass index
According to the CDC, a high body mass can lead to several serious health conditions. That’s why health insurance companies analyze your BMI. A high BMI often means higher health insurance rates.
In 2018, MS had a 40.3 percent obesity rate, the highest in the country. Out of the many state residents who used QuoteWizard to compare health insurance plans, 44 percent of shoppers had a BMI in the obese range.
Smokers often pay more for health insurance because of the serious risks from tobacco use. About 22.7 percent of MS residents are smokers, the fourth highest rate in the country.
Health care can cost up to three times more for older people compared to younger people. State residents who used QuoteWizard to shop for health insurance are, on average, 40 years old.
Many people don’t know that their zip code plays a big role in how much they’ll pay monthly. But it’s a crucial factor. That’s because every state has different rules, regulations, and providers surrounding the marketplace.
Also, companies use community-rating to partly determine your costs. That means that rates are based on the combined claims that everyone files. So, if your state files an abnormally high number of claims, your rates could rise.
Living in a health-conscious state could influence your prices. Unfortunately, according to America’s Health Rankings, MS is the least healthy state in the country.
Mississippi health insurance laws
The Affordable Care Act mandates what insurance companies cannot consider while pricing your policy.
- Pre-existing conditions: The ACA prevents insurance companies from charging you more for a pre-existing condition. Providers used to charge steep premiums for people with pre-existing conditions – if they could even get coverage.
- Gender: According to a study regarding lifetime health care costs, women historically pay more for health care. However, the ACA doesn’t allow providers to charge women and men different prices for the same plan.
- Insurance and medical history: Insurance companies also used to charge more for lapses in insurance or previous medical problems. Now, the ACA limits companies from doing that.
There’s a limit to how much you’ll pay out-of-pocket for a marketplace plan. In 2020, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,150 for an individual plan and $16,300 for a family plan.
MS law requires health insurance companies to offer at least some coverage for the following services:
- Mental illness
- Newborn coverage hospital stays
- Dental anesthesia
- Child immunizations
There are additional services that health care companies need to provide. Check cms.gov for the full list.
Medicare and Medicaid in Mississippi
Medicare and Medicaid are both government-funded programs accessible to MS residents. Medicare aids seniors and Medicare helps low-income families and children.
Medicare is an affordable health care program for people 65 and older. There are plenty of coverage options within the program. These programs include parts A, B, C, D, and supplemental coverage plans. You may also qualify for one of these Medicare Savings Programs with these income limits:
- Individual monthly income limit: $1,456
- Married couple monthly income limit: $1,960
Medicaid aids low-income families and children. It also encompasses a state-specific care program called MississippiCAN. These are the state’s Medicaid financial requirements:
|Household Size||Maximum Yearly Income|
Mississippi Insurance Department
- Insurance Commissioner:
- Mike Chaney
- Insurance Hotline:
- (800) 562 – 2957
- Office Hours:
- Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
- Complaint Page
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