New 82 County ACA Insurance Carrier Pending CMS Approval

June 24, 2016, Mississippi Public Broadcasting- The insurance market in Mississippi is in flux. A major carrier is leaving the health insurance market under the Affordable Care Act. Car insurance rates are going up. And flood insurance on the Gulf Coast is always changing. To find out what’s behind all this movement, we spoke with state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. He tells us even with all this change, Mississippians can get the insurance they need.

Filling A Prescription? You Might Be Better Off Paying Cash

June 24, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Julie Appleby- Some consumers who use health insurance copays to buy prescription drugs are paying far more than they should be and would be better off paying with cash, especially for generics. The added cost runs as high as $30 or more per prescription, say pharmacists, and the money is largely being pocketed by middlemen who collect the added profit from local pharmacies. Cash prices started to dip below copays a decade ago when several big box stores started offering dozens of generics for as little as $4 per prescription. But as copays have risen and high-deductible insurance plans become more common, more consumers are now affected.

Two Miss. systems sue state over Medicaid reimbursements

June 23, 2016, Modern Healthcare, Maria Castellucci- Singing River Health System in Pascagoula, Miss., and Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (Miss.) have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Medicaid division, claiming the reimbursement method underpays hospitals. The two public not-for-profit systems announced plans Wednesday to sue the Mississippi Division of Medicaid to recover up to $20 million in Medicaid reimbursement payments. The systems allege that the funding formulas unevenly distribute reimbursement among providers. A spokeswoman for the Division of Medicaid said the agency has received the lawsuit and litigation is pending. She added that the agency follows state and federal regulations set forth by the CMS.

HHS Targets Young Adults In 2017 Obamacare Enrollment Plan

June 21, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Phil Galewitz- Amid early signs that insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act might rise significantly next year, administration officials Tuesday previewed their plans to increase enrollment in the marketplaces, particularly among young adults who have been slow to sign up. Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31. For the first time, the administration said it would send letters about marketplace coverage to uninsured people and to families who paid the individual mandate penalty for not having coverage or claimed an exemption from the health law requirement that they have coverage.

A Record Number of Americans Say They Can Indeed Afford Health Care

June 20, 2016, Fortune, Lucinda Shen- The annual cost of health care for a typical family of four with employer-sponsored insurance has skyrocketed over the past few years to over $25,000 in 2016-yet more Americans say they can afford the bills. On Monday, polling group Gallup reported that 15.5% of Americans say they couldn’t afford the health care or medicine they needed over the past year. That’s the lowest percentage reported since Gallup began tracking Americans’ health care insecurity at the head of the financial recession in 2008. The percentage of Americans who had trouble finding funds to pay for their household’s heath-related bills hovered at an average of 18.7% until 2013, and it seems to have been falling steadily since.

USM- Grant focuses on uninsured children

June 19, 2016, The Clairon Ledger- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has named the University of Southern Mississippi as one of the recipients from 38 states, school districts and local community organizations to participate in an effort to get more eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. USM will receive a $910,000 Connecting Kids to Coverage grant designed to build on progress already made in increasing the number of children who have health coverage. According to the National Health Interview Survey, only 4.5 percent of children remained uninsured in 2015.