2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Short Cuts: 83% plan to stay on exchange plan; BCBSLA requiring ACA certification; Immigration order could help boost Latino enrollment

Recently there was a nonsense survey published by Bankrate which tried to claim that half of the 6.7 million current ACA exchange enrollees have no intention of sticking with the exchanges. What made this particular survey particularly stupid was that it included anyone who had visited one of the exchange websites, not just those who actually, you know, enrolled in a policy through one.

A couple of days ago, a new poll from Morning Consult, which actually surveyed those who are enrolled through the ACA exchanges came up with much more sensible results:

A majority of voters who purchased insurance from an exchange intend to keep their plan for 2015, according to a new poll.

Morning Consult polling found that compared with three months ago, more respondents say they will keep their insurance plans next year. Fifty-two percent of registered voters say they’ll continue with their coverage, compared with 44 percent in September polling.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 13 through Nov. 16 among a national sample of 1,811 registered voters. The margin of error is 2.3 percentage points.

Meanwhile, 31 percent in November said they would shop for a new plan on the exchange, up 3 percentage points from September. The percentage of voters undecided about what to do with their plan next year fell 9 percentage points to 14 percent during the last three months.

The only caveat here is that this is apparently limited to registered voters who purchased via the exchange, which seems like a rather odd restriction, but it's still a lot more reasonable. The combined number (83%) also matches up with HHS Sec. Burwell's assumption of the renewal rate from her original "9.1 million total" 2015 target press release (5.9M out of 7.1M). Of course, with the revelation that the current total is actually closer to 6.7M, renewals would have to reach 88% to hit that target, but still.

In case you had any doubt about just how confident the insurance industry is that the ACA is here to stay, check this out:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is requiring that all of its agents in the individual market must be certified to sell in the state’s federally facilitated marketplace, even those who only sell outside of the exchange. Agents also serve as health care advisers, and BCBSLA wants them to know the Affordable Care Act, says Dianne Eysink, director of corporate communications.

Read that again: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Not only is it one of the states on the federal exchange (hellooooooo Halbig/King!!), it's one of the deep-reddest ones out to boot. And BCBSLA is putting serious resources and effort in on the assumption that the ACA is in it for the long haul.

No, the 4-5 million people included in President Obama's executive order won't be able to enroll in the ACA, but removing the fear of deportation could help encourage their families, friends & associates from doing so:

The lack of access to health coverage for a population with an estimated 60 percent uninsurance rate remains a bitter pill for immigration reform activists who otherwise welcome Obama’s moves. But for the Latinos who are in the U.S. legally, the president’s new policy may spur more enrollment. Many people working on Hispanic enrollment have said people have voiced fears that signing up could somehow lead immigration officials to undocumented family members, threatening them with deportation. Obama himself went on Spanish-language television earlier this year to try to dispel those fears.