The State of Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration Office of Insurance has announced the following changes.
The cost of medical services and prescription drugs is constantly on the rise. The Mississippi State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board has worked hard to continue to enhance benefits while “holding the line” on premium increases. While annual premium increases, many double-digit, are the norm around the country, we have been successful in avoiding such actions while maintaining the plan’s financial stability. In fact, the last change in premiums was a 4.2 percent increase in 2011, and prior to that, a 1.5 percent increase in 2008. Since that time, numerous benefits have been added to the Plan, many at little or no cost to the employee, such as wellness benefits, online doctor visits, two wellness visits each year, tobacco cessation programs and weight management programs. At its August 2017 meeting, the Board voted to make a number of benefit changes for 2018, and implement a 5% premium rate increase effective July 1, 2018. In addition, the following benefit changes have been approved effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Prescription Drug Coverage
While no changes are scheduled for the prescription drug deductible or the copayments for generic or preferred brand drugs, the copayment for nonpreferred and specialty drugs will increase from the current $70 to $100 for a 30-day supply.
Coverage for Dietitian Services:
In an effort to help reduce obesity, high cholesterol and other comorbidities that are associated with being overweight, the Plan added registered dietitians in 2017 to the type of provider eligible for the $25 office visit copay with a four-visit per calendar year limit. Beginning in 2018, the visit limit for registered dietitians has been removed. In addition, nutritional counseling services provided by a network Registered Dietitian will be available online for a reduced copayment. The cost for participants with Select coverage is a $10 copay, not subject to the deductible. For those with Base coverage, it is a $10 copay, subject to the deductible.
Beginning in January, the Plan will provide 100 percent coverage for a generic statin (Lovastatin) to comply with the Affordable Care Act (A CA)-mandated coverage.
All participants should watch the mail for the Know Your Benefits newsletter coming soon that describes all of these updates in more detail.
For questions about the health plan, call Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi at 1-800-709-7881.
For questions about the pharmacy plan, call Prime Therapeutics at 1-855-457-0408.