Health Insurance Exchanges Missing Milestones

News was both good and bad this week on the implementation of health insurance exchanges under Obamacare. The bad news was that the Government Accountability Office reported that rolling out the systems and training for the exchanges is falling behind on important milestones, with time to recover growing short.

“Much progress has been made, but much remains to be accomplished within a relatively short amount of time,” concluded the GAO report. Enrollment in the exchanges is set to begin on October 1. These marketplaces for people who do not get insurance through their employers are a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act.

On the good news side of the ledger, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the cost of benchmark silver plans will be less than originally estimated by the Congressional Budget Office. CBO estimated these plans would cost a 40-year-old nonsmoker $433 per month. But Avalere reported this week that actual costs are ranging between $205 and $413 per month, with some variations from state to state.

Naturally, Republicans see disaster looming, while the administration expresses confidence “that on October 1 the marketplace will open on schedule and millions of Americans will have access to affordable quality health insurance.” California Republican Darrell Issa commented, “This law has been unpopular and unwieldy every step of the way. We are seeing a rollout marred by missed deadlines and incomplete programs.”

While health insurance will surely change this year, any change in the partisan rhetoric seems unlikely.

Click here to read more from Bloomberg, here to read more from the Wall Street Journal, and here to read more from Reuters.

Zero Milestone, Washington, DC. Photograph © dustinc / flickr

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