Massachusetts: If the new exchange works properly, QHP enrollments could increase 13x by February

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Hat Tip To: 
deaconblues

A nifty summary of technical data points/specs behind the completely overhauled/revamped state ACA exchange website in Massachusetts after the first one failed spectacularly last year includes the following key points:

306,000 — the latest number of Massachusetts residents enrolled in temporary coverage. Will all these people need to get coverage through the state? No one knows, because there’s been no way to process their eligibility this year. But the total number of people trying to use the site during the three months of open enrollment could be around…

450,000 — which is 306,000 + the 100,000 or so people who are still in subsidized Commonwealth Care plans and another 33,000 or so residents who buy insurance through the Connector.

Here's what's fascinating about these numbers: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Massachusetts started out with only around 242,000 uninsured residents total as of a year ago. Obviously the success of RomneyCare (predecessor to Obamacare, of course) had much to do with this, but that's not my point.

The thing is, of those 242K, 89,000 supposedly qualify for ACA Medicaid expansion, and another 96,000 or so are undocumented immigrants (and who therefore don't qualify for either Medicaid or ACA exchange policy enrollment). That leaves only 57,000 people who are both uninsured and eligible to enroll via the exchange.

Out of the 439,000 figure from the article (they say 450K, but the numbers add up to 439K), if you subtract the 100K on Commonwealth Care (presumably they were already covered by the program last year as well, so aren't part of that 242K number), that still leaves 339,000 people who who either enrolled or tried to enroll during the first period, 90% of whom failed and had to be put into "limbo" coverage for the rest of the year.

Now, assuming that the KFF estimates were correct in the first place (and they're pretty good about this sort of thing), that means that if the bulk of these people do successfully enroll in private policies this time around, Massachusetts could theoretically end up with a ZERO PERCENT UNINSURED RATE for their legal residents.

Think about that for a minute.