END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (Connecticut & Maryland)

Time: D H M S

Washington State: Final OE3 Total: 200K QHPs (25% higher than 2015)

The Washington State ACA exchange has been very good about providing enrollment updates over the final couple of weeks of open enrollment, although the numbers have been included as part of general press releases rather than detailed demographic breakdowns.

They hit 190,000 as of January 29th, and it looks like they managed to rack up over 10,000 more in just the final two days, which is pretty impressive.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced that more than 200,000 Washingtonians selected a Qualified Health Plan through Washington Healthplanfinder by the close of open enrollment on Jan. 31. The number of plans selected is nearly 25 percent higher than those selected in open enrollment last year, with approximately 39,000 more customers signed up for coverage this year than in 2015.

...Washington Healthplanfinder saw 300 sign-ups per hour leading up to Sunday’s midnight close of open enrollment. The Customer Support Network assisted more than 3,500 callers over the weekend, and nearly 11,000 unique users accessed wahealthplanfinder.org.

While WA came in a bit short of my personal target of 210,000, a 25% year over year increase is still very good.

UPDATE: I was reminded that this isn't quite an apples to apples comparison, since Washington's exchange used to only count paid enrollees in their official numbers (as Massachusetts still does). This year they're reporting all QHP selections (like most other states). Assuming a 90% payment rate, that means last year's 160,732 paid number was probably more like 180K, which makes this year's 200K more like an 11% effective increase, which is about in line with my (revised) national expectations.

In addition, the WA exchange announced their own "In Line by Midnight" policy, similar to those of California and Maryland through Sunday, 2/07, due mainly to the day-long outage they had on the 30th:

If a customer was unable to select a health plan by the Jan. 31 open enrollment deadline on Washington Healthplanfinder because of an operational issue, they may be eligible for additional time to select a plan. This determination will be made by Exchange staff after reviewing the specific application in question. Customers in this situation have until this Sunday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. to provide an explanation of the issue they encountered by calling the Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633. The Customer Support Center is available this week, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

...Many of these customers were unable to access Washington Healthplanfinder due to an outage of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) eligibility service that occurred Saturday morning. Washington Healthplanfinder is dependent on this operation to determine if customers applying for health coverage qualify for tax credits or Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Washington Healthplanfinder was able to come back online when the DSHS service was restored later on Saturday.