State Exchange Sees Little Enrollment
We sat in on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Legislative Oversight Committee yesterday. And, boy, was that enlightening. There are a couple of highlights that we found particularly interesting:
1. After Chairman of the Committee Senator David Sanders began the meeting with some vigorous questions of the exchange, Ms. Cynthia Crone (Deputy Commissioner, Arkansas Health Connector Division, Arkansas Insurance Department) was without many answers. Specifically – how many people have signed up with the exchange in Arkansas? She said she had no way of knowing that answer.
2. Ms. Crone said that the state marketplace website and social media could be be maintained for a paltry $500,000. However they could “probably come down to” $399,000. Maintenance means article and information uploads plus social media posts. At that we shook our heads because that’s remarkably ridiculous. Unless…. and bear with us here… unless online advertising is included in that price. Some of that advertising that they wanted to do, but was not reviewed by committee at the end of September. But, hey, that’s just a theory. Maybe a contractor really does need half a million dollars to enter text (as we did for this post yesterday), a few graphics, some tweets (as we do here), or a Facebook post (again, as we post here almost daily). Those government contracts paid for by your tax dollars sure are something to behold.
For more on the miniscule sign-up of Arkansans on the state exchanges, check this out from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Insurance company executives testified before the committee late yesterday afternoon that fewer than 200 people have signed up for the exchanges.