Enrollment has ticked-up in Mississippi for those who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports, there's less than two weeks left to sign-up.
Some 80,000 Mississippians have signed-up for the Affordable Care Act and more are expected. That's according to state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. He says that's slightly higher than last year.
" A lot of that is due to the fact that premiums are level, they haven't gone up like they have in other states. And number two is because we have a fairly descent network that seems to be better than some of the networks we had back in 16' and 17'," said Chaney.
Chaney says Ambetter and Molina are the health insurance providers for 2020. Maria Morris is with the Community Health Center Association of Mississippi. She educates people about the plans offered and the importance of health insurance.
"One hospital stay. One accident can lead to intensive care, tremendous health bills. We've had individuals that got to be in their 60's and this is the first time that they had health insurance," said Morris.
Depending on income, some people don't pay a premium because of the tax credit. Christopher Roby says his parents who are in their 50's don't pay a premium. He says before he began enrolling them three years ago, they didn't have insurance. Roby says they have high blood pressure and learned about their high cholesterol through free wellness visits.
"We're noticing more health issues that probably went undiagnosed for years since they've been able to have insurance because prior to, that they never went to the doctor until it was an emergent issue and then they went to the emergency room," said Roby.
The state insurance department estimates there are about 300,000 uninsured Mississippians. Visit healthcare.gov to enroll or contact the Community Health Center Association for assistance. The deadline is December 15, for coverage that begins January 1.