A research error had made the success of the state’s exchange look unlikely until it was finally identified.
Since the start of the implementation of the health care reform in Maryland, it has looked like the state would only just barely meet its enrollment goals – if it would actually reach them at all.
However, recent reports have shown that the first goal that was set was actually based on inaccurate data.
As it turns out, since the data upon which the original health care reform enrollment goal was established, it was placing far greater expectations than could have been possible within the state’s environment. However, now that the data has been corrected, the goal has been adjusted. It turns out that the state is doing so well, that it is not just on track to meet this new target, but it has already beat it.
The difference that was made in the health care reform target was considerable in Maryland.
Once the accurate data was applied, it changed the number of people who needed to purchase Maryland health insurance from 260,000 to meet the first goal, to 160,000. As the current enrollment tally is believed to be approaching 190,000, this shows that the state is actually doing extremely well in terms of keeping up with where it needed to be.
Although this has caused many to sigh a breath of relief, skeptics feel that this discovery of flawed data is quite convenient, considering that Maryland is home to one of the insurance exchanges that has the lowest performance in the nation. Moreover, the technical flaws that the website contains are so large that officials in the state are afraid that this system – which has cost tens of millions of dollars to create – may need to be abandoned altogether.
That said, the secretary of health and mental hygiene in Maryland, Joshua M. Sharfstein, said that “It’s better to have the correct data to put things into the proper context.” He also went on to add that “This doesn’t change any of the challenges we’re facing, but it does put those challenges into context.”