State works to build a new, more effective exchange for its residents
Maryland is taking steps to rebuild its flawed health insurance exchange, but the state is on a strict timeline, which leaves little to no room for any errors in the endeavor. The state has been tasked to reform its exchange after it failed to achieve its enrollment goals and was plagued by severe difficulties with the technology it used. Currently, the effort is not being endorsed by the federal government, which would rather take over the exchange itself, and how the endeavor will be funded is not yet clear.
Insurance technology manages to cripple state’s insurance exchange
The insurance technology that went into building the exchange has become heavily criticized by both supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland. The technology’s failures have made it difficult, if not entirely impossible, for many people in the state to enroll for health insurance coverage through the exchange. As such, many people in the state have been left with no insurance coverage, which is counter intuitive to what the federal law had intended in the first place.
New exchange may cost more than $100 million to build
State officials expect that funding will be acquired from now through November 15 of this year. Federal officials are somewhat skeptical of this estimate, as rebuilding the state’s insurance exchange will be a massively costly initiative. Approximately $100 million was spent building the exchange initially, but this money was provided by the federal government through various grants. The state may have to pay well beyond that sum in order to build a new exchange.
If Maryland fails, federal government may take over the reformation of state’s exchange
Maryland does not only have to develop a new exchange system, it must also create a new website that serves as the entry point for the exchange and spend a proverbial fortune on marketing the new exchange among state residents. State officials estimate that some $40 million could be spend on the new website alone. If Maryland fails in its efforts to rebuild an exchange, the federal government will likely take control of the matter.