The cost of health insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act will jump 20 percent or more next year under rates to be announced Friday by Maryland regulators.
The CEO of Maryland’s largest insurer defended the hefty rate increases and said the federal law that expanded health insurance to most Americans needs to be changed if it is to remain sustainable.
A new report in the Baltimore Sun (online, 7/21) by Meredith Cohn and Andrea K. McDaniels says that it wasn’t long after disastrous 2013 debut of Obamacare in Maryland, that “The Old Line State” severed ties with Noridian, it’s prime Obamacare website (a/k/a marketplace or exchange) contractor. This was because the website failed. Maryland wound up paying Noridian “about $73 million of its $193 million contract to build and operate the exchange,” according to The Baltimore Sun account. Eventually, Maryland “dumped the website and adopted technology from Connecticut in time for the second open enrollment in 2014, costing the state extra millions of dollars,” the report elaborates.
Now according to Cohn and McDaniels, Noridian “will repay the state $45 million to settle claims that it botched the rollout of the marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.”
Obamacare trouble in Maryland (Part 2). With taxpayer cost estimated at $30.5 million dollars, a contractor hired by the state , and paid $65.4 million, then fired (whose name is Noridian Healthcare Solutions) – has been compounded by the fact as problems continue – so will increased costs because of those issues, and the estimated cost of that is expected to be $65.4 million.
“At this time it’s impossible to know if the funding” (Maryland has allocated for the health exchange) “will be adequate to achieve what needs to be done.”
More state level Obamacare trouble, this time in Maryland (Part 1). A severe flaw in the state’s already defective healthcare exchange may cost the state $30.5 million. It seems the exchange can’t translate income information (from current data) to calculations required to check whether Medicaid enrollees are qualified. Yet, Maryland plans to remain with the exchange, at least through through the open enrollment period that ends March 31. As for the current Medicaid enrollment system, one alternative being proposed is for the state to adopt Connecticut’s system. However, that may take anywhere from nine to twelve months – pushing up against the next open enrollment.
While improvements have been made, computer problems remain entrenched. A 31-page report by Maryland budget analysts says that “there is significant uncertainty about the way forward” with future information technology spending that will be needed. The state cites a state report covering “architectural flaws” in the system.