START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

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Colorado: 116.4K QHPs (61% of my OE3 projection) (updated)

A very welcome, if unofficial, update from Connect for Health Colorado:

DENVER (AP) – A new insurance-matching tool similar to Uber car sharing is helping Colorado’s health insurance exchange meet demand during the open enrollment period for people who need to sign up for health coverage , an exchange official said Thursday.

And an extended deadline didn’t hurt.

Open enrollment ends in January for Connect For Health Colorado. But Thursday was the deadline for shoppers to have coverage in effect by Jan. 1.

More than 117,000 people had signed up, though exact figures weren’t available, said Connect For Health spokesman Luke Clarke.

Connect for Health wants to see 217,000 people signed up by next summer. Clarke said the exchange is ahead of last year’s pace, when 113,000 had signed up by the December deadline.

The article doesn't specify what the "thru date" for the 117K figure is, but I'm assuming that it was as of 12/15 since that was the original deadline for January coverage and the story ran today.

C4HCO's last official enrollment report only ran through 11/29, when it totalled 30,777 QHP selections, and the state had around 140,000 total QHPs by the end of open enrollment, so I'm guessing it's safe to say that today's 117K figure includes whatever auto-renewals the state has. On the other hand, CO is one of the states which was hit hard by the Risk Corridor Co-Op Massacre...

This year’s sign-up period is under special scrutiny because the largest insurer on the exchange last year, Colorado HealthOP, closed down in the wake of federal spending cuts. Colorado HealthOP covered nearly 40 percent of the entire Colorado exchange-shopping market, about 80,000 people.

Those customers – along with others from a smaller insurer that pulled out of Colorado for next year – have until Dec. 31 to buy insurance from another carrier and get coverage Jan. 1.

...so there actually aren't that many CO residents who can be automatically renewed; over half of the 2015 enrollees are being forced into actively switching policies anyway.

In any event, this is still great news.

One other item: While the story does say that the CO exchange is targeting 217,000 people, that's by next summer...which means it includes some number of off-season SEP enrollees. As I noted in my original "state level estimate" post, hitting 217K by next June likely means roughly 190-200K by the end of January.

With that in mind, Colorado has now reached 61% of my 190K target for the Open Enrollment Period.

UPDATE 12/18/15: OK, here's the official press release...turns out the number is slightly smaller than 117K, but only by a hair:

Connect for Health Colorado® and Colorado Medicaid Report Enrollment Gains Topping 145,000

December 16, 2015

DENVER — Between Nov.1 and Dec. 15, more than 145,000 Coloradans enrolled in health coverage for 2016, either in private health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace or in Medicaid, or Child Health Plan Plus(CHP+), according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

“We have seen solid gains during the first month and a half of this Open Enrollment,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson.  “The record number of customers signing up in the last week has led us to extend the deadline through Thursday to enroll for Jan. 1 coverage. I want to remind everyone who does not have health insurance provided through their employer to enroll now to provide financial security for their family and to avoid a penalty of nearly $695 or more.”

Open Enrollment began November 1. Since then, 116,394 people enrolled in private health care coverage through Connect for Health Colorado®. Due to the heavy volume of customers enrolling and inclement weather on Dec. 15, Connect for Health Colorado is extending the deadline to Thursday, Dec. 17, to enroll incoverage effective Jan. 1.

In addition, the coverage gains include 27,341 in Medicaid and 1,448 in CHP+.

“Today’s enrollment numbers demonstrate that Coloradans recognize the importance and value of having health coverage,” said Sue Birch, MBA, BSN, RN,  executive director, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “We encourage our members to utilize the preventive services covered by Medicaid to ensure a healthy holiday season and throughout the new year.”