March HHS Report to include enrollment data through mid-April after all? (UPDATED)
Yesterday I issued a reminder/warning that the March HHS report might stop at 3/29, leaving the last 2 (and by far the busiest) days of the official enrollment period, the 30th-31st to be moved over to the April report.
If HHS did this, the March report would appear to only include about 6.5M exchange QHPs, since another 600K would be moved to April, along with the additional 700K (give or take) enrollments from 4/01 - 4/15 (and even beyond).
Fortunately, if this bulletin from Inside Health Policy is true, wiser heads at HHS have prevailed...and then some!
HHS Eyes April 17 Release Of Latest Enrollment Numbers
HHS is planning a Thursday (April 17) release of its next exchange enrollment report that covers the entire 2014 open enrollment period that ended March 31 and most of the sign-ups during the new special enrollment period that will wrap up Tuesday (April 15), Inside Health Policy has learned.
Believe me, no one is hoping that this is true more than me. This would save me the headache of having to roll my eyes every time someone at FOX News, Hot Air, Newsbusters etc. tries to claim that the 6.5M figure "proves" that the Obama administration is "cooking the books", bla bla bla.
As a bonus, by including all (or at least most) of the post-3/31 enrollments, I'll be saved the hassle of having to explain that the actual total enrollment figure is closer to 7.8 million than 7.1 million (or even 7.5 million from a few days ago, which it should be).
I'll be curious how far out they're able to include. I would imagine they'll probably be able to get the data at least through Saturday, leaving perhaps Sunday, today and tomorrow left off. Perhaps around 7.6 million or so?
Then, in early May they would presumably release the 4/13 - 4/30 "mopping up" additions of another couple hundred thousand.
I hope this is true, anyway....although this would also suggest that HHS could have made the prior reports run exactly along the calendar months all along, which makes it even more bizarre that they didn't do so. Yeesh....
UPDATE 4/15: OK, here's a bit more detail:
A source says if the report is released on April 17 it wouldn't include sign-up numbers beyond April 12 from the state-based exchanges because of the way those states report enrollment figures to the administration.
OK, so assuming this is accurate, it sounds like the report will include data through tonight (4/15) for the 36 federal-exchange states and through Saturday (4/12) for the state-run exchanges.
Assuming that the combined state-run exchanges have been averaging around 22% of the total enrollments during the extension period (remember, CA had dropped down to under 18% of the total during the late March surge, and neither CT nor WA are officially part of the extension), it should have 100% of the enrollments through 4/12, and about 78% of the enrollments for the final 3 days.
Further assuming around 40K/day for the last 3 days, that means there should only be around 25-30K enrollments missing from the total which would be tacked on along with the post-4/15 Oregon, Nevada & other oddball enrollments in another report to be issued in May...figure perhaps another 20K on top of that?
If all of the above is accurate, the March report issued Thursday should come in at around 7.75 milllion, with another 40-50K worth of stragglers being added to the April report, for a grand total of right around 7.8 million.