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HHS reports 250K *applications* submitted to in first 2 days....

Just moments ago, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell tweeted out the following:

Open Enrollment: 1st two days → 250K applications submitted to #GetCovered.

— Sylvia Burwell (@SecBurwell) November 3, 2015

This is a good sign, believe me. HOWEVER, it's important to remember that applications are NOT enrollments, and in fact are not even plan SELECTIONS, which is the main number that I'm keeping track of here.

An application simply means that someone either created an account and filled out their personal info (name, address, age, social security number, etc) or that someone with an existing account updated their personal info (income changes, new baby, whatever) and re-submitted it to the website.

Every year, plenty of people (including reporters who should know better) confuse applications with plan selections.

The HHS Dept. will presumably be following up with actual QHP (qualified health plan) selection data for the first few days of open enrollment in the very near future, but it bears no connection to the number of applications (in fact, depending on how "applications" are categorized, the number of covered lives could be higher than 250K since the number of applications since I presume an "application" covers a household, not an individual).

As for me, my OE3 projection graph assumes that roughly 115,000 people have actually selected QHP plans in the first two days nationally, which would likely mean perhaps 88,000 via HealthCare.Gov specifically.

For comparison, last year the HHS Dept. reported "over 100,000" applications submitted to on the first day. Open Enrollment started on a Sunday this year and a Saturday last year, so the "weekend effect" shouldn't be a factor here, for whatever that's worth.

We'll see...