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Obamacare in Mississippi

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, provides discounted or free health insurance coverage for its beneficiaries across the United States, including in Mississippi. Many Mississippi residents would be unable to afford healthcare if they were not enrolled in an Obamacare health plan. In fact, each county in Mississippi offered Obamacare members a choice of approximately 27 different health plans through the online Marketplace in 2015. Approximately 80 percent of those who enrolled in 2015 paid $100 or less for coverage once tax credits were applied. The information below describes the Obamacare enrollment process for Mississippi in greater detail:

  • Did Mississippi accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion?
  • Does the state or federal government run the health insurance exchange in Mississippi?
  • Eligibility for Obamacare in Mississippi
  • How to apply for Obamacare in Mississippi
  • Health plan cost and availability in Mississippi

 Did Mississippi Accept the ACA Medicaid expansion?

The Obamacare Medicaid expansion was offered to all states, but only approximately 30 of those states accepted it. Currently, Mississippi does not participate in that expansion.

“What is the expansion of Medicaid exactly, and why is Mississippi not a part of it?” is a question that many applicants may have. The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion is simply an expansion of benefits that the federal government offered to each state when they realized that the basic Obamacare program was still too expensive for many people living in extreme poverty. The goal of the expansion was to make sure that those 133 percent or more below the federal poverty line could receive medical coverage in states that accepted the program. That coverage also extended to adults who did not have dependent children and did not fall in the elderly age group.

What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion's impact on Mississippi? Currently, Obamacare Medicaid application options in Mississippi do not include totally free healthcare coverage under the Medicaid expansion. Only 74,553 were enrolled in Obamacare in Mississippi as of January 2015. With the ACA Medicaid expansion it is estimated that 165,000 more Mississippi residents would be able to obtain healthcare insurance. Why is Obamacare Medicaid eligibility through the ACA Medicaid expansion not available in Mississippi?  Obamacare Medicaid expansion details had to be considered carefully by Mississippi's leaders.

The ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states was the primary concern for Mississippi. While the program was entirely federally funded at first, after the first three years, each state that participated in the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare would have to pay 10 percent of the costs. The federal government would only pay 90 percent. The Mississippi legislature opted not to put that financial strain on the state.

Does the State or Federal Government Run the Health Insurance Exchange in Mississippi?

The Obamacare health insurance exchange is essentially an online marketplace where individuals can select healthcare plans in their local area. It is a means of comparing health insurance plans in a given area quickly and easily without having to visit multiple provider websites.

What is the marketplace for health insurance and is it the same in each state? The Obamacare healthcare marketplace is not the same in every state. Some of the marketplace websites are federally run, while others are managed on the state level. Some states even work together with the federal government to run their websites.

What is the health insurance exchange in Mississippi like and how does it operate? In Mississippi, the health insurance exchange regulations and applications are managed federally for individuals. All providers listed on the state's website must conform to subsidy standards and other rules the federal government requires. However, Mississippi has a separate enrollment program run by the state for small businesses. It is commonly known as the “SHOP” program, and it is a completely different entity with its own set of rules and regulations.

Eligibility for Obamacare in Mississippi

Those wishing to know how to qualify for Obamacare in MS need to familiarize themselves with Mississippi's income requirements first. Determining who is eligible for Obamacare from a financial standpoint is done based on the annual poverty level figures. Those figures are different in each state, and even vary from one county to another. Obamacare income requirements can also vary based on how many people are in a household. For example, the poverty line is different for a family of four than it would be for a single Obamacare applicant.

“What are the requirements to apply for Obamacare besides having an income below a certain level?” is another question that all ACA applicants should ask. Obamacare coverage eligibility requirements also extend to residency and citizenship. Obamacare petitioners must prove that they are a citizen of the United States, that they are residing in Mississippi, and that they currently live in the county where they are applying for medical coverage. Acceptable forms of identification include, but are not limited to, driver's licenses, photo ID cards, military ID cards, utility bills addressed to the applicants, birth certificates, and pay stubs.

How to Apply for Obamacare in Mississippi

Those wondering how to enroll in Obamacare in MS have several options. There are trained agents at designated locations throughout Mississippi who can assist with the application process. Other methods for how to apply for Obamacare insurance include applying by phone or mailing in a paper application.

“What is needed to sign up for Obamacare and “Can I apply online for Obamacare?” are also important questions. The answer to the question “What do I need to apply for Obamacare in Mississippi?” is that each applicant must meet the residency and income requirements for their county at the time of application. And yes, online applications are available. Interested Obamacare applicants must simply make sure that they have all relevant information available, such as proof of income and identification, before starting the application process.

With all of those options for where to apply for Obamacare, the potential assistance is available to almost everyone in Mississippi that qualifies. However, knowing how to get Obamacare assistance does not guarantee that each applicant will be successful. Not all ACA applicants will actually qualify, and some of those who do qualify will still have to pay some amount of health insurance premium.

Health Plan Cost and Availability in Mississippi

“How much does Obamacare cost in Mississippi?” is certainly a valid question, but it is one that does not really have a concrete answer. Obamacare health insurance plans costs depend on the exact plan level and type, the county in which the ACA applicant resides and general fluctuations in the healthcare market. Average figures for Mississippi in 2015 were that Obamacare beneficiaries had to pay an average of $30 as a copay for each doctor visit and monthly premiums for a silver level plan were about $278 per month.

It's important to note that Obamacare health insurance price estimates are just that, estimates. The answer to the question “How much will Obamacare insurance cost me?” depends on the time of application, the county, and the residency and financial circumstances of the individual, as well as which exact healthcare plan that Obamacare applicant is choosing. Obamacare health insurance plans costs change all the time based on financial trends in the country as a whole, as well as Mississippi itself, in addition to other factors. Only by going through the ACA application process can Obamacare petitioners determine what their exact costs will be.