Tens of Thousands in Taxpayer Start-Up Dollars per HealthSource RI Enrollee

With HealthSource RI’s release of its latest enrollment data, we herewith update our post from last month, breaking down the per-beneficiary expense in federal grants by various categories.

By way of a reminder: According to the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, under the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal government has given $134.7 million in grants aimed, at least in part, at getting Rhode Island’s Affordable Care Act health benefits exchange, HealthSource RI, up and running.  Of that, $99.1 million went directly to the Rhode Island government.

Thus far, U.S. taxpayers have spent $61,532 in direct grants for each of the 1,611 Rhode Islanders who have officially enrolled (having paid their initial premiums).


Adding in the 1,038 people who have completed the application but not yet paid an initial premium, the per-person subsidy increases to $37,421.

The largest group of enrollees, however, includes the 5,280 Rhode Islanders who used the subsidized health insurance exchange to discover that they are eligible for free healthcare, through Medicaid.  (Rhode Island opted to follow the Affordable Care Act in expanding the categories of people who are eligible, to include able-bodied, childless young adults.)  That’s 67% of the 7,929 who have completed the application process.

Of that number, only 313 (or 4%) are enrolling in plans without claiming additional taxpayer subsidies in the form of financial assistance on their premiums and other expenses.

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