Thursday, November 14, 2013

Massachusetts under the ACA

Looking at this chart, I wondered what's the deal with Massachusetts? I mean, they have had Romneycare, the model for Obamacare, since 2007. Why would that state have a goal of getting people private policies via the ACA? Wouldn't they already be signed up via Massachusetts Health Connect (the MA law's equivalent to the exchanges)? Is there any reason that a policy gained through the MHC would not be ACA compliant? I guess I assumed that their policies would work under the federal law too and they wouldn't need to go to the new exchange. Maybe that's not correct.

And if that isn't correct if people in MA do have to sign up anew under the federal law, who the hell came up with a target of enrolling 17,500 Massachusettians in the first month?!?!? Most of these targets were just guesstimates. The ACA is almost unprecedented so no one had much of an idea how people would respond or enroll for most states. But I say "almost unprecedented" because it is unprecedented in all states except Massachusetts. MA has a clear record from when the MHC launched at the beginning of 2007. In January 2007, the first month of the Romneycare exchange, only 123 people signed up The numbers got better later on and in the end almost all of the people who needed to sign up did. But if MA only had 123 people sign up the last time they did this, why would anyone think it would have 17,500 in the first month this time around? I realize the enrollment period under the ACA is a lot shorter than it was under the MA health care law (2 months vs. a year). But still, Massachusettians already showed their propensity to do this stuff last minute. 17.5k just seems wildly optimistic to me.