JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi's Medicaid program will soon start covering more doctors' office visits for its recipients.
Starting Jan. 1, most recipients may see a physician 16 times a year, up from the current 12.
The Division of Medicaid announced new policy Tuesday, months after Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law authorizing several changes in Medicaid services.
Legislators said removing the cap on physicians' visits could encourage Medicaid recipients to seek preventative health care rather than waiting to seek more expensive care after serious conditions develop.
Some Medicaid recipients already are eligible for larger numbers of doctors' office visits. Those in nursing homes receive 36 per year, and those in managed care don't have a limit.
Medicaid is a state-federal health insurance program for the needy. It covers nearly 675,000 Mississippi residents.