MHAP supports the expansion of Mississippi’s Medicaid Program to provide coverage to low-income adults Childless adults over the age of 19 are currently ineligible for any benefits under Mississippi’s Medicaid program. In addition, parents earning more than 22% of federal poverty level are ineligible for coverage. Expanding the traditional Medicaid eligibility would provide insurance for thousands of Mississippians, the majority of whom are working but not offered employer-based coverage.
MHAP supports legislation that will help health insurance consumers if they receive an excessively high bill because a physician who treated them in the emergency room or in an unplanned surgical procedure is out of network.
Large unexpected medical bills from an out-of-network health care provider can devastate a family financially. As health plans embrace tighter networks as a tool for improving quality or reducing premiums, the potential for such bills may grow. While some insurers may protect their plan members in some cases, there is no broad protection from these types of bills. In the absence of federal protections, states such as Texas have acted to protect consumers. MHAP supports efforts to limit out-of-pocket expenses for insured patients who seek emergency medical treatments.
Short-Term Limited Duration Plans (STLD)
Everyone needs high quality, affordable health insurance. Short term limited duration plans (STLD) plans are junk, sham insurance plans: they expose consumers to long term risk of not having the coverage they need while pay high prices. Short term plans do not need to meet the same requirements as other health insurance sold in Mississippi. These plans also have lengthy exclusion lists that limit when care is actually paid for. This may leave consumers surprised that their care isn’t covered and result in very high medical bills. The Trump administration has expanded the sale of these substandard plans and put Mississippi consumers in harm's way. If Mississippi lawmakers do not act, these new federal regulations could result in a large expansion of the number of short term plans offered in our state. This would increase costs and reduce quality of insurance for thousands of families, small business owners and employees, and others who purchase individual insurance coverage. The attached report highlights the problems with short term and association health plans.
Health System Transformation
MHAP is committed to systemic healthcare reform and supports efforts to seek accessible and affordable healthcare for all. We understand that an integral part of this effort includes the equitable distribution of healthcare benefits with special attention to the number of uninsured individuals in our nation, particularly vulnerable populations.
Medicaid Block Grants
MHAP remains committed to preserving the health care safety net program, Medicaid in its current form. Any Federal legislation that proposes block granting Medicaid will merely shift the Federal costs of Medicaid to Mississippi. Our state health costs will remain and Mississippi will ultimately pay more for health care. There are many, less essential areas to cut spending before we cut Medicaid, which is a lifeline for so many in our state.