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Obama Administration Anticipates Exchanges Will Cost $4 Billion In 2014

04/15/13

  11:49:01 am, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Obama Administration Anticipates Exchanges Will Cost $4 Billion In 2014

Getting health insurance exchanges up and running nationwide clearly won’t come cheap. In its fiscal 2014 budget request relased last week, the Obama administration estimates that the federal government will spend about $4 billion on those federal- and state-run marketplaces for individual and small businesses purchasing insurance coverage.

Kaiser Health News reports that President Obama’s budget for the year beginning Oct. 1 seeks $1.5 billion to run exchanges in the 26 states that have refused so far to set up their own exchange, as well as the seven states that are partnering with the federal government to run an exchange. When user fees for health plans to participate in the exchanges are added, the anticipated cost amonts to about $2 billion.

The 2014 budget calls for an additional $2 billion in grants for the states that are setting up their own exchanges without federal assistance.

In related news (also reported by Kaiser), the Obama administration will award $54 million to community groups in 33 states to help people sign up for insurance in the exchanges, which open for enrollment October 1. The comparatively small amount to hire and train so-called exchange “navigators” has raised some eyebrows among experts.

“There’s no way that’s enough money to make a difference,” said John Poelman, a senior director of Leavitt Partners, a consultant working with many states to set up the marketplaces.

Stan Dorn, senior fellow at the nonpartisan Urban institute, called the money “a drop in the bucket.” “It’s not enough to enroll tens of millions of uninsured into coverage.”

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