Maryland: QHP selections officially break 100% of official target w/5 weeks to go

Back on December 17, I noted that the Maryland ACA exchange had managed (with the help of automatic renewals) to achieve just under 150,000 QHP selections as of 12/15...which happened to be both their and my projected target for the full 2016 Open Enrollment Period. This was excellent for two reasons: They had effectively hit the target (well, 149,765, anyway)...and had done so with nearly 7 weeks to go.

Today they've updated their numbers and the performance since 12/15 has been, well, quieter:

1) More than 382,000 Marylanders have gotten coverage since Open Enrollment started.

As of Dec. 28, 362,520 Marylanders enrolled in health coverage for 2016, including 71,055 Marylanders who chose a new Qualified Health Plan, and 79,238 people already enrolled who renewed their plan for next year. This also includes 212,227 Marylanders who enrolled in Medicaid coverage through the state marketplace since Nov. 1.

An additional 19,515 people bought dental plans for 2016, including 3,526 who bought a standalone plan (without health coverage).

OK, that's 71,055 + 79,238 = 150,293 total QHP selections thru 12/28, or just 528 more over a 13 day period.

On the one hand, that's fewer than 41 per day over the past 2 weeks. On the other hand, that's on top of a stellar number to begin with, and also included Christmas Eve/Day, during which the numbers dwindle down to virtually zilch. I expect similarly anemic numbers this week, with New Year's Eve/Day coming up. Basically, Weeks 8 and 9 should be the very worst-performing portion of the open enrollment period, so a worst-case scenario for Maryland would be averaging just 41/day for the remaining 34 days, or around 1,400 more people. That would bring their grand total up to around 151.7K.

At the opposite extreme, let's suppose that the national total ends up being my official 14.7 million target. We're currently at around 11.2 million, so that would mean 76% of the total has been accounted for. If 150K represents 76% of Maryland's total, that would leave a whopping 47,000 more to go for a total of 197K...which is equally unrealistic.

A more realistic target for Maryland at this point would be perhaps 15K more, for a total of 165K, but I'm not modifying my original target; they've beat it already.