2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Rhode Island: 279 more new QHP enrollees added in 2nd week, 216 auto-renewals drop out?

Note: When reading any headline about Rhode Island, always keep in mind that with a total statewide population of just over 1 million, any ACA numbers reported will generally be pretty tiny.

A few days ago, I noted in my entry about Rhode Island's #OE3 Week One enrollments that they had seemingly managed to chalk up a whopping 30,000 people in the first week, nearly as many as their total #OE2 enrollment for 2015. The obvious reason for this, however, is that unlike every other state which is holding off until mid-December to automatically renew current enrollees, Rhode Island has decided to "front-load" the process by doing so up front. In practice, this doesn't really change anything because those current enrollees can still go into their account before 12/23 and switch to a different plan if they wish...or to cancel the renewal altogether if they choose to drop out of any exchange plans next year.

As a result, the 30,680 QHP figure in RI is extremely skewed and can't be used to estimate/project any other state data. It also means, as I said at the time:

Again, if I'm reading this correctly, Rhode Island's number should start off at 30,680...but only add a few hundred more per week. The question is whether they can add another 5,600 by the end of January while not losing more than a handful of the renewals.

Well, today they've posted their second weekly enrollment report, and sure enough:

PROVIDENCE – HealthSource RI (HSRI) has released certain enrollment, demographic and volume data through Saturday, November 14, 2015, for Open Enrollment.

INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY ENROLLMENT As of November 14, 2015:

  • 30,743 individuals are enrolled in 2016 coverage through HSRI, paid and unpaid.
  • Nearly all of these individuals are current HSRI enrollees that have been auto-renewed into a 2016 plan.
  • 585 individuals have selected a plan for 2016 coverage, and are new to HSRI this year or returning after being enrolled with HSRI at some point during a prior year.

As I expected, the number of new additions in the second week was 279 people (585 - 306).

However, the net increase week over week is only 63 higher (30,743 - 30,680). I'm assuming that this means that 216 of those who were automatically renewed have decided to take a pass for now (bear in mind that they could have simply decided to opt out of renewing their current plan and may still choose a different policy manually between now and 12/23).

Again, the fact that Rhode Island's exchange is "pre-renewing" everyone skews the numbers, but let's assume these 216 are the only members of the 30,374 auto-renewals who end up dropping exchange coverage entirely. If so, that would give Rhode Island an impressive 99.3% retention rate. Again, this is still unknown.

By comparison, nationally the HHS Dept. only expects around 8.1 million out of 9.1 million current enrollees to renew, which would be an 89% retention rate. I'm more optimistic; I figure around 9.0 million out of perhaps 9.4 million, or 96% retention.

SHOP Enrollment Cumulative as of November 14, 2015

  • Small employer accounts created: 2,151
  • Small employer applications completed: 736
  • Small employer enrollment (paid): 568
  • These employers represent 3,963 covered lives
  • 82% of small employers are enrolled in the Full Choice Model.
  • 91% SHOP renewal rate (2015 to date).