A website to educate Mississippians about the Affordable Care Act is up and running. The goal is to help people learn if they're eligible for tax credits to save money on health insurance.
Mississippi Health Advocacy Program has created a new website called Cover MS. Org. Roy Mitchell is with the agency. He says a coalition is behind the effort to help people see if they qualify for tax credits. Mitchell says thousands of Mississippians are losing money by not signing-up. The subsidies may significantly reduce the cost of health insurance coverage through the federal exchange.
"There is a plan calculator that lets you see if you do qualify for the tax credits. You put in your age, your income and your family size and it can tell you exactly what you're eligible for," said Mitchell.
People can schedule an appointment with a counselor in their area to help them with the process. Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says the state has the second lowest insurance rates in the nation, whether it's through private plans or the federal exchange. That could make signing-up for health coverage and getting tax credits more attractive. Also, Chaney just receive a $1.1 million federal grant to ensure Mississippians received the benefits they're entitled to through all healthcare plans written in the state, including those in the Affordable Care Act.
"To be certain there's no discrimination, that we have coverage of preventive health services within the state and to try to help bring the costs of healthcare coverage and be certain that we have parity in mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits," said Chaney.
Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act began November 1, and continues through December 15, for coverage that takes effect January 1, 2017. But, people can still continue to enroll through January 31st, of next year.