States using federal marketplaces spent far less on enrollment assistance

McClatchy Washington BureauApril 30, 2014 

— - State-run and partnership marketplaces spent vastly more on enrollment efforts than states that used the federal marketplace, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The five states with state/federal partnership marketplaces spent an average of $31.53 per uninsured resident for consumer enrollment assistance, according to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

The nation's 16 state-run marketplaces averaged $17.15 per uninsured resident, while the 29 states relying on the federal HealthCare.gov website spent an average of just $5.42 per uninsured resident.

The District of Columbia and state-run marketplaces got half of the federal funding for consumer assistance even though they represented only 33 percent of the nation's uninsured. But states using the federal marketplace received only 33 percent of federal funding even though 63 percent of the nation's uninsured live in those 29 states.

" The five partnership states in charge of consumer assistance functions were home to just 6% of the uninsured, but garnered 17% of the funding," the report found..

“The availability of federal money and the type of marketplace were huge factors in the amount states spent to enroll the uninsured,” said Katherine Hempstead, who leads coverage issues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The real question, which can only be answered in time, is how big of a role states’ consumer assistance programs played in overall enrollment success.”

The report is available at - http://bit.ly/1ktB3GY

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