What They're Saying About Our Scorecard on Public Health Insurance Exchanges

CAHC's report highlighting the need for private enrollment tools featured in Axios, POLITICO, Washington Examiner, others

WASHINGTON, DC (October 30, 2018): Ahead of the 2019 open enrollment season, the Council for  Affordable Health Coverage – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – yesterday released its annual report and scorecard on Healthcare.gov and each of the 12 state-based exchanges, entitled "2018 Health Insurance Exchanges: Progress Made, But Time to Say Goodbye?

The report graded exchanges on seven key competencies, including access to detailed plan information, an out-of-pocket cost calculator, and an integrated provider directory and drug directory tool. It found that more than half the exchanges received a grade of D or F. DC Health Link ranked first overall with a score of 92 and Massachusetts Health Connector ranked last at 48. Healthcare.gov earned a score of 81. The report recommends transitioning to a privately-operated exchange model. 

Here is what national media had to say about the report's findings: 

Axios, "Holes Remain in the ACA Shopping Process" - October 30, 2018 
"CAHC faulted several exchanges, including HealthCare.gov, for their out-of-pocket cost calculators and the information they provide to shoppers about different insurance plans’ drug coverage ... the industry coalition says most exchanges are getting incrementally better from year to year, but that their remaining weaknesses indicate that there should be more privately run exchanges, which would connect to the centralized federal data hub." 

POLITICO Morning eHealth"Healthcare.gov Gets a B- For Online Experience" - October 31, 2018 
"The Council for Affordable Health Coverage gave HealthCare.gov an 81 out of 100 in its recent evaluation of web exchange usability. The survey examined each Obamacare enrollment site’s shopping tools, plan information, cost calculators, and the user-friendliness of the language. The group dinged HealthCare.gov, the federal enrollment portal, for its cost calculator, which only accounted for premiums instead of other factors, such as out-of-pocket costs." 

Washington Examiner, "Daily on Healthcare: Republicans abandon strategy of highlighting Obamacare’s losers" - October 30, 2018
"Healthcare.gov was ranked fourth, with a grade of 81, and the District of Columbia’s exchange, called DC Health Link, was No. 1 with a score of 92 ... 'Sadly, our report shows that, once again, too many state exchanges are providing substandard service to users,' CAHC President Joel White said in a statement. 'While our findings show modest progress from years past, it remains unacceptable that, in 2018, more progress has not been made.' The group argues that it’s time to toss out public exchanges so that private firms will carry them instead." 

Inside Health Policy, "Coalition to CMS: Ultimately Shift All ACA Enrollment to the Private Sector" - October 30, 2018 
"A coalition of stakeholders is urging CMS to increase its reliance on private health insurance exchanges that can link directly to the federal data hub during the upcoming open enrollment season, recommending in a recent report that the agency shift consumers to those exchanges during the hours that Healthcare.gov is down for maintenance and eventually rely entirely on those exchanges ... the coalition also wants Congress to allow people to use their federal subsidies to buy off-exchange plans, and says the current structure gives the public exchanges a monopoly on those consumers." 

TownHall, "Irony: Report Finds Liberal States are the Worst at Administering Obamacare Exchanges" - October 30, 2018 
"Massachusetts, New York, Idaho, Maryland, Vermont, Minnesota, and Connecticut all received a D or F ... according to CAHC, 'the more ‘blue’ the state, the lower the score, on average.' ... White argued that 'it is time to say goodbye to the public exchange model and turn, instead, to the innovation and responsiveness of the private marketplace.'"

FierceHealthcare, "Private Exchanges Would Better Meet Consumer Needs, Report Says" -October 30, 2018 
"In the days ahead of the 2019 open enrollment season, one organization is suggesting that the Affordable Care Act exchanges would be better off if they were privatized ... The federal health insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov, has a monopoly over where subsidy-eligible individuals can buy coverage in 38 states, as do state-based exchanges in the remaining 12 states, CAHC argues. As a result, they respond slowly, if at all, to consumer needs, the organization says. CAHC believes consumers would receive the information they need more effectively if multiple private platforms could compete against one another."