START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

Time: D H M S

Washington State: Hold everything...that's 132K *PAID* QHPs!

Yesterday I lamented the fact that the Washington State ACA exchange seemed to be seriously lagging behind just about every other state in terms of achieving their 2015 QHP selection target, with only 132K QHPs to date vs. the 215K that they were hoping to reach this year (not to mention my personal target of 250K, which turns out to have been way out of line).

I figured that they're on track to only end up with perhaps 180-190K by 2/15, coming up 25K - 35K short of their goal.

However, IBD's Jed Graham (who has been on fire lately; this is the 2nd important point he's brought to my attention this week) reminded me that last year, unlike every other state except Massachusetts, Washington only reported paid enrollments, not total plan selections. If that's true this year as well, he noted, then I've been missing roughly 12% of WA's total all along (put another way, I should be plugging that 132K number into the paid column, not the total column).

Well, I just checked with the WA HealthBenefit Exchange, and sure enough, they're only reporting paid enrollments. D'oh!!

Unfortunately, they can't provide me with the total plans selected, but that's OK; assuming my standard 88%, that should mean around 150,400 QHP selections through 1/31!

This changes the picture significantly for Washington.

There's still no reasonable chance of them reaching my target of 250K, but what about their own target of 215K?

Well, my revised estimate of 180-190K is based, it turns out, on paid enrollments...and if you assume an 88% payment rate, that would be somewhere around 205K - 216K.

The irony here is that , since we're "reverse-calculating" the numbers, the lower the payment rate is, the higher that means the total plan selections are. I don't know for sure that they've broken 150K QHP selections, but I'm confident enough that it's at least that number that I'm plugging it into the spreadsheet as such.

In any event, it looks like they very well may hit their target after all (although if the 215K figure was supposed to be paying enrollees, that would make the plan selection target higher...more like 244K, which is basically what I was targeting in the first place!)