Analysis: State O-Care exchanges spent more on outreach

State-based health insurance marketplaces spent three times more than the federal exchange per uninsured person to educate the public about ObamaCare coverage, according to a new analysis.

The findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation underscore the difference between exchanges set up by the federal government and those set up by states whose leaders generally agreed with the healthcare law.

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Those state-run systems were, in general, more successful at enrolling people than the federally facilitated exchanges, though the report said this trend cannot be solely attributed to differences in outreach spending.

State marketplaces spent on average $17.15 per uninsured person, compared to $5.42 spent by federal marketplaces to get the word out, researchers found.

The five states with state consumer partnership marketplaces — Delaware, New Hampshire, Arkansas, West Virginia and Illinois — spent on average $31.53 per person.

“This analysis reveals extreme differences in the amount of funding available to states to help consumers enroll in the new marketplaces,” the report's authors note.

While state-based exchanges generally saw better results for their enrollment campaigns, "it is still too early to tell how much of this success can be ascribed to the greater levels of consumer assistance available" to them, the report stated.

Outreach will continue at both the state and federal level ahead of the start of the next enrollment period in November. Researchers suggested their findings will help inform how outreach efforts are funded in the future. 

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