It was a little over a year ago that New Jersey legislators passed, after some last-minute drama, a bill to follow in the footsteps of Nevada and split off from the federal ACA exchange, HealthCare.Gov (there's actually a dozen other states which also operate their own full state-based exchanges as well, but 11 of them were never hosted by the federal exchange in the first place. The exception is Idaho, which was hosted by HC.gov for one year before splitting off, but that was always their plan from the start).
New Jersey's ACA portal website, Get Covered NJ, has actually been live for two enrollment periods already, but until now it was just that--an information portal only. The actual healthcare policy shopping/enrollment process was still handled through HealthCare.Gov.
Pennie replaces Healthcare.Gov and will improve access to coverage and increase affordability
Harrisburg, PA – September 22, 2020 – Today, Pennsylvania announced, Pennie, the new state-based health insurance marketplace for 2021 coverage. Pennie is available to all Pennsylvanians and aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of individual market health coverage. It is also the only place that connects Pennsylvanians to financial assistance to reduce the cost of coverage and care.
Pennie was created by Act 42 of 2019, passed unanimously by both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on July 2, 2019.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and just getting generally swamped, I haven't gotten around to writing about Pennsylvania's state-based ACA exchange, due to launch this fall, since way back in December:
PA’s A Step Closer To Starting A State-Based Health Insurance Exchange
Pennsylvania’s new, state-run health insurance exchange is getting rolling ahead of its launch in 2021.
The commonwealth has chosen a California-based company, GetInsured to run it.
...Zachary Sherman, who heads the newly-created Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority, said the contract with GetInsured will cost around $25 million annually, plus startup expenses that’ll be spread over several years.
“That’s compared to what we currently pay for Healthcare.gov, which is in the $90 to $95 million range,” he said.
Sherman said the administration chose GetInsured because it has already contracted with other states, like Nevada and Minnesota.
He said the new exchange is expected to save people between five and ten percent every year on premiums.
Pennsylvania is poised to roll out its own online health insurance exchange to take the place of the one run by the federal government for the state's residents since 2014, saying it can save money for hundreds of thousands of policy-buyers.
I noted yesterday that Virginia is the latest state to consider jumping onboard the State-Based Exchange train, joining Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and possibly Oregon in making the move. Every time I've mentioned Oregon, however, I've had to put a bit of an asterisk on it because I wasn't quite sure whether or not their shift back to their own full tech platform was still a go or not.
Like Nevada, Oregon did have their own full exchange once upon a time. Back in the first ACA Open Enrollment Period from 2013-2014, both states were among those which ran their own exchange websites. Nevada's was developed by Xerox; Oregon's was developed by Oracle.
Way back in October 2013, the very first official ACA Open Enrollment Period began...and was an immediate disaster for not just the federal exchange website (HealthCare.Gov), but also for about half of the states which were operating their own whole-widget ACA exchange websites.
That first year, there were 15 states doing so: California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia (not actually a state, I know), Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State. There were oddball problems at launch with most of them, but HI, MD, MA, MN, NV, OR and VT had serious issues.
Last week I noted that Pennsylvania is joining Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey and (apparently) Oregon in moving away from the federal ACA exchange mothership known as HealthCare.Gov:
Pennsylvania moves to take over health insurance exchange
Pennsylvania is moving to take over the online health insurance exchange that’s been operated by the federal government since 2014, saying it can cut health insurance costs for the hundreds of thousands who buy the individual Affordable Care Act policies.
...The bill is backed by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and his administration says it would make two important changes to reduce premiums for the 400,000 people who purchase health insurance through the Healthcare.gov online marketplace.
Pennsylvania is moving to take over the online health insurance exchange that’s been operated by the federal government since 2014, saying it can cut health insurance costsfor the hundreds of thousands who buy the individual Affordable Care Act policies.
New legislation unveiled Tuesday has high-level support in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, with the chamber's Republican and Democratic floor leaders as the bill's lead co-sponsors.
A House committee vote was scheduled for Wednesday, underscoring the urgency of the legislation.
The bill is backed by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and his administration says it would make two important changes to reduce premiums for the 400,000 people who purchase health insurance through the Healthcare.gov online marketplace.
In Idaho's case, this was always the plan from the start; they simply didn't have time to launch their own exchange before the 2014 Open Enrollment Period, so they bumped it back a year. Idaho is about to lose that unique status, however, in a big way.
This one came completely out of left field, but it's a pleasant surprise.
Last year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, along with the Democratically-controlled state legislature, passed several sweeping laws and policies designed to either protect the ACA from sabogate efforts by the Trump Administration or to cancel out existing sabotage measures.
I don't know what the status is of H.R. 5155 (the House Democrats catch-all "ACA 2.0" bill which I've been pushing for awhile now), but it looks like individual elements of it are also in the works as standalone bills:
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:00am
Location: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittees: Health (116th Congress)
The Health Subcommittee with hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday, March 6, at 10 am in the John D. Dingell Room, 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Strengthening Our Health Care System: Legislation to Lower Consumer Costs and Expand Access.” The bills to be the subject of the legislative hearing are as follows.
I say nearly all because there are still three numbers missing:
Vermont has yet to release any 2019 enrollment data. This is the 3rd year in a row that they've been radio silent. Assuming they're close to last year (28,763 QHP selections), they should add around 28,000 to the national total.
New York still has 2 days left for people to #GetCovered. I'm going to assume they'll tack on perhaps 5,000 more people today and tomorrow.
The District of Columbia hasn't posted any updates since December 11th, which means not only do they still have 2 days for people to sign up, they're actually missing a whopping 51 days worth of enrollment data. Again, assuming they wrap up close to last year, that should mean another 1,400 or so from DC.
Between the three, I'd expect another ~34,000 QHP selections to be tacked onto the totals below.