Holy Crap. CoveredCA just changed everything (again). New projection: 7.9 - 8.1M
Holy Crap on a Stick!
From April 1-15, 205,685 consumers – including a one-day record of more than 50,000 on the final day – completed their applications and selected health plans through the Covered California exchange, bringing the total to 1,395,929 at the end of the historic, first open enrollment period. The total exceeds the base projection for Covered California for the entire six-month enrollment period by more than 815,929.
Let's assume that "over 50,000" means, say, 50,100.
To put this in context, they're saying there were (205,685 - 50,100) = 155,585 QHP enrollments in the first 14 days (about 11,100/day)...followed by 50,100 on the last day. That's 4.5x the rate it had been.
Until this, I was estimating that the national 4/01 - 4/15 average would be around 45K - 55K/day nationally during the extension period, or around 675K - 825K total, for a grand total of around 7.77- 7.93 million exchange QHPs total. I settled on 7.78M as my "official" projection to be on the cautious side.
However, California just changed the game. Assuming CA made up the same roughly 18% of the total that it averaged during the official enrollment period during the extension period as well, that would suggest an additional 1.1 million added nationally to the 7.1M announced as of 3/31, for up to 8.2 million total!
Now, my guess is that this is unlikely to be the case. California did a special "triage" thing in the final day or so, pushing people to start their application process before midnight on the 31st so that more people would have time to complete it during the enrollment period. I don't think any other states did this, and CA is the largest state anyway; plus, a few states such as CT and WA didn't join in the extension period after all.
So, instead of 18% of the total during the extension, I'm guessing CA made up more like 22% of the total.
Even if that's the case, however, that would still suggest around 930,000 QHPs added between 4/1 - 4/15 nationally, or around 8.03 million total.
Now, it's also possible that CA is making up a full 25% of the total, which would mean 820K added, for 7.92M total, but I'm guessing it isn't any lower than that at this point.
So, I'm gonna go with a range between 7.9 - 8.1M.