A new report shows that each Oklahoma enrollee in the federal marketplace cost taxpayers an average of $1,095 and that overall spending on the exchange has cost taxpayers nearly $7.4 billion.
“Once again, we are face-to-face with the unacceptable situation that is Obamacare. Not only are the ACA health care plans expensive and unpopular, but they are also costing Oklahoma taxpayers a staggering amount,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “And this report is just talking about the creation of the exchange websites, not the insurance policies themselves, so the burden on taxpayers is actually much higher.”
The report was written by Jay Angoff, a former Missouri Insurance Commissioner and one-time director of the Health and Human services office in charge of implementing the health exchange program. The information was compiled using data from federal enrollment figures and federal exchange funding for both the federal and state exchanges. Oklahoma has 69,221 enrollees in the federal exchange, well below the HHS projection of 256,000, with total HHS spending for the state at $75,786,869.
“Due to subsidies, marketing and advertising, taxpayer costs will continue to grow, creating further hardships for consumers,” said Doak. “As we’ve said before, the solution is state-based regulation that gives consumers options and the freedom to make the choices that best suit their families’ needs.”
As of January 2014, 14 states and the District of Columbia had state-based exchanges (SBEs), and 36 states had federally-facilitated exchanges (FFEs). Oklahoma has the 17th largest cost-per-enrollee of the 36 states with FFEs. The report also showed that costs-per-enrollee for SBEs were two-thirds higher than costs in states with FFEs, indicating funds not well-spent in those states. Two states have announced plans to abandon their exchanges.
Oklahomans with health insurance questions can call the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Division at 1-800-522-0071 or visit http://www.ok.gov/oid/Consumers/Health_Care_Reform_Resources/.