Mississippi’s Health Insurance Exchange

What is an Exchange?

The Exchange is an online marketplace where people will be able to shop for and purchase health insurance coverage.  The Exchange will help Mississippians who have had trouble finding health insurance in the individual market and will help some Mississippians by providing financial assistance (subsidies) to help pay for health insurance coverage.

Check out this video to learn more about the Exchange.


What does this mean for Mississippians?

A Health Insurance Exchange will help Mississippians by:

  • Providing greater access to health insurance coverage for Mississippians.
    • 275,000 Mississippians are expected to enroll in health insurance coverage through the Exchange.
    • Mississippians who do not have health insurance through their employer will no longer be left to wonder where they can purchase affordable health insurance coverage for themselves. Instead, they'll be able to find health insurance coverage through the Exchange.
  • Providing more affordable health insurance coverage
    • Mississippians who have trouble affording their health insurance premiums may be eligible for subsidies (financial assistance) to help them pay for their health insurance coverage.
    • The Exchange should also help manage health care costs by encouraging insurance companies to compete to provide the best product at the best price.
  • Providing high quality health insurance plans
    • Tough rules will make sure that every insurance package covers the basics, like annual checkups and preventive medicine.

The State's Progress on Building the Exchange

In October 2011, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announced that Mississippi would establish a state-based health insurance exchange under the parameters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) applied for and received two grants from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to set up a health insurance exchange in Mississippi including a $1 million grant for studying whether or not to set up a state-based exchange and $20 million to plan for the exchange.

In November 2012, Commissioner Chaney submitted a letter to HHS affirming Mississippi’s intention to set up a state-based health insurance exchange. Shortly thereafter, Governor Bryant sent a letter to HHS claiming that only he had the authority to set up an exchange in Mississippi. On February 8, 2013 HHS denied Mississippi’s application to set up a state-based health insurance marketplace citing Governor Bryant’s opposition to setting up the exchange. The state will now have a federally-facilitated health insurance exchange.

Our Research

Educate, Engage, Enroll: Preparing for Enrollment in New Health Insurance Options

This brief is based on a survey that was commissioned by the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program to understand the potential challenges that exist in enrolling Mississippians in new health insurance plans. This brief will provide guidance on the public’s existing knowledge of the Health Insurance Exchange and some health insurance seeking behaviors. Also, and perhaps most importantly, MHAP surveyed Mississippians to ask how and where they seek information about health care. The hope is that this information will provide advocates and policymakers direction as to where to target limited outreach and enrollment resources. Download a copy of the brief here.