2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

BOOM: 543,098 QHPs selected via HC.gov in 1st Week!

Some Guy, Sunday:

Assuming roughly a 25% QHP selection increase this year (at least, that's what I'm assuming), that would translate into around 750K nationally, 570K of which would be via HealthCare.Gov, but I'll be a little cautious and drop it back to at least 720,000 QHPs in Week One nationally, 550,000 via HealthCare.Gov.

HHS Secretary Burwell, just moments ago:

A Solid Start

November 12, 2015
By: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS Secretary

In the first week of the third Open Enrollment, more than 540,000 people selected a health insurance plan through the HealthCare.gov platform and more than 1.15 million consumers were included on applications submitted to the Marketplace. Even more signed up through their State-based Marketplaces.

Boom. "More than 540,000" presumably means, say, 543,000 or so (I presume anything above 545,000 would have been stated as "nearly 550,000")...

OK, so I was off by 1.2% for the first week. Not bad, I suppose...

UPDATE: OK, here's the hard numbers:

...We saw about 358,000 existing Marketplace customers come back in, shop, and actively select a plan that best meets their needs. We are especially glad to see that our existing customers heard our message about shopping and are eager to renew their Marketplace coverage. We expect renewals to make up a larger share of our customers this year, since we have more than 9 million people with coverage through the Marketplace nationwide.

It’s important to recognize that it is difficult to directly compare this year to last year on a week-by-week basis for a number of reasons. For example, because Open Enrollment started on November 1 this year, compared to November 15 last year, the time from the start of Open Enrollment to the December 15 deadline to sign up for January 1 coverage is much longer this year. We know from past experience that people are deadline driven, so we don’t expect to see deadline effects for a few weeks.

OK, unfortunately there's no state-by-state breakdown yet, although they didn't start doing that until the 2nd week last year, as I recall. Not sure why it would take any longer to do that, but whatever; this is still very helpful.

  • 66% of the first batch of QHP selections are from current enrollees actively renewing their policies. This actually surprises me--I assumed that it would be more like 90% for the first few weeks, but it's too early to tell whether it means anything positive or negative; as Burwell notes, with the start date being 2 weeks earlier this year, it's difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison with last year in terms of ratio between current/new enrollees.
  • What this does tell us is that at least 358,000 of the current enrollees have already renewed/switched to a different exchange policy. This likely extrapolates out to perhaps 470,000 nationally, which would be about 5% of the total current enrollees (HHS expects there to be around 9.1 million still enrolled as of December; I've been more optimistic, but now think it'll be more like 9.4 million or so).
  • This also does tell us something else: At least 184,653 new enrollees have already signed up for 2016 as well. Extrapolated out, that suggests around 243,000 nationally so far.

Beyond that, all I can do is reiterate that 543,000 enrollees via HealthCare.Gov suggests roughly 714,000 or so nationally, when you include the 13 state-based exchanges.

OK, so here's what The Graph looks like with the official Week One HC.gov number plugged in, along with roughly 20,000 or so more from Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

By my reckoning, total national QHP selections should hit around 1.33 million by the end of Week Two, of which around 1.07 million should be via HealthCare.Gov. I the expect around 1.9 million in Week Three, around 2.4 million by Thanksgiving, and then start ramping up to around 6.3 million by the 12/15 deadline for most states.

Assuming perhaps 5 million autorenewals, I'd expect the grand total to hit around 11.5 million by New Year's Eve.

As always, I'll adjust these projections up or down accordingly as hard numbers come in.