Federal and state-run insurance exchanges on average spent $922 per enrollee to sign up people for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by a Washington class-action law firm.
The report calculates the health law’s federal and state-run insurance exchanges spent more than $7.39 billion through the March 31 open-enrollment deadline.
The report came from Jay Angoff, a partner with Mehri & Skalet PLLC who previously worked for the Health and Human Services Department, and cited data from HHS and the Congressional Research Service.
States that opted to set up their own exchanges under the health law known as Obamacare paid an average $1,503 per enrollee. The federal exchange operating in 36 states averaged $647 in costs per enrollee, the report said.
Ingrid Babri, an associate at the firm and co-author of the report, said she was surprised such data had not been calculated sooner. “It’s important for policy makers to know how much it costs each state to insure people,” she said.
The five jurisdictions with the highest cost-per-enrollee costs were Hawaii ($23,899), District of Columbia ($12,467), North Dakota ($7,089), Delaware ($6,825) and Wyoming ($6,323), the report said. The District yesterday voted to apply a new tax on all health-related insurance products to help pay for its Obamacare exchange.
Alyene Senger, a health research associate at The Heritage Foundation, said the latest federal data from late April shows the government has sent at least $5 billion to states to help build state health exchanges.
“What’s unclear is if the federal government will recoup any of the millions of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted on botched state exchanges such as those in Oregon, Maryland and Massachusetts,” she said. “It’s also uncertain how much more it will cost to keep the state exchanges going or to transfer the systems onto the federal exchange.”