Chaney: State must prepare for health law changes

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –Like it or not, individuals and business need to get up to speed on the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s important that you understand what changes are coming,” said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who was among several speakers at the annual HealthLink Managed Care Conference in Tupelo Tuesday.

Nearly 200 people — human resource managers, medical providers, insurance agents and others — gathered to dig into the details.

“We have been anticipating market change, but now the market has changed,” said Wally Davis, North Mississippi Health Services vice president for managed care.

All Mississippians will have an option for health insurance on the federal exchange, when it goes live later this fall, and the state insurance department wants to make sure small businesses have a state marketplace, too.

Humana has joined Magnolia Health Plan as the two insurers offering plans on the federal health exchange, which is where Mississippians who need to purchase health insurance will be able to put Affordable Care Act tax credits into play.

Until Humana signed on in July, 36 Mississippi counties had no option on the exchange. Four counties — DeSoto, Hinds, Rankin and Madison — will have access to both plans.

Chaney is no fan of the Affordable Care Act, but says having good access to health care and health insurance is an economic development issue.

“My job is to make sure everyone in the state has access to reasonably priced insurance of all types,” Chaney said.

Daily Journal
8/7/13