Panel Updates On Affordable Care Act
A panel including DHHS Regional Director Kathleen Falk talked about the ACA this week.
Ten days and counting until the December 23 deadline to sign up for marketplace health insurance in order to get coverage for January 1. This week a panel of players in the Affordable Care Act offered status reports and answered questions in Madison, including US Department of Health and Human Services regional director, Kathleen Falk.
The website is now functioning at 92% or so of the time, which is probably twice what it had been during those earlier months. It is now able to handle 50,000 consumers at one time, which we anticipate will be about 800,000 a day, and that's been about what we have experienced now in the last week.
Questions from the audience included whether Wisconsin could still set up its own state-based exchange. Director Falk and state deputy commissioner of insurance, Dan Schwartzer, weighed in on that.
It's never too late to become a state-based exchange, just like our neighbors in Minnesota. It's also never too late to do the Medicaid expansion, which would respond to not only helping a lot of the 200,000 people get health insurance. That's our target. But also it's really cost effective for the state of Wisconsin. By next biennium alone it would save $116 million. So it's not too late to do that.
Whether you have taxpayers pay for a federal website that's going to do the same thing as the state-based exchange website, it's just fiscally-- in our opinion, fiscally imprudent to have our taxpayers pay for another website when one already exists, and more money’s being spent on it to make it work right.
The state deputy insurance commissioner reports that latest numbers in Wisconsin show 7,200 people have enrolled in health care plans through the federal website.