Federal Support For State-Based Health Exchanges: Was It Worth The Investment?
The Wall Street Journal notes a trend in which some states that used federal funds to build their marketplaces are now scrapping them. Meanwhile, The Fiscal Times reports on one Obamacare contractor.
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Federal Funding And State Health-Care Exchanges
Several states that used “free” federal dollars to build complicated exchanges may end up scrapping them. Officials in Maryland and Massachusetts are trying to determine whether their tech-troubled exchanges can be salvaged in time for the next open season of the Affordable Care Act. Oregon officials voted last month to scrap the state’s problematic exchange and switch to the federal system. In general, states building less complicated exchanges suffered fewer technical glitches. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said last year that “one could argue in retrospect we bit off more than other states” (Jacobs, 5/13).
The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees to ‘Do Nothing’
Last summer, the federal government was greeted with raised eyebrows when it awarded a UK-based firm a contract worth $1.2 billion to process Obamacare applications. At the same time, the company was being investigated for overbilling the British government tens of millions of pounds. Though it managed to work through a year of Obamacare’s implementation relatively unnoticed, the contractor, Serco Inc., is back in the spotlight—and raising questions over the validity of its work (Ehley, 5/13).
Also, more on Washington state's 2015 insurance rates -
The Seattle Times: More 2015 Health Plan Choices Likely For Exchange Shoppers
On average, the rate increase requested for 2015 individual health plans is 8.25 percent – the lowest in seven years, according to figures kept by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. That “relatively low” weighted average increase in proposed premiums is just one of the developments that has pleased Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, whose office will now be drilling down into the insurance companies’ justifications for their proposed rates (Ostrom, 5/13).