Maryland Obamacare Exchange Flop Will Force Thousands To Re-enroll
Maryland’s failed first try at its Obamacare exchange will force most of its 72,000 sign-ups to completely re-enroll in coverage for 2015.
After struggling for six months to fix an inoperable exchange website, Maryland gave up entirely on its first attempt and opted to start over with technology the state purchased from Connecticut’s state-run exchange instead. State officials say the new exchange will be up and running by November 15, when the next open enrollment period begins. (RELATED: Maryland Obamacare Exchange Spent $90 Million On Technology Before Abandoning Website)
But the state won’t be able to transfer enrollee data from its current defective system to the new website, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. Those who purchased exchange insurance this year will have to reapply all over again during the next open enrollment period if they want to keep their access to federal premium subsidies.
Customers who purchased their coverage without subsidies and continue to pay their bills won’t be required to sign up again, but the vast majority of Obamacare exchange sign-ups who do qualify for federal premium tax credits will have to navigate their way through Maryland’s second attempt at an Obamacare website.
Maryland’s not alone. Oregon also gave up on its Obamacare exchange, but instead of attempting to start over themselves, the state handed the Obama administration control of the state marketplace. Because the two systems aren’t reconcilable, all 80,000 of Oregon’s Obamacare customers will have to sign up for coverage again at HealthCare.gov for 2015. (RELATED: Oregon Obamacare Collapse Will Force 80,000 To Re-enroll Next Year)
Most federal HealthCare.gov customers will be able to automatically renew their plans without having to go through the lengthy process again next year. The Obama administration announced earlier this summer that those who aren’t changing their policies or personal information for subsidy qualification will be given options for automatic re-enrollment.
Convincing existing customers to go through the process of applying to the Obamacare exchange could be difficult given Maryland’s less than stellar first year of the health care law. The exchange’s website crashed on the first day of Obamacare’s open enrollment period last falls and officials were unable to make it fully operable.