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State exchange winners and losers from open enrollment round two

A look back on what went right (and wrong) in five pivotal states

Congratulations, states and insurers: You survived another round of open enrollment. Yes, you suffered some battle wounds, but this rollout went smoother than the first.

For starters, nearly 11.7 million Americans enrolled in a plan through the state and federal marketplaces from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. This enrollment success perhaps is thanks to the lack of technical glitches on state-run exchanges, as well as continued outreach and campaign efforts aimed to pique consumers' interest.

But not every state got its happy ending. FierceHealthPayer rounded up the winners and losers from this past open enrollment period to examine just how the nation fared.


After a pretty disastrous first enrollment period that signed up only 67,757 consumers--the exchange faced so many issues it ended up letting insurers directly handle payments--Maryland redeemed itself by enrolling 120,145 residents (which include consumers who selected or were automatically re-enrolled) through the state's new-and-improved exchange, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

"We knew a change needed to be made, so we adopted Connecticut's exchange's technology and platform, which proved to be successful," Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director at Maryland Health Connection, recently said during a panel at the America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Policy Conference in the District of Columbia. "We've realized the marketplace is more than a website. Ultimately, it's a business. We're still figuring out ways to become more sustainable and retain consumers by meeting their expectations.

Unfortunately, the picture isn't entirely rosy: Maryland may owe the federal government more than $28 million in misappropriated funding for its state exchange.

FierceHealthPayer award: The Comeback Kid