Humana premiums increase in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2016

This week, Humana announced an increase in their premiums for over 13,000 Mississippi policyholders, 620 of those reside in Pearl River County.

Starting January 1, 2017, anyone who purchased Humana health insurance policies through the Federally Facilitated Healthcare Exchange will see a significant increase in their monthly premium, according to the Mississippi Insurance Department. 

Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney announced this week that policyholders will see their premiums increase an average of 43 percent next year, a release from the MID states. 

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“I am troubled to see such major increases. I have little authority over healthcare rates, particularly those in the federal exchange, but what I could and did do was enter into intense and strident negotiations with Humana to reduce their increase from their initial filing,” Chaney said in the release. 

“It is important to note that the 43 percent rate increase figure is an average, generic amount and the true cost to members will differ greatly depending on their plan choice, as well as varying geographic, subsidy-eligibility and market factors,” Bob Williams, director of Life and Health Actuarial Division at MID, said in an emailed statement. 

Other states are also going to see significant increases, some even higher than Mississippi’s, including: Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Washington, Nevada, Montana and Connecticut, according to the release. 

“We can state that the majority of Mississippians buying coverage through the exchange/FFM will experience a fraction of the increase due to federal subsidies (most receive 70 percent to 100 percent premium relief, depending on financial status and eligibility). Of course, it is the taxpayers who are ultimately responsible for the subsidies,” Williams said in the statement. 

The release also states that some reasons for the large increase include: growing health care and prescription drug costs, higher use of inpatient services and medical care, and phasing out of premium stabilization programs within the Affordable Care Act. 

“I’ve publicly stated my opinions on the effectiveness of the ACA, and now, as more and more provisions are implemented, we’re seeing the detrimental results in not only the cost of healthcare, but in the premiums themselves. The longer healthcare insurance is under the ACA the more costly it becomes for Mississippi consumers,” Chaney said in the release. 

These rates are primarily driven by structural changes in the federal exchanged program, such as those offered on, and also reflect changes in Humana’s contracts with healthcare providers, in addition to the factors listed in the press release, Williams said. 

Further questions can be directed to Bob Williams, at 601-359- 9375 or 601-359- 2012, also by e-mail: 

About Julia Arenstam

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