Feb. private enrollment likely to be around 625K based on limited data

I know I've become a bit obsessive about this "February Drop-off" thing, but I couldn't help myself. Since the Jan. HHS report was simply wrong on New York's private QHP figure, I found the closest correct figure to Feb. 1st that I could--an official NY State of Health press release from 2 days later, Feb. 3, which gives the correct private QHP enrollment number as 241,242 as of Feb. 3.

Updating the "Feb Drop-off Chart" with this info as well as yesterday's Nevada update, we now have some more solid Feb-vs-Jan data to work with. I've modified the graph to show how many days are being counted for each state, as well as the starting & ending dates for each month:

The good news is that New York's February drop-off rate isn't nearly as bad as I thought; only 22% instead of the 44% that I thought it might be using the 1/20 date. The bad news is that even so, the overall drop rate from these 11 states is around 32% so far.

Again, this is still very limited data; remember the following:

  • There's only 11 states counted, whose combined uninsured populations makes up only about 14.2% of the 48.3 million total uninsured nationally (about 6.9 million of them).
  • Even for these 11 states, they average only 8 days out of the 28 that will be included.
  • I have no idea whether the demographics of these 11 states are in any way representative of the other 40.

All that being said, if the 32% average daily drop holds true nationally for the full month, I'd have to call the likely February enrollment total to be around 625,000 people.

January private enrollment was roughly 1.15 million people. Since the February report will only include 28 days (4 weeks) instead of January's 35 days (5 weeks), that means that even if February were at the same daily average as January, it would still only reach 920,000 people. Since the February 1st total was virtually 3.3 million even, in order to hit 4 million total by March 1st, enrollments will have to break at least 700,000 people...a drop-off of less than 24%.

Note that none of the above has anything to do with Medicaid/CHIP enrollments, which are a completely different question.