Design may be root of insurance marketplace launch problems

The launch of the federally run marketplace in states that chose not to run their own marketplace was fraught with technical difficulties. In contrast, most states that opted to operate their own marketplace had few problems and claim to be successful. Given the contrast, many have been asking why the federally run marketplace struggled. At least part of the reason is that the original intention of the law was for every state to run their own exchange and so it was not anticipated that the federal government would run the marketplace in so many states. However, another criticism has been about the design of the site, which has been detailed in a recent new story, which you can access here. The main criticism is that the federal government required people to set up an account rather than being allowed to browse options before setting up an account. Washington state had issues launching their site, but have fixed those issues and now has been running successfully, which was detailed in a great news story here. It may be a lesson for the federal government. This shouldn’t be surprising because states are often described as policy laboratories where innovations happen that are then diffused to other states and sometimes, eventually, to the federal level.

How much will health insurance premiums cost in the Nebraska Insurance Marketplace?

The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released data on insurance premium rates for the 36 states in which HHS will support or fully run the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014. HHS added a disclaimer to the release: “Plan data is in final stages but is still under review as of September 18 and may be revised in HHS systems before being displayed for consumers, so this information is subject to change.”

The report shows that the monthly premiums in Nebraska for a family of four will likely be:

  • $282 for those making $50,000 a year and getting federal subsidies
  • $744 for those making more than $94,200 a year and ineligible for federal subsidies

You can view data specific to Nebraska here.

If you would like to see what the rates will be in other states you can find it here.