Frequently Asked Questions about the Marketplace Notice

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Marketplace was established within the Affordable Care Act to offer health insurance in government-regulated standardized plans.  It is designed to be one venue for individuals and small business owners to seek health insurance plans.

Why did I Receive the Notice about the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Mississippi State University is required by federal law to notify all employees, regardless of their part-time, full-time, or benefits-eligibility status of the Health Insurance Marketplace that will open on October 1.  Employees may access the notice here, and read more about the right to forgo employer-sponsored coverage and seek a health insurance policy through the Marketplace.

What Should I Do With the Notice?

The “New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage” is an informational mailing.  No action is required, and no further steps are required to be taken if you are currently insured through your State and School Employees Health Insurance plan or are covered by another insurance firm.  The university does not advise employees on the topic of buying insurance from the Marketplace, and your employer does not answer questions or provide guidance on Marketplace options.

Will I Be Required to Enroll in a Marketplace Plan?

If you are currently covered by the State and School Employees’ Health Plan, you are not required to enroll in a plan offered through the Marketplace.  The Marketplace does not change or eliminate your current coverage, or subject you to tax penalties as long as you continue to maintain your participation in the plan.

If you do not currently have coverage through the State and School Employees’ Health Plan, you should read the notice (link), and you may obtain more information through the Web site,, or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

How Do I Know if I’m Eligible for the State and School Employees’ Health Plan?

The Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration manages the design of the State and School Employees’ Health Plan and defines eligibility as a full-time employee who receives compensation directly from the university, or an employee making contributions to a retirement plan approved by the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System.  Eligibility for employees is 50% time or greater and currently employed in a position expected to last 4 ½ months or more.  If you need more information about eligibility for this plan, you may contact the Department of Human Resources Management, (662)325-3713.  The Marketplace and/or your Notice form don’t alter eligibility requirements for the State and School Employees’ Health Plan.

If I Have Dependent Coverage, Why is Single Coverage the Benchmark to Determine Affordability?

Provisions in the Health Care Law establish single coverage as the benchmark used to determine affordability.

Who Is Required to Buy Health Insurance?

To learn more about who will be required to buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act and what tax penalties will be assessed for not having coverage, you may visit

Where Can I Find More Information About My Employer’s Plan, (The State and School Employees’ Health Plan)?

The MSU Department of Human Resources Management Web site includes information about premiums and coverage types.  You may learn more about the premiums and coverage types online,  For more information and a plan document for the State and School Employees’ Health Plan, you may visit the plan’s Web site at