Miss. insurance commissioner fears some won’t get health insurance

“I have, again, been against the expansion of Obamacare throughout the state of Mississippi. I believe a health care exchange is a portal for that,” Bryant said previously. “I’m worried about the federal government taking over that system, and I worry about expanding a large entitlement program in the state of Mississippi through what was to be a free-market based system in the insurance exchange.”

Federal officials, Chaney said, told the state in February that it would not have a state insurance exchange, citing a lack of support from Bryant.

“I said, ‘Do you understand that without a state exchange, you’re embracing the Affordable Care Act from the federal government and we forever give the keys to the federal government to control our insurance?’ ” Chaney said.

Because Bryant rejected the state-run insurance exchange, Chaney said, “I have no ability to regulate rates on the exchange; they (companies) can charge whatever they want. Because I can’t regulate, I have no authority to handle consumer complaints.”

Chaney said he can ensure the insurance plans conform to state law and make sure policies cover the state’s mandatory health benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the 2013 poverty level for a single person is $11,490.

Clarion Ledger
5/28/13