2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

California: 1.22 Million QHPs thru 1/26; 2/15 target starting to look iffy

CoveredCA issued this press release yesterday. Normally I would've pounced all over it, but the major data point (944K QHP renewals) was already included in Tuesday's big monthly ASPE report anyway (although that had the renewals being 3K higher...)

However, I just realized that they also threw in a new QHP enrollee update:

In addition, Lee reported Wednesday that as of Jan. 26, 273,111 consumers had picked a plan during open enrollment. 

Add that to the 944K renewals and you have a grand total of 1,217,111 through 1/26.

That's an increase of 44,345 since January 12, or 3,167/day. Of course, this also includes the January 15th deadline, so it doesn't tell me much about the next week or so. For that, I'd have to look at the increase since 1/18 (1,200,427), which is just 16,684, or 2,085/day.

If that rate holds, CA will only add another 42K  or so by February 15th, or just 1.26 million, which wouldn't even reach their 2014 number (1.405 million). Even if you triple this for the mid-February surge (whcih I'm expecting), that would still only bring them up another 84K to 1.35 million or so. Assume all 80K of the "being worked on" renewals go through and you're up to around 1.42 million...just barely ahead of last year.

Hopefully CoveredCA has an impressive end game, because so far it's not looking good for them to reach their internal 1.7 million target, much less my more aggressive target of 1.94 million.

I'm not going to change my national target of 12.5 million based on this because other large states such as Florida and Texas seem to be overperforming, but it's starting to look like CA may end up being up to 300K short of where they were expecting. Hopefully I'm wrong about this, of course.

In addition, there's some pretty cool data-nerd stuff here, and after all the whining I've been doing about CA not giving out renewal data, I should at least acknowledge it when they do so.

As of December, there were about 1.1 million enrollees eligible for renewal. Approximately 85,000 of those were determined eligible for Medi-Cal during the renewal process, leaving more than 1 million enrollees eligible for renewal in private coverage for 2015.

That's an interesting twist...85K, or 7.5% of the total 2014 QHP enrollees, were eligible for Medicaid (presumably via ACA expansion). I don't know if this means that their income data was wrong in the first place or if their situation simply took a turn for the worse, but either way, that's an interesting tidbit. That cuts down the total potential renewals to around 1.03 million.

Of those consumers, Covered California has forwarded the names of 944,000 consumers — or 92 percent of eligible consumers — to health plans. Covered California continues working to renew an additional approximately 80,000 effectuated enrollees eligible for ongoing coverage who, for a variety of reasons, could not be auto-renewed or have not selected another plan.

Cool! That means there's up to another 80K potential renewals waiting in the wings, in addition to new enrollees yet to come. This is good since, frankly, California is actually lagging (slightly) from where they should be at this point. We're 82% of the way through the enrollment period; CA is currently 71% of the way towards their own goal (and yes, of course I'm expecting a major surge in mid-February, but this is still after the renewals have been added in).

Among the 944,000 consumers who have been forwarded to the plans for renewal, 368,000 chose to explore their options for coverage. The remaining 576,000 took no action, meaning they will be renewed with their carrier and current plan. Of these consumers, 54,000 (about 6 percent) have chosen a different carrier than they had in 2014.

In other words, about 39% actively renewed, 61% were autorenewed, which is actually better than the national average (which I believe was around 35% active renewals).

They also threw in a nifty table showing the relative market share shifts between the different insurance companies, although that's not really of much interest to me; feel free to check it out if you wish.