California Healthline: Exchange Success Helps Nudge First Budget Near a Half-Billion Dollars

by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
 

Covered California’s spending rose to $488 million in its first fiscal year of operation — about 22% higher than the initial projected budget of about $399 million.

Actual expenditures in FY 2013-2014 were lower than that because some of the computer costs were paid back by other state agencies. Factoring in actual costs, the exchange budget rose by 16%, about $60 million more than originally forecast.

Exchange officials pointed out that enrollment also went far beyond original forecasts. They said the extra money spent on website upgrades and call center staffing was well worth the boom in enrollment numbers.

“You have to step back and put it in perspective with the enrollment,” said Anne Gonzales, public information officer for Covered California. “We exceeded [enrollment] expectations by 43% over the enhanced model, over the rosiest expectations we could make. … Really, it’s almost to be expected that something so big and with such results would spend a little more.” 

 

Continue reading here: http://www.californiahealthline.org/insight/2014/exchange-success-helps-nudge-first-budget-near-a-halfbillion-dollars

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