JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, March 15, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) vetoed Senate Bill 2224 and Senate Bill 2622.

SB 2224 would have authorized the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules and regulations to examine and address any inequalities regarding provider reimbursement rates paid by an insurer, subcontractor, other payor or by third-party administrators.

SB 2622 would have enacted the Mississippi Prior Authorization Reform Act.

Today, I vetoed two bills that had the potential to seriously increase the cost of health care in Mississippi. One is a bad idea, and I can’t see myself supporting it. One is a good idea that just includes some correctable mistakes. Here’s what they do:

The first one would basically give the Insurance Commission the ability to set rates for all health insurance. They can massively fine private insurance if they aren’t “equitable” enough. It’s not what you expect in Mississippi, but that’s why we read every bill closely! There’s also a bill to reform a process known as Prior Authorization. That’s how insurance companies inform providers whether a procedure or drug is covered. This bill would force insurance companies to give an answer more quickly, which is positive. However, it also had some unintended consequences. 

The bill has a number of technical components. These include administrative hearings that are in an incorrect place, increased costs for Medicaid, and other issues that cause me not to be comfortable signing it. But I am hopeful that we can get a better bill done soon. We’re closely reviewing every bill because that’s what you hired me to do. 76 bills this week—just 2 vetoes! Good folks can sometimes let bad things past the goalie, and we’re the last stop before disastrous consequences like massively increased healthcare costs.

Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.)

“I am certainly disappointed in the Governor’s veto message for SB 2224 and SB 2622. Both of these bills are consumer-friendly bills that would benefit healthcare providers and consumers in our state,” stated Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.