END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

BOOM: 6.0M QHPs via HC.gov *w/out auto-renewals*; 7.0M confirmed *nationally*

Some Guy, 12/16:

Nationally, my rough guess for this week is something close to the following:

  • Sunday, 12/13: 360K nationally (270K HC.gov)
  • Monday, 12/14: 460K nationally (350K HC.gov)
  • Tuesday, 12/15: 780K nationally (600K HC.gov)
  • Wednesday, 12/16: 1.80M* nationally* (1.40M HC.gov) (*400K active + 1.40M auto-renewals?)
  • Thursday, 12/17: 2.10M* nationally (1.60M HC.gov) (*400K active + 1.70M auto-renewals?)
  • Friday, 12/18: 80K nationally (60K HC.gov)
  • Saturday, 12/19: 70K nationally (50K HC.gov)
  • Weekly Total: 5.65M nationally (4.33M HC.gov)
  • Cumulative Total: 11.30M nationally (8.50M HC.gov)

Remember that HC.gov generally represents about 3/4 of national enrollments, so for Wednesday and Thursday, I assumed around 300K active selections per day for the federal exchange.

Now, CMS didn't announce the auto-renewal total, and obviously they don't have today or tomorrow's numbers yet, but here's what Andy Slavitt & Kevin Counihan of CMS did announce earlier this afternoon:

  • 500,000 QHP selections on 12/14 alone
  • 600,000 QHP selections on 12/15 alone
  • 1.8 million active QHP selections over the past 5 days
  • 5.97 million QHP selections total via HC.gov since 11/01

Add my numbers above up and you get 270K + 350K + 600K + 300K + 300K = 1.82 million

OK, so I nailed both Tuesday specifically (600K even) as well as the 5-day period (1.80 vs. 1.82 million).

How about the auto-renewals? My projection above assumed roughly 1.1 million + 1.3 million = 2.4 million auto-renewals via HealthCare.Gov alone.

Unfortunately, CMS won't be releasing the auto-renewal number until next week, but I have a feeling that it's gonna be a lot higher than 2.4 million. Why?

Here's why:

  • CMS did say that 2.4 million of the 6.0 million QHPs thru 12/17 are new enrollees, which is excellent (about 40%).
  • That means, in turn, that the other 3.6 million are active re-enrollments.
  • They also said that those 3.6 million re-enrollees represent "over half" of all current enrollees.

Assuming that "over half" means around 52%, that means there should be roughly 7.0 million current enrollees via HC.gov...leaving around 3.4 million to be auto-renewed.

Now, last year, there were a couple hundred thousand people who were technically auto-renewed...but then immediately cancelled those renewals, and were thus never included in the official 11.7 million total. Assuming that happens again this year, that could bring the auto-renewal tally down to around 3.2 million...but even so, that'd still bring the grand total up to around 9.2 million people via HC.gov alone.

Throw in the additional numbers from the state-based exchanges, and it's entirely possible that the grand total nationally has already broken last year's 11.7 million final total...with 6 full weeks still left to go during the 2016 Open Enrollment Period.

How? Well, first of all, in terms of confirmed QHP selections, with the addition of today's number from Idaho, I've now confirmed 7.0 million nationally.

  • Next, assume 3.2 million auto-renewals added on via HC.gov, and you're at 10.2 million.
  • Then assume at least 1.0 million renewals (either active or automatic) via Covered California (they had 1.3 million current enrollees a few months ago), and you're up to 11.2 million
  • There's been no data at all released from New York, Kentucky, DC or Vermont. Assume at least 300,000 collectively among those 4 states and you're up to 11.5 million or so.
  • Finally, the confirmed data for Connecticut, Massachusetts & Washington State is several weeks out of date.
  • Add those in, along with a few days of missing data from Rhode Island, Minnesota, Maryland, Idaho & Colorado.

Updated to clarify: I'm not saying that the grand total has broken last year's total, but it's almost certainly in the ballpark (somewhere between 11-12 million).

I'll have much more to say about this later, but for the moment, here's the other tidbits from the conference call:

  • The days leading up to the official 12/15 deadline saw unprecedented demand/activity/traffic
  • During Monday & Tuesday they took over 2 million calls and more than 3.7 million people visited HC.gov
  • For much of the day on Tuesday HC.gov had 180K+ simulataneous visitors
  • For several hours on Tuesday they were enrolling people at a rate of 11 per second!
  • 48% of the 1.8 million over the 5-day period (Sun - Thu) were NEW enrollees
  • 60% of those who enrolled in the past 2 days (Wed - Thu) were NEW

They also noted that the "Shop Around!" mantra is definitely working this year; last year only 1/3 of renewals actively enrolled, this year over 1/2 did so.