Federal market exchange lacks health insurance providers for 36 counties

It’s well past halftime and the clock can’t be stopped as federal officials seek health insurers to cover 36 Mississippi counties before an Oct. 1 deadline for launching the state’s healthcare exchange.

The Mississippi Department of Insurance is unsure what to make of a predicament it has no control over. Gov. Phil Bryant quashed Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney’s effort to build the digital exchange late last year with a threat to sue the Department of Health and Human Services. He added in a refusal to allow the state’s Division of Medicaid to take part in preparing the insurance marketplace.

“The commissioner has authority to establish an exchange, but was denied the state operation by the federal government due to the governor’s action,” said Chaney, whose department had worked on the exchange going back to Haley Barbour’s gubernatorial administration before having to call it quits.

Mississippi Business Journal
7/5/13