No state exchanges have fully operational IT capabilities, GAO says
- A new report by the Government Accountability Office concludes that as of February 2015, the 14 states with their own health insurance marketplaces had yet to complete their IT system functions.
- The auditors point out that these IT shortcomings follow states' total spending of about $1.45 billion in federal marketplace grant funding on IT, and that the bulk of that was spent by state-based marketplaces.
- The report rated each of the 14 state-run marketplaces in four categories and found that none were "fully operational" in all categories.
The report notes the total amount spent on each marketplace's IT-related projects was uncertain due to limited tracking, and that CMS did not adequately define and communicate its oversight roles. As a result, some states had difficulty communicating with CMS and obtaioning timely guidance.
Based on the identified challenges, the GAO recommends CMS take three steps to improve oversight of state marketplace IT projects: Clearly communicate its roles in overseeing the state marketplaces through a comprehensive communication management plan; ensure that all appropriate CMS executives involved in state marketplace IT projects approve funding decisions for the projects; and ensure states have sufficiently tested marketplace system functions before releasing them.
The four categories the states were rated on were eligibility and enrollment; financial management; hub services; and IRS reporting file submissions. Vermont's exchange received the highest rating, deemed fully functional in three of the four categories.
- Connecticut Mirror GAO: Still work to do on Obamacare state exchange IT systems
- United States Government Accountability Office Report: CMS Should Improve Oversight of State Information Technology Projects