Mississippi could regulate insurers’ prior authorization for coverage of medical services

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FILE - Mississippi Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Walter Michel, R-Ridgeland, speaks Feb. 1, 2023, in the state Capitol in Jackson. Michel on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, explained a bill that would set rules for how insurance companies decide whether to cover medical procedures or prescription drugs. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi senators voted Wednesday to set rules for how insurance companies decide whether to cover medical procedures or prescription drugs, a process known as prior authorization.

Insurance companies that require prior authorization for health care services would be required to gather information from physicians or other providers through a standardized online portal, under Senate Bill 2140. Insurers also would be required to use relevant medical specialists to review requests for services.

The bill passed without opposition, and it moves to the House for more work.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves last year vetoed a similar bill that passed both chambers with broad bipartisan support.

Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Walter Michel, a Republican from Ridgeland, said the bill this year includes changes the governor wanted, including giving oversight to the state Department of Insurance rather than the state Department of Health.

Michel said some physicians expressed frustration about trying to explain complex medical situations to insurance company employees, and some insurers have said medical providers fail to provide complete or timely information in requests for prior authorization.

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BC-MS-XGR–Mississippi-Insurance

Jan 31, 2024 2:00 PM – 178 words

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