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Gov. Reeves concerned prior authorization bill will up premiums for state employees

A bill to reform Mississippi’s prior authorization process will go into law without the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves.

The Republican governor made a lengthy social media post on Thursday afternoon, explaining why he chose not to put pen to paper on Senate Bill 2140. While Reeves wrote that he doesn’t disagree with the basis of the bill – to speed up the process of health insurance companies deciding whether or not to approve a prescribed procedure, service, or medication – he has concerns over its inclusion of the Mississippi State School Employees’ Life and Health Insurance Plan.

Often referred to as the State Plan, the government-provided insurance covers nearly 190,000 residents and their families and is primarily funded through premiums paid by those insured under the plan. Reeves is worried that SB 2140 could ultimately result in premium increases for those employed by the state.

“…every dollar in increased administrative and benefits costs imposed on the State Plan as a result of Senate Bill 2140 will be passed on to state employees and their families through premium increases,” a portion of the post on X reads. “While the price of a medical procedure generally remains stable over a period of 60 to 180 days, the price of pharmaceuticals can fluctuate wildly during that same period. Senate Bill 2140 limits the ability of the State Plan to quickly adjust the pharmaceuticals covered under the State Plan.”

“This means that the State Plan will be required to provide coverage for more costly drugs despite the fact that cheaper equivalent drugs may come to market or become available. Senate Bill 2140 also requires the State Plan to continue to provide coverage for pharmaceuticals taken by new state employees for a period of at least 90 days after beginning their employment with the state. This is despite the fact that such pharmaceuticals may not be covered under the State Plan and cheaper alternative equivalents are available.”

Today, Senate Bill 2140 – the Mississippi Prior Authorization Reform Act – will become law without my signature.

You may recall, last year, I vetoed Senate

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