The two companies selling subsidized private health insurance on Mississippi’s exchange are deepening their commitment to the state. One company, Humana, is expanding its workforce ahead of enrollment re-opening this fall.
Humana insurance is expanding their newly opened Madison call center that handles questions from many newly insured people.
Michael Stann With Xerox, who operates the call center, says they are ramping up their efforts ahead of the insurance exchange re-opening this fall
"The site has ramped up 370 associates to support Humana already. We have got an additional commitment for another 130 on top of that. So our full commitment in Madison is 500 staff," Stann said.
The center is fielding calls nationwide and currently answering roughly 4-thousand questions a month…a number that is expected to grow.
Call center operator Natausha Jefferson says she is surprised how well informed most people are about their private insurance option.
“A lot of these member are pretty knowledgeable about what plan they have. And they want to know what is specifically this doctor. Or specifically this prescription and like that,” Jefferson said.
In the first year of enrollment, Humana signed up roughly three quarters of the 66-thousand Mississippians who sought insurance on the exchange.
Stacey Carter with Humana says that has lead them to add 8 more counties where they offer exchange subsidized plans up to 48.
"We are planning to be here for the long haul. We have been here since 2005 offering the Medicare products and we plan to be here for the long haul," Carter said.
Magnolia insurance, the second company on Mississppi’s exchange, is also expanding their footprint adding two more counties.
That means Mississippians in as many as 14 counties will now have competing options. The increase by both companies is likely a positive sign for the state, which had the second highest average insurance premium in the country.