Today's Other Big HC.gov News: Over half of 2014 renewals did so actively

Almost lost in today's final* "weekly snapshot" report on Healthcare.Gov enrollment was this tidbit regarding the renewed enrollment breakout:

*(I really, really hope this isn't the final one...)

“More than half of the 4.17 million people who re-enrolled in coverage during Open Enrollment came back and actively selected a plan and more than half of those consumers selected a new plan,” said Andy Slavitt, Principal Deputy Administrator of CMS. “Based on my experience looking at enrollment trends with employer-sponsored coverage and Medicare, it is clear that Marketplace consumers are more active, engaged, and eager to shop for the coverage that's right for them.”

...There were more new consumers who joined the Marketplace than consumers with 2014 coverage who re-enrolled for 2015. Of the approximate 8.84 million consumers who selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled through the HealthCare.gov platform between November 15, 2014 and February 22, 2015, 53 percent were new consumers. Marketplace consumers who had 2014 coverage and who re-enrolled in 2015 accounted for about 4.17 million active plan selections or automatic re-enrollments – 47 percent of the total plan selections.

Of those consumers who re-enrolled for 2015 coverage, more consumers actively selected a plan than were automatically re-enrolled. Of the approximate 8.84 million total, 25 percent returned to actively select a 2015 plan and 22 percent were automatically re-enrolled into the same plan or a similar plan with the same issuer.

Table 1: Plan Selections by Enrollment Status (in millions)
New Consumers 4.67 52.8%
2014 Consumers Actively Renewing Coverage 2.21 25.0%
2014 Consumers Automatically Re-Enrolled 1.96 22.2%
Total 8.84 100%

There's some additional number-crunchy goodness in the actual info in the actual press release/blog entry. Some of it gets a bit confusing, so I've tried to reformat it into a more comprehensive picture:

In other words, out of the 6.7 million people who were still enrolled as of the end of 2014, about 4.46 million of them were in one of the 37 states covered by Healthcare.Gov (about 66% of the total nationally). This makes sense, since HC.gov made up about 68% of the 8.02 million total as of last April to begin with.

Out of those, about 200,000 were auto-renewed but didn't want to be, so they cancelled their policies. Another 90K were dropped whether they liked it or not due to legal residency verification issues. That left around 4.17 million who either kept the plan they were auto-renewed to or switched to a different one after initially being renewed to the same policy. Another 4.67 million new people joined in, although Nevada and Oregon enrollees were counted as "new" even if they were actually 2014 enrollees who had to manually start from scratch again.

OK, so that's the HC.gov breakout. What about the 14 state-based exchanges?

Well, not all of the data is for these (especially Idaho, California and Massachusetts), but based on what we do know:

Not all fo the states break out "autorenewals" vs. "active renewals", and 3 states (Idaho, Maryland and Massachusetts) don't give any indication of new vs. renewals at all (all 3 states switched to brand-new platforms, so existing enrollees had to start over again just like Oregon & Nevada did on the federal exchange).

However, we do know that out of all 14 states, there are at least:

  • 1,632,863 renewals (of which at least 39,245 were active)
  • 868,371 new enrollees
  • 352,663 breakout unknown

That means that nationally there were a total of at least 6,093,000 renewals, of which 290K were cancelled.

Assuming the 352K unknowns break out in the same 65/35 ratio, that's about another 230K renewals, for a total of around 6.32 million renewals total (which is what I've been estimating for some time now).

Since the grand total nationally should end up being around 11.74 million, that makes the national breakout roughly:

  • 6.32 million renewals (53.8%)
  • 5.42 million new enrollees (46.2%)

However, it's important to remember that given the unknown nature of OR, NV, ID, MD & MA enrollments, it could theoretically anywhere between:

  • 6.08 - 6.62 million renewals (52 - 56%)
  • 5.12 - 5.66 million new enrollees (44 - 48%)