2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Maryland: 162.6K QHPs *after* non-payments/transfers purged

A couple of weeks ago, the Maryland ACA exchange provided me with their semi-official OE3 enrollment tally:

As of 2/1, total QHPs are 165,123 (49,377 new + 115,746 renewal-active and passive).

However, this number didn't include a few "overtime" days of enrollees, which padded the number a bit more...nor did it include the subtraction of unpaid QHP enrollees (ie, cancellations/purging of enrollees who didn't pay their January premiums in time, were transferred to Medicaid due to income changes and so forth).

A few days ago they issued a formal press release with the official final tally, which is, as expected, slightly lower than 165K...but not by much:

MORE THAN 162,000 MARYLANDERS ENROLLED IN HEALTH COVERAGE FOR 2016 THROUGH THE STATE MARKETPLACE

AMONG FASTEST GROWTH RATES IN U.S. SINCE 2015

BALTIMORE (Feb. 10, 2016) – More than 162,000 Marylanders enrolled in private plans for health coverage during the three-month open enrollment period for 2016.

Maryland achieved one of the fastest growth rates of any state in the country for 2016 enrollment compared to 2015, according to ACASignups.net. Enrollments in qualified health plans totaled 162,652 from Nov. 1, 2015 to Feb. 5, 2016. That was 33% more than the 122,778 enrolled during the 2015 open enrollment period from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2015.

Including Medicaid enrollments, since Nov. 1 more than a half-million Marylanders have enrolled through the state marketplace for 2016 coverage.

"We’re grateful to hundreds of consumer assistance workers and brokers, our participating carriers and dozens of civic and corporate outreach partners for helping make this third open enrollment a success,” said Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE). “And we’re especially thrilled that thousands of Marylanders now have greater protection from unexpected health care costs and peace of mind in knowing that they’re covered.”

MHBE administers the state’s health insurance marketplace, working with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), Department of Human Resources (DHR) and stakeholders statewide.

Other highlights of Maryland’s open enrollment:

  • Enrollments of young adults (18-34) tied for 5th in the country with 29% of the total private plan enrollments, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health as of Dec. 26, 2015. That was greater than the national average of 27% and greater than Maryland’s rate of 27% for young adults a year earlier.
  • African-American enrollment – it is optional for consumers to identify their race or ethnicity when they apply – was up 37% to more than 31,036. That compared to 22,632 a year ago.
  • Hispanic enrollment was up 244% to 18,878, compared to 5,481 a year ago. Since the Affordable Care Act took effect, the uninsured rate for AfricanAmericans and Hispanics has decreased twice as quickly as for whites, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
  • 30,313 individuals enrolled in 2016 dental plans, either standalone or as part of their medical coverage. This is the first year that dental coverage is offered on the state marketplace.
  • Of the total enrollments, 51,195, or 31%, were new customers and 111,457, or 69%, were returning enrollees. After open enrollment ends, people can enroll only if they have had a qualifying “life event,” such as marriage, birth of a child or loss of coverage. More information is available at MarylandHealthConnection.gov

This is interesting to me, especially when compared to the earlier unofficial numbers. The renewals dropped from 115,746 to 111,457, or 3.7%, while the new enrollees increased from 49,377 to 51,195...or, coidentally, 3.7%. The total number still went down, of course, since there are over twice as many renewals as new additions: 4,289 dropped, 1,818 gained, for a net reduction of 2,471 (1.5%) overall, which isn't bad.

  • Nine out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled through the state marketplace were determined to be eligible for federal subsidies or qualified for Medicaid. Last year, more than 60,000 Maryland households received a total of $208 million in federal tax credits to lower their cost of health insurance.
  • An additional 362,415 enrolled in Medicaid through Maryland Health Connection since Nov. 1. People who are eligible for Medicaid can enroll yearround. As of Jan. 31, a total of 1,220,460 Marylanders are enrolled in Medicaid and the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP). The total number of ACA Medicaid Expansion Adults is 239,072. Since Dec. 31, 2013, the net change in Medicaid enrollment is +217,603 as of Jan. 31. That figure takes into account that individuals lose Medicaid coverage due to changes in household, age and income as well as redeterminations.