The Graph, updated w/May & June estimates (8.4M exchange QHPs, 7.5M PAID)
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
So, it's been over a month since my last official update of The Graph. I've been debating whether to post any further updates of it, especially since the HHS Dept. announced that they won't be posting any more monthly exchange QHP updates, at least until the next open enrollment period starts in November. Without these, I have no official count of additional enrollments beyond the 8.02 million which were announced through April 19th.
However, I do have some official numbers since then, mostly on the Medicaid/CHIP side, and a handful of the state exchanges have still be providing regular updates (ironically, two of the states which continue to keep posting updates have the worst technical problems, Hawaii and Oregon).
Beyond that, my personal estimate is that nationally, there continue to be a bare minimum of 7,000 additional QHP enrollments per day due to Qualifying Life Events (ie, giving birth/adopting a child, losing a job, moving to another state, getting married/divorced and so on). This adds up to at least 200,000 per month. I have no proof that my 7K/day-minimum estimate is accurate, of course, because the HHS has stopped issuing reports, but I think I've earned the benefit of the doubt on this issue.
The problem with this, of course, is that there are, presumably, just as many people dropping QHP enrollments due to similar life changes--gaining a job with coverage, aging into Medicare, falling on hard times and moving onto Medicaid, dying or simply being unable/unwilling to continue paying the premium beyond the first month. This last one, of course, is the one that Republicans are obsessed with as somehow "proving" that the 8 million enrollment figure is "doctored" bla, bla, bla.
Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that since their asinine, roundly ridiculed and debunked "only 67% paid!!" press release over a month and a half ago, which followed months of "But how many have PAID???" screeching, the Republican Party has become very, very quiet about the subject? After all, they claimed that they'd be following up with another "How many have PAID???" survey of insurance companies at the end of May, but if they've done so, I haven't heard a peep about it.
The reason for this is pretty obvious: They no longer want to talk about "how many have paid???" because the answer is "around 90% or more, overall" and they know it. I'll be amazed if the results of that follow-up survey ever sees the light of day, assuming they even bother sending it out.
Basically, after obsessing over the subject for months, the Republican Party has dropped it like a hot potato, moving on to their other favorite Obama punching bag, Benghazi. Of course, even that was supplanted by attacking him for bringing an American POW home (and yes, I'm astonished that I actually just typed those words).
Since the GOP has decided to take their ball and go home, and since all of the payment data we do have indicates roughly a 90% payment rate for the first premium, that's what I'm sticking with unless solid, comprehensive evidence to the contrary is provided.
Based on all of the above, we're looking at roughly 8.4 million total exchange QHP enrollments to date, of which roughly 7.5 million have paid their first month's premium.
Add another 5-8 million OFF-exchange QHPs (almost certainly towards the high end of this range...the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates around 15 million people had insurance on the individual market as of the end of March), and you have up to 16.4 million people on ACA-compliant healthcare plans to date.
On the Medicaid side, it's either around 6.3 million or 8.5 million total, depending on whether you include woodworker enrollees or not, though it's silly not to do so.
Throw in the 1.6-3.1 million young adults (19-25) on their parents' plan specifically due to the ACA, and you get a grand total of anywhere from 17.8 - 28.2 million people.