By JEFF AMY
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A health insurer will expand its offerings on the federally-subsidized exchange across all of Mississippi’s 82 counties, bringing a second carrier to 16 counties.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announced Thursday that he had approved the expansion by Magnolia Health, a unit of St. Louis-based Centene Corp. Chaney ruled that Magnolia had enough health care providers in all counties, even though federal officials had initially tried to block the expansion.
Magnolia’s Ambetter program will expand into of the central Mississippi Delta, three counties in and around Natchez, as well as Pearl River, Hancock and Winston counties. Magnolia and Kentucky-based Humana will now compete in 32 counties. Magnolia will be the only company offering policies in 50 counties. UnitedHealth, now selling policies statewide, is withdrawing from the Mississippi exchange at year’s end.