Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ObamaCare's High-Risk Pools Cost Twice as Much Per Person As Projected

Enrollment in ObamaCare's high-risk insurance plans—intended to provide immediate coverage for the especially difficult to insure until the law's major insurance expansions start up in 2014—has so far been underwhelming: Fewer than 50,000 people are enrolled in the program, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Initial estimates had projected that around 375,000 people would end up enrolled, possibly pushing it far over budget before 2014.

Overall, the program has so far spent just $600 million of the $5 billion it was allocated. But on an individual basis, patients have been far more expensive to treat than projected, costing quite a bit more than similar high-risk plans offered by states prior to ObamaCare.

The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff reports:

Those who have enrolled in the program are projected to have significantly higher medical costs than the government initially expected. Each participant is expected to average $28,994 in medical costs in 2012, according to the report, more than double what government-contracted actuaries predicted in November 2010. Then, the analysts expected that the program would cost $13,026 per enrollee. Read more.......

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