END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Washington State: Well whaddya know? 170K Off-Exchange QHPs, equal to exchange-based!

Earlier today I posted updated exchange enrollment numbers out of Washington State; as of 4/17, ACA exchange QHPs were up to 170,000 currently enrolled out of about 177K paid enrollments and perhaps 200K total selections.

This evening, another piece of the puzzle is filled in : OFF-exchange QHPs in WA:

The office of the state insurance commissioner estimated 170,000 people bought private insurance outside the state marketplace during the open enrollment period. That’s about the same as last year.

Well, now. After all my dead ends, that was remarkably...simple and to the point.

Since Washington State didn't allow "transitional" or "grandmothered" non-ACA compliant policies in 2015, that means that every one of those 170K off-exchange policies is a full QHP (or at least an ACA-compatible non-QHP, which amounts to the same thing for my purposes).

Now, they do specify that this was "during open enrollment" so it could be slightly higher as of today; exchange-based QHPs were 160K during open enrollment and have had a net gain of 10K since then. If the off-exchange numbers increased at the same ratio, they should be up to around 181,000 now. However, I'm fine with the 170K figure; it further supports my estimate that off-exchange QHPs are running at least 80% as high as exchange-based overall.

In terms of hard off-exchange numbers, here's what I currently have:

  • Washington State: 177K (paid) on-exchange / 170K off-exchange
  • Oregon: 116K on-exchange / 104.5K off-exchange
  • Rhode Island: 33K on-exchange / 9,400 off-exchange (?)

Yes, that's only 3 states, and Rhode Island is much lower than the other two, but the combined off-exchange QHPs add up to around 284,000 vs. 326,000 exchange QHPs, or 87% as many.

Based on this and a whole lot of other surrounding evidence, and my 80% ratio seems quite reasonable.