Massachusetts: Paid QHP Enrollments up 13.4% since 2/26, only 2.0% attrition to date

The Massachusetts Health Connector board held their monthly meeting today, which included an updated enrollment report which is chock-full of all sorts of data-nerd charts and graphs; a bonanza for folks like myself. Best of all, it runs all the way through 3/31, making the the most up-to-date report I have for any state at the moment.

This report is as compared with the 2/26/15 numbers, when Massachusetts reported 125,402 paid/effectuated QHP enrollees out of 144,362 total selected plans.

The main takeaways in today's report are:

  • From 2/26 - 3/31, Massachusetts added another 19,794 paid QHP enrollees, bringing the total paid QHP number to date to 145,196. This report doesn't include total QHP selections, but assuming an 88% payment rate, that figure should be roughly 165,000 or so.
  • They also lost 2,990 enrollees (1,791 in January, another 1,199 for Feb/Mar/April) due to people terminating their policies for one reason or another (life changes, etc), bringing the current effectuated QHP enrollment number down to 142,206.
  • That means that, in Massachusetts at least, paid enrollments have increased 13.4% since the end of the (extended) Open Enrollment period.
  • IMPORTANT: This rate is not in any way representative nationally; there would have to be something like 13.25 million total QHP selections nationally as of 3/31 for that to happen, which would require upwards of 41,000 per day since #OE2 ended, which obviously hasn't happened (in addition to the 45,000 or so who enrolled via the #ACATaxTime SEP as of 3/29, there should have been perhaps another 260K QHP selections nationally via major life events, or around 300,000 total by the end of March).
  • It may seem especially eyebrow-raising for Massachusetts in particular to jump this much since it's one of just 3 states which isn't offering any #ACATaxTime special enrollment period, but MA also has something else unique: Note that about 85% of the additions are for "ConnectorCare", as opposed to Unsubsidized or APTC (tax credit)-subsidized QHP enrollments. Massachusetts has a special low-income QHP category which is even more heavily subsidized via state funds and, more significantly, which are not subject to the Open Enrollment Period cut-off date; ConnectorCare enrollments are year-round.
  • The termination rate is also very interesting: 2,990 dropped policies since the beginning of the year out of 145,196 = just 2.06% in 3 months, or just 0.7% per month. This is far lower (so far) than the 2% per month attrition rate which happened in 2014 and which I assume will be typical for 2015 as well. However, again, this is not necessarily representative nationally; other states may prove to have a significantly higher attrition rate, and this only covers the first quarter of the year anyway; it might increase even in MA as the rest of the year passes.

OK, so what else?

  • There's a bunch of bar/pie charts breaking out enrollments by Metal Leval and Insurance Carrier (market share)
  • They also provide similar breakouts of the cumulative/current dental plan enrollments (38,668 at the moment)
  • Finally, they provide what appears to be SHOP (small business) enrollments...except that the numbers here don't in any way match up with their prior report, in which they stated that SHOP enrollment stood at around 4,200 total covered lives. The current report makes it seem like the number is only 317 people (if the March "Members" figure is the one I'm looking for) or 1,222 (if I'm supposed to add all 3 months together). You can see the discrepancy below:

SHOP enrollments, from the March meeting:

SHOP enrollments (?), from the April meeting:

It's also possible that I'm supposed to add the 1,222 figure to the 4,248 number, but until I sort this out I'm not jumping to any conclusions on the SHOP front.