Healthcare exchange in Mississippi is losing one provider - - Jackson, MS

Healthcare exchange in Mississippi is losing one provider

Source: Raycommedia Source: Raycommedia
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

One of three healthcare providers is pulling out of the federally run healthcare exchange in Mississippi. UnitedHealthcare will be sending letters to more than 18-thousand policy holders who will have to seek other coverage.

"I'll save quite a bit of money not having insurance," explained Loretta Riley. "So now it's not my choice not to have insurance, I can't have insurance."

Loretta Riley thought she'd do the right thing and sign up for insurance under the federally run healthcare exchange. But she was notified at the beginning of the year that her cost was going to nearly double to $360 a month. So she canceled.

"Now, this year I do not have insurance so hopefully I just stay healthy," added Riley.

She isn't the only one who will be left to make some healthcare choices. UnitedHealthcare isn't leaving the state completely. But it will stop offering coverage within the exchange in Mississippi on January 1. Some counties will be left with just one option. But they'll all be covered by either Magnolia, Humana or both.

"We don't anticipate for it to affect premiums," said Bob Williams, Mississippi Insurance Department's Director of Life and Health Actuarial. "It's nice to have additional choices in those counties. More than one help and sure frown but we really don't anticipate that there will be a large changes in the premiums."

So what if folks end up like Riley and say they just can't afford the monthly costs? 

"They'll face the penalties that are under the Affordable Care Act," said Williams. "It's up over $600 a year now if you don't have coverage."

UnitedHealthcare plans to send detailed notices to all Mississippi exchange policyholders within 180 days of the January 1 change.

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