Housekeeping: Healthcare legislation emerges at session
The House this week passed HB 1220, considered an important step in establishing a Mississippi Health Benefit Exchange and a key component of the new federal health-care legislation. The action came during the sixth week of the 2011 legislative session.
States have until 2015 to create their own exchange, which would allow individuals and businesses to purchase health insurance at lower costs. The federal government would establish the exchange if a state fails to do it. The intent is to reduce the number of uninsured people, provide a transparent consumer driven marketplace and assist individuals with access to programs, premium assistance tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. The Senate also has passed a version, and differences between the House and Senate will go to conference.