START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

Time: D H M S

California: At least 1.232M QHPs thru 2/02

As of January 26th, California's 2015 QHP selection total was at least 1.217 million people. I say "at least" because the actual renewal number is a bit fuzzy (it's either 944K or 947K depending on whether you go by the CoveredCA or HHS/ASPE report). Anyway, today they issued a press release which at least updates the new enrollee number...if you do the math:

(etc etc...too long to post the whole list)

Add them all up and you get 288,568 new enrollees for 2015. Add those to the 944K (minimum) renewals from 2014 and you get 1,232,568 or more through Feb. 2nd.

Since the prior number was 1,217,111 as of 1/26, that's an average of around 2,200/day over the course of the slowest patch of the enrollment period.

Now, as I noted, it's likely that the renewal number has gone up a bit more since the last report; during their last conference call, Peter Lee of CoveredCA noted that they had around 80,000 enrollees from 2014 who were still being processed for renewal due to various technical glitches or other issues. Until more concrete numbers are given on that, however, I'll have to assume 1.232M is the number as of February 2nd. That means that in order to achieve the 1.7 million target set by CoveredCA themselves, they have 13 days to enroll a whopping 468,000 people...or 36,000 per day for 13 days straight.

On the one hand, they also reported roughly 480,000 "approved" QHP applications which haven't completed the process yet a few weeks back; if, say, 90% of those follow through, voila, that's 432K right there. Capacity-wise, they were able to handle up to 30,000 enrollments in a single day back in December 2013. I'm sure that they've beefed up their bandwidth/server capacity, streamlined their phone lines and so on, so handling 36K+ shouldn't be an issue at this point.

On the other hand, I guarantee you that it isn't going to be exactly 36K/day. Yes, I'm sure it's ramping up this week, but there's no way that it went from 2,200 on the 2nd up to 36K the next day. That means that they'd have to have up to 100,000 people trying to cram through the system on each of the final few days, which is insane (assuming the demand is there at all).