States are better at running Obamacare than the federal government

November 25, 2013

States, it turns out, are better at running Obamacare than the federal government that created the program. At least so far.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the president’s landmark health-care law, states were given the option of running their own health insurance marketplaces or having the federal government run them. Our colleagues put together the interactive below that shows that the states that went for it on their own have done better at enrolling their residents than states that are relying on the federal health insurance exchanges. In some cases, the success rates are much, much higher.

There are several layers to measuring the success rate. First, people have to apply for insurance. Then, they have to be deemed eligible for it. (The bulk of states with federal exchanges have high rates of residents who qualify for a market-based plan.) Finally, those eligible have to pick a plan. Technical troubles have plagued the process on the federal exchanges.

Vermont has had the most success, enrolling nearly 40 percent of all those deemed eligible. California has enrolled nearly 38 percent, followed by Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island, all of which were above 35 percent. The most successful federal exchange was in Montana where nearly 6 percent of those eligible were enrolled, according to the latest official data.

You can see how it’s played out in the interactive below.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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