Funding To Enroll Uninsured In New Markets Called 'Drop In Bucket'

The Obama administration on Tuesday said it will award $54 million to community groups in 33 states to help people sign up for insurance in the new online health insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1.

The size of the long-awaited grants offers a glimpse into the challenges of carrying out the health law in states such as Texas and Florida, which are relying on the federal government to run all or part of their marketplaces. States setting up their own marketplaces are getting separate funding from the federal government.

The marketplaces are the key way the federal health law is attempting to provide health coverage to about 27 million people by 2016.

"There's no way that's enough money to make a difference," said John Poelman, a senior director of Leavitt Partners, a consultant working with many states to set up the marketplaces.

Stan Dorn, senior fellow at the nonpartisan Urban institute, called the money "a drop in the bucket.” "It’s not enough to enroll tens of millions of uninsured into coverage.”

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Source: Kaiser Health News