END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Kentucky: 93.7K QHPs, 437K Medicaid expansion; kynect ad cut-off to blame for poor performance?

No sooner had I posted my big "wrap-up" reports when Rachel Karas of Inside Health Policy gives me the following heads up:

.@kynectky 2016 enrollment numbers as of today: QHP: 93,687; total Medicaid: ~1.3M; Total in expanded Medicaid: 437,091 cc: @acasignups

— Rachel S. Karas (@rachelkaras) February 5, 2016

Hmmm...OK, I guess "as of today" means I need to make the "thru date" 2/04/16 instead of 1/31 or 2/01, but whatever; the point is that this is Kentucky's final official total.

Kynect's total was 81,121 as of 12/26, so they only added about 12,500 more since Christmas. 93,687 is only around 75% of the 125K I was expecting, and is over 12,600 fewer private enrollees than they had last year, making them one of only 8 states to drop their open enrollment total.

In fact, each of the other 7 are special cases:

  • Idaho and Connecticut are both above 99% of their 2015 numbers and are still missing some data (5 and 12 days worth respectively), so they'll both almost certainly make it over the 100% line in the final tally.
  • Vermont is only at 89% of their 2015 total, but is still missing a whopping 36 days worth of data; if they tacked on another 3,400 people since Christmas they'll break 100%.
  • Pennsylvania and Indiana both expanded Medicaid last year; around 100K and 50K people likely were shifted over to Medicaid who otherwise would've enrolled in private policies this year.
  • New York is only at 64% of their 2015 mark, but they also enrolled 400K in their new Basic Health Plan, 300K of whom were moved from QHPs.

That leaves only Kentucky and Arizona below the 100% threshold...and even Arizona (at 98.74% of their 2015 total) was likely slightly above 100% if you assume that a proportionate percentage (2.1%) of the 300K "pre-purged" HC.gov enrollees were located in AZ. That would add around 6,300 more to their total, putting them at around 209,300...or around 3,600 ahead of last year.

In other words, it's conceivable that the Kentucky ACA exchange may end up being the only one to perform worse this year than it did in 2015, due specifically to the enrollment numbers after Christmas.

Gee, I wonder what could have accounted for that?

State ends kynect advertising campaign

Kentucky has ended an award-winning advertising campaign for kynect, the state health insurance website and outreach campaign that Gov. Matt Bevin has pledged to dismantle.

A contract with Louisville advertising agency Doe-Anderson has not been renewed after expiring Nov. 30, and the agency was directed on Dec. 18 to cancel pending advertising, according to Jill Midkiff, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Dan Burgess, director of public relations at Doe-Anderson, said the agency has been asked to refer questions to state officials.

The campaign was funded with federal money.

...Longtime health advocate Sheila Schuster said she was disappointed to learn the kynect advertising campaign has been canceled midway through the current health insurance enrollment period, which ends Jan. 31.

"It really makes no sense," said Schuster, chairwoman of Kentucky Voices for Health, a coalition of health advocacy groups. "Why would the state not want people to know they have this option?"