Questioning the cost of Maryland's health exchange

August 25, 2012

Here are some questions regarding your recent article about the Maryland Health Connection ("Maryland gets federal health grant," Aug. 24):

Maryland has now received $157.4 million from the federal government, but how much has Maryland spent of its own money? What is the annual budget?

Rebecca Pearce is the executive director of the state's health exchange, but how employees does it have, what is the annual cost in salary and benefits and what is the cost of facilities and utilities?

Will the exchange be audited on an annual basis? Has it been audited so far? And who will do the audit?

If 150,000 people will sign up the first year and 275,000 will have signed up by 2020, the average would be 212,500 each year over seven years. I would think that once you signed up, you would receive insurance coverage and it would be a onetime event. That would be 1,487,500 Marylanders using the exchange, so what is the cost per signee?

Maryland certainly isn't a very large state, so if Maryland's numbers are projected for the country, what is the cost of only the exchanges nationally on an annual basis and on a cumulative basis by 2020?

Richard T. Webb

The writer is president and CEO of Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union in Hunt Valley.

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