According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more Mississippians are gaining access to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. On the 6th anniversary of the law, MPB's Maura Moed reports policy experts are still divided about its success.
This week marks the 6th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare. According to HHS, more than 100,000 Mississippians are enrolled in some type of plan under the act.
Jameson Taylor is with the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. He says despite the ACA's growing popularity, some residents could be negatively affected.
"Premiums are going up on the Obamacare exchanges and nationwide competition is going down. That's causing huge losses with some insurers," Taylor says.
Taylor says it's the early stages of what he calls a "death spiral."
Renard Murray, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services disagrees. He says under the ACA, Mississippi's health care system has transformed.
"Lives have been positively impacted by now having access to health insurance coverage that's not only affordable, but that provides them with the comfort of knowing they have coverage in case something happens," Murray says.
Roy Mitchell of the Mississippi Health Advocacy program supports the act. However, he says 8 percent of enrollees dropped out within the first 3 months of their enrollment period.
"There's a number of issues that contribute to this attrition. For people that are just now getting into the market place, where we have a different system that we had 20 years ago, it's really a challenge," says Mitchell.
According to HHS, approximately 49,000 new Mississippi consumers enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace during this year's open enrollment period.