Session outlook: lawmakers to take on infrastructure, tax rebates and Medicaid expansion during session

Northside Sun

Senator J. Walter Michel represents District 25 and also serves as the chairman for the Senate Insurance Committee. Many of his accomplishments in the 2022 Legislative Session revolved around this committee and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and he hopes to see more bills come from these two areas in 2023. This year, the insurance committee has a piece of legislation they are working on called Prior Authorization. Currently, if a person in Mississippi needs a medical procedure, the insurance company wants the doctor to pre-authorize the procedure before they’ll agree to pay for it. This can cause delays in getting the patient that procedure. The committee is working to allow doctors who have a very successful rate with certain procedures to receive “a gold card status,” which means they won’t have to get prior approval with the insurance company before they do the procedure. “The doctor has the right to go ahead and do the procedure and be reimbursed by the health insurance plan, and the insurance company still has the right at the end of the six months to audit all of the operations that were done to see if there was one or two that might have been done,” Michel said. “It streamlines the process and speeds it up.”

© 2016 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program