Estimated Exchange QHPs as of 8/31/14: 8.00M PAID (9.21M Total)

Estimated Total, all sources: (23.7 Million - 28.4 Million)

Exchange + Off-Exchange QHPs: 16.0M  •  Medicaid/CHIP (6.0M - 9.1M)

ESIs (155K confirmed; up to 8M more possible)  •  Sub26ers (1.6M - 3.1M)

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Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

If my calculations are correct, the total number of ACA exchange-based QHP enrollments should now be at around 9.2 million...and the number of people who have paid for their first month's premium should have finally crossed the 8 Million milestone right around...now (plus or minus a week or so).

Now, as I've noted many times before, this does not mean that there are 8 million people currently enrolled, since just as around 9,000 people have been continuing to enroll each day since the end of open enrollment, so too perhaps 3% of the current enrollees are likely dropping their ACA policies each month as well, meaning that the current number of paid enrollees is likely hovering around 7.1 - 7.2 million at the moment.

Who knows, perhaps the HHS Dept. will surprise everyone (especially myself) and make some sort of announcement about passing the 8 million paid milestone this week? That would be nice...

For any tech geeks like me out there curious as to how the original HC.gov website mess happened, this gives you an idea of how crazy the project became...

Healthcare.gov faltered last fall in large part because it was built by a crowd of uncoordinated contractors with no one in charge of making sure all the interlocking pieces fit together.

As the White House tries to prevent a repeat catastrophe, government watchdogs are investigating why the Obamacare marketplace failed in the two months after it opened on Oct. 1, 2013. A new report (PDF) details the 60 separate government contracts, awarded to 33 companies, that contributed to building healthcare.gov. The chart above shows how much each contractor was awarded."

Of course, the Obama Administration also sent in an "Apollo 13" emergency tech wizard team to clean up the mess and salvage the project in November, and the rest is history, but it's still important to understand how the federal exchange came so close to failure in the first place...

This. Is. Awesome. News.

A little-known Obamacare tax on health insurance executives' salaries raised $72 million in new revenue last year.

For decades now, the United States has limited the corporation tax deduction for executive pay to $1 million for the company's top four employees. That deduction cap, however, excluded performance bonuses, creating a massive loophole allowing companies to pay their top employees more than $1 million without facing a higher tax burden.

Obamacare quietly changed the rules for health insurance executives. It lowered the cap to $500,000 — and, in that amount, now includes all forms of compensation. The health insurers' regulation also widens the scope of who it hits: while the general deduction cap only applies to the company's top four employees, the Obamacare rule hits any executive earnings more than $500,000.

These new limits kicked in last year. The Institute for Policy Studies ran the numbers and found that this one change resulted in the 10 largest insurers paying an additional $72 million in taxes in 2013.

Presented without comment (except for my emphasis):

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana residents will have more than triple the number of health insurance plans to choose from when the federal insurance exchange enrollment period starts in November, according to a state official.

Indiana Department of Insurance attorney Tina Korty told a legislative panel Thursday that some insurers took a “wait-and-see” approach during the first year of the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Nine companies will offer a total of 975 plans - not all will be available in every county - for Indiana residents on the federal exchange, she said. During the 2013-14 period, three companies offered 278 plans, The Times of Munster and the Post-Tribune reported.

“I think a lot of companies were waiting to see how the first year went,” Korty said. “Also were seeing some smaller providers that may offer a policy in only a few counties.”

Korty said a 5 percent average increase in exchange premiums is expected on Indiana policies.

This is flat-out wrong and should be stopped/fixed immediately:

A worrisome trend is emerging among some Californians who thought they were safe and secure under Covered California: Their plans are being canceled without consent and sometimes without notice.

...A growing number of Californians with Covered California plans are learning – sometimes through happenstance – that their plans no longer exist. Some, like Manahan, are getting shunted into Medi-Cal. Others are dropped outright.

...Covered California acknowledges that it is yanking some people off of its plans and putting them on Medi-Cal, months after they signed up or submitted income information.

We’re “in the process of manually verifying the documents provided by individuals who were conditionally eligible for obtaining health care coverage through our agency,” says Covered California spokesman James Scullary. “Through that process, some customers will receive notices indicating they are now eligible for no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal coverage.”

A few days ago, news broke that Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett, whose re-election numbers are in the toilet and who is desperate to get Pennsylvanians to like him, has finally agreed to the Medicaid expansion provision in the Affordable Care Act.

While "doing a single decent, human thing after a couple of years of being a jerk about it" shouldn't really count as being praiseworthy, I suppose he deserves at least a small golf clap, just as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Ohio Gov. John Kasich did.

Anyway, next up to bat would appear to be Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam:

In a move that could mean health coverage for thousands of Tennesseans, Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that the state may soon submit a proposal to Washington to expand Tennessee's Medicaid program but did not release any new details on how it might work.

Someone just brought this piece from the right-wing Daily Caller to my attention:

Florida Obamacare Enrollment Total Plummets By A Quarter

Florida’s Obamacare enrollment is now over 220,000 lower than the Obama administration’s most recent tally, according to a report from the state insurance department. 

The Obama administration hasn’t released updated Obamacare enrollment statistics since May, when the Department of Health and Human Services put the number of Florida sign-ups at 983,775 — but the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation says that now, just 762,723 Floridians have health insurance through the exchange.

OK, stop right there. Yes, it's true that the most-recent HHS report had enrollments at 983,775, but that was as of April 19th, not "May". Minor error, I agree, but important in the context of what we're talking about there. OK, go on...

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