News Briefs Archive

How Successful State ACA Exchanges Are Inspiring Independence from Healthcare.gov

Sept. 25, 2019

After a difficult rollout of state exchanges in 2013 when the Affordable Care Act marketplaces first became effective, policymakers in six states believe they can now piggyback on the successful ones – as well as leverage the latest technology — to launch their own state exchanges, according to reporting by Katie Kuehner-Hebert in Benefits Pro.

Maine is one of them, working to launch its exchange in 2021, Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services tells Stateline.

“A lot of kinks have been worked out, and the ability to set up marketplaces that run effectively and efficiently has gone up,” Lambrew said. “We know much more now than states knew back in 2013.”

Nevada launched its exchange earlier this month.

“Nevada spent two years working with our colleagues in other state-based exchanges,” says Janel Davis, spokeswoman for the state exchange, “looking at the mechanics of their operations to understand not only what would be required for Nevada’s own implementation, but also to understand what efficiencies could be achieved.”

Stateline cites a report by the National Academy for State Health Policy that found that between 2016 and 2018 – the period in which many health policy experts say Trump administration actions destabilized health insurance markets — premiums on the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov, rose 71 percent, while premiums on state exchanges increased by 40 percent.

Moreover, while enrollment on HealthCare.gov fell by 3.7 percent this year, enrollment on the state exchanges rose, albeit slightly at less than 1 percent.

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