Monday, June 23, 2014

2015 Crunch

Sarah Kliff at reports, "States don't know how they'll pay for year two of Obamacare".

Here's the introduction:
More than a dozen states decided to build new health insurance marketplaces under Obamacare. Now, they need to figure out how to pay the costs of running those massive websites.

The Affordable Care Act provided federal grant funding for states to get their new web portals up and running. The Obama administration doled out $4.6 billion in grants to states launching their own marketplaces.

But Obamacare also requires state exchanges to become self-sustaining by the start of 2015. That means every state exchange that will operate next year now needs to figure out how to pay their bills. Every marketplace needs to be able to pay staff (which sometimes number in the hundreds), maintain office space and continue running outreach campaigns to increase the insurance rate.

"There won't be any big pot of federal money," says Elizabeth Carpenter, a director at health research firm Avalere...
Like the initial "free" sample of heroin, states are finding that the downstream costs of participating in ObamaCare are more than they like.