Stats in Your State
Getting an idea of how health insurance rates compare can be difficult at best, so we’ve put together a comparison of Mississippi’s insurance rates with other states in the region, along with the U.S. average. Further down readers can learn about the general state of health care in Mississippi and the variables affecting the market.
From 2009 to 2010, statewide enrollment in government-administered health plans increased from 675,000 to 713,000. The majority of policyholders utilize Medicaid health coverage, with just less than 100,000 children of low-income families utilizing the state’s CHIP plan.
Individual Health Insurance Premiums
Similar to neighboring states Tennessee and Arkansas, Mississippi’s average premiums for single-payer plans in 2011 were well below the national average. At $987 per month, Mississippi ranked second-lowest among states in the East South Central region, and roughly $100 below the national monthly average for employer-based plans.
Family Health Insurance Premiums
Despite being among the lowest in the region for individual-payer plans, the cost of family health plans in Mississippi ranks higher than all neighboring states and significantly above the national average. At $4,646, Mississippi families cost nearly $700 more per month to insure than the average U.S. family.
SAHIE Health Insurance Uninsured
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an average of roughly 500,000 Mississippi residents have gone without health insurance each year between 2005 and 2010. While the estimated numbers fluctuate year to year depending on various economic climates, the sheer number of uninsured residents underscores the need for affordable health care options in Mississippi.
Rules in Your State
The Mississippi Insurance Department monitors regulation of insurance companies throughout the state, and while it keeps insurers in check and handles complaints, Mississippi lacks specific legislation to protect consumers. While other states enforce specific prohibitions and rules against unfair claims practices, Mississippi’s legal code is more general and vague when it comes to insurance. The links below provide a starting point for consumers to read through the legislation; if you feel your rights have been compromised, however, then you should consider consulting an attorney who can properly interpret the laws on your behalf.
Mississippi Rules: Alcohol & Your Health Insurance
Similar to many other states, Mississippi’s laws are somewhat inconsistent when it comes to treatment for alcohol-related issues. Insurers may deny benefits for losses arising from intoxication, yet are required to treat disorders arising from alcoholism as a disease. As a result, an alcoholic must be afforded treatment for their condition by all health plans in the state; however, treatment for an injury sustained while drunk could rightfully be denied by an insurer.
Representatives & Resources in Your State
In order to seek assistance and guidance on all things related to insurance, readers can get in touch with the Insurance Department through their website, listed below. The Insurance Department is a great starting point for consumers to file complaints against insurers, or to seek further information to get a grip on how their policy works and the legislation in the state. Other government programs listed below offer assistance and support for low-income families and other persons with difficulty taking care of their own needs.
Mississippi Insurance Department (MID)
Mississippi Insurance Department
1001 Woolfolk State Office Building
501 North West Street
Jackson, MS 39201
MID Contact Info
Consumer Complaint Resource
The consumer complaint page allows claimants and policyholders to file complaints against an insurer for unfair treatment or discrimination.
MID Health Insurance Resource
Use the above link to learn about health insurance in the state of Mississippi directly from the Insurance Department.
Mississippi Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Mississippi CHIP plan offers health care coverage for children of low income families.
Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS)
750 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202
DHS Contact Information
The Department of Human Services offers support and assistance to children of low-income families, victims of abuse and neglect, disabled persons, and elderly citizens in need of special care.
Mississippi Health Care Reform Information
With new legislation and regulations slated for 2014 and 2015 for health care reform, readers may wonder exactly how they will be affected. The Insurance Department has put together a useful resource for consumers to learn what changes will take place.