Hey, Data Nerds: Go Nuts w/2015 QHP selections by COUNTY w/income, age, etc.

Back in April, the HHS Dept. provided a massive Excel file containing total 2015 QHP selections across the 37 states run through Healthcare.Gov, broken out by Zip Code.

By digging into the weeds and doing some serious data-crunching, you can get all sorts of interesting info. For instance, Families USA was able to figure out just how many people were at risk of losing their federal tax credits in each individual Congressional District in the 34 states which were at risk from King v. Burwell, and so forth.

Well, today they've released the same data broken out a different way: By individual county. As it happens, the folks over at Enroll America had already done this back in May, based on the zip code version of the report, but this is the official version. Plus, whiel Enroll America's county-level breakout only gives the total number of enrollees per county, this one also includes all sorts of additional demographic info--How many in each county qualifed for tax credits, cost sharing reductions, what metal level they selected, household income, ethnicity, age group and even how many are brand new, how many autorenewed and how many actively renewed (ie, renewed by actually logging into their account, shopping around and renewing themselves vs. doing bupkis)!

For instance, here in Oakland County, Michigan, out of 52,197 total QHP selections, 43,286 (83%) are receiving tax credits; 54% are also receiving cost sharing reductions; 66% enrolled in Silver plans; 44% are new enrollees this year; 26% earn less than 150% of the federal poverty level; and 25% are between 55-64 years old. I'm not sure how accurate the ethnicity data is, however, as 36% of the 8.8 million total across all 37 states who selected plans didn’t give a specific ethnic group.

Another interesting tidbit: Across all 37 states, over 52,000 people 65 or older selected a plan, or about 0.6%. Since the vast majority of seniors are eligible for Medicare, I'm not sure what's going on here, unless there's a difference in eligibility for non-citizens (ie, green cards, work visas, etc) between the two programs which might explain it.

It's also important to note that just like the zip code report, this includes QHP selections as of 2/22/15, via 37 states on HC.gov only.

That means that a) it does not include the additional 2.9 million who selected plans via the state-based exchanges; b) the additional 214,000 or so who selected plans after 2/22 via the #ACATaxTime special enrollment period; or c) the estimated 7,500 additional people who have been selecting plans every day since 2/22 due to normal qualifying life changes.

On the other hand, it also doesn't subtract those who never paid their first monthly premium (around 10% or so this year), nor the 2-3% who have since dropped their policies after the first month.

To figure out how many people were currently enrolled as of June 2015, you'd have lop off roughly 13% from the numbers in this report (10% unpaid, 3% attrition after that). Of course, that will vary from state to state; for instance, in Michigan, as of 3/31 there were 293,843 people enrolled out of 341,183 who had selected plans, or 86.1%, while in California it was 1,364,659 out of 1,412,200, or an impressive 96.6%,

In any event, needless to say, for data hounds this is fantastic. Go to it!

The dataset provides the total number of Qualified Health Plan selections by county for the 37 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform, including the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, State Partnership Marketplaces and supported State-based Marketplaces for the Marketplace open enrollment period from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015, including additional special enrollment period (SEP) activity reported through February 22, 2015.

The data represent the number of unique individuals who have been determined eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan and had selected a Marketplace plan by February 15, 2015 (including SEP activity through February 22). The dataset does not include plan selections from the District of Columbia and 13 states that have State-based Marketplaces.

The 8.8 million plan selections for these 37 states were tabulated by county according to the home address provided by each Marketplace applicant. Data for county metrics with 10 or fewer plan selections are suppressed due to privacy concerns. A total of 2,598 counties from the 37 states are listed in the table, which account for 8.8 million plan selections.

Counties without data on total plan selections account for less than 0.1 percent of the total 8.8 million plan selections, although a higher share of plan selections are suppressed for individual metrics. The percentage of total plan selections suppressed for other metrics is: 0.3 percent for plan selections by advanced premium tax credits; less than 0.1 percent for total plan selections by cost-sharing reductions; 0.7 percent for plan selections by metal level; 0.6 percent for plan selections by consumer type; 0.3 percent for plan selections by family income; 0.5 percent for plan selections by race/ethnicity; and 1.6 percent for plan selections by age category.

The sum of plan selections among counties within a state using this dataset may not be equal to state-level totals provided in the summary enrollment report available at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2015/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Mar2015/ib.... This is because county-level data do not appear for 10 or fewer plan selections, and as a result the dataset does not include all plan selections within a state. Additionally, in a small number of cases, the state of Marketplace enrollment may not correspond to the state in the address provided—for example, individuals with a seasonal address.

Variables

The following information is included within the dataset:

  • County: the County FIPS Code for the home address provided by the Marketplace applicant.
  • State: the state of residence selected by the Marketplace applicant.
  • Plan Selections: the total number of unique individuals who have been determined eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan and have selected a Marketplace plan through one of the 37 states described above during the open enrollment period from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015, including additional special enrollment period activity reported through February 22, 2015.
  • Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC): Qualified Health Plan Selections by APTC and county
  • Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR): Qualified Health Plan Selections by CSR and county
  • Type of Consumer: Qualified Health Plan Selections by type of consumer (i.e., new, auto re-enrollment, or active re-enrollment) and county
  • Household Income: Qualified Health Plan selections by household income as a Percent of the Federal Poverty Level and county
  • Race: Qualified Health Plan selections by race/ethnicity and county
  • Age: Qualified Health Plan selections by age group