2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

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Rhode Island: Things are looking up, but not enough? Net gain of 1,800 QHPs last week

As I've noted before, aside from HealthCare.Gov itself, the Rhode Island exchange is the only state-based exchange which provides weekly updates on a consistent basis (the other exchanges range from no updates at all to monthly to a "whenever they feel like it" schedule). In addition, RI's updates cover the exact same 7-day periods as HC.gov's Snapshot reports, so they can often act as a bit of a harbinger of the larger report to come the following day.

On the other hand, Rhode Island is also a very tiny state, with enrollment numbers in the 30-40,000 range, so I have to be careful about extrapolating out to the federal exchange, which covers 38 states and likely has over 9 million people enrolled by now.

Having said that, here's HealthSource RI's latest numbers:

INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY ENROLLMENT • As of January 16, 2016:

  • 31,794 individuals are enrolled in 2016 coverage through HSRI, paid and unpaid.*
  • The majority of these individuals are 2015 HSRI enrollees that were auto-renewed into a 2016 plan.
  • 5,370 of the 31,794 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.
  • 29,623 of the 31,794 individuals are enrolled in 2016 coverage through HSRI, and have paid their first month’s premium.

*Individuals who selected plans for January 2016 coverage but did not make a payment were cancelled after the passing of the payment deadline, causing a decrease to the unpaid enrollment count in the first week of January.

This represents a net increase of 1,779 enrollees over the previous week, or almost exactly twice the 888 new additions they had added the previous week (although that number was lost amidst the 4,500 or so pre-January enrollees who were cancelled due to non-payment).

As I noted above, using RI's numbers to extrapolate to HC.gov is very squirrelly, but if you did so, doubling the Week 10 HC.gov Snapshot would only reach around 150,000 people. Unfortunately, HC.gov's Week 11 report would have to quadruple Week 10 (going from 74K to around 300K) to be on track for my revised expectations, so I'm hoping that it far outperforms Rhode Island's week.

There's one bit of hope here, however: Unlike most of the states which set their deadlines for February coverage at January 15th, Rhode Island (along with Massachusetts and Washington) set theirs 8 days later (1/23). This means that these three states aren't experiencing their "deadline surge" until this week. In other words, 300K from HC.gov is still a reasonable possibility.

SHOP ENROLLMENT • As of January 16, 2016:

  • Small employer accounts created: 2,217
  • Small employer applications completed: 787
  • Small employer enrollment (paid): 561
  • These employers represent 4,084 covered lives
  • 85% of small employers are enrolled in the Full Choice Model.
  • 96% SHOP renewal rate (2016 to date).