State run insurance exchanges face current and future financial struggle

health insurance exchange

Lower enrollment and higher costs are causing disappointment for some of the marketplaces.

Many of the state run insurance exchanges are facing some disappointing results after their first year and a half in fully operational existence, after lower than expected enrollment and high costs have led them to face a number of challenges.

The issues being faced could lead these insurance marketplaces to make considerable changes.

Among those changes may be that they will hand the control over the insurance exchanges to the federal government. It has also been suggested that certain states might work together in order to combine their efforts to reduce costs and encourage more people to enroll. Among the latest major struggles, according to released data, is in Hawaii. Their health insurance marketplace had received federal grants of $205 million to get started. About $139 million has already been spent, and in 2015, they enrolled about 8,200 people for health plans. As the state’s exchange is cannot sustain itself with that enrollment, it will be allowing HealthCare.gov to take over its enrollments as of next year.

There are currently 12 states, plus D.C. that are in full control of their own health insurance exchanges.

health insurance exchangeInsurance industry experts have estimated that about half of the state run marketplaces are currently facing financial struggles. Startup grants for all of the states that took on their own exchanges cost federal taxpayers almost $5 billion, with the expectation that those markets would soon be able to sustain themselves. The majority of those funds has now been spent and states are trying to decide what path should be taken as they move forward.

Hawaii Governor David Ige’s office recently released a statement that said “The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents.” It was in that statement that it was revealed that Hawaii residents would be using the federal insurance marketplace, next year.

The recent Supreme Court decision that stated that all the states could continue to receive subsidies, even if they use HealthCare.gov, there is no longer a drawback of that nature for states that choose to hand their insurance exchanges over to the federal government.

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