The health insurance plan that covers state and school employees in Mississippi has seen its net position improve in the first quarter of this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report presented to its governing board.
The State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board held its monthly meeting Wednesday where the report that detailed the financial state of the fund, which provides health and life insurance coverage for 197,000 employees, dependents, spouses and retirees.
Angela Inman, the Deputy Director at the state Office of Insurance, told the board that receipts from premiums and other sources of revenue such as investment income were up $9.9 million for February compared with the same time last year. During that same period, disbursements for claims were down by $3.5 million as compared to last year.
Administrative costs were also down compared to the same period last year by $4 million.
Unobligated cash and investments for the fund added up to $113 million, which Inman said is enough to cover the plan’s obligations for this fiscal year.
The board has 10 voting members, including the state Personnel Director, the Commissioner of Insurance, State Superintendent of Education, chairman of the Worker’s Compensation Commission, executive directors of the Department of Finance and Administration, Community College board and the Public Employees’ Retirement System and two qualified appointees by the governor.
State and school employees in Mississippi with a higher-end health insurance plan received their first deductible increase in a decade starting in January.
Those deductibles increased from $1,000 to $1,300 for individuals and for families went up from $2,000 to $2,600. Out of the network, individual deductibles increased from $2,000 to $2,300 and from $4,000 to $4,600. Those employees opting for only basic coverage had their deductibles remain the same as last year.
These employees in the state-funded health insurance program have the choice of participating in basic coverage, which for the employee premium is fully paid for by the state or select, which requires the employee to pay for the monthly premium cost above the basic premium of $389.
Those two plans are divided into legacy employees (hired before January 1, 2006) and horizon (hired on or after that date). The premium for the basic plans for both is the same, but the select premium for legacy employees is $409 versus $430 for horizon employees.