UPDATED: For the Record: Up to 2 million people had to shop around last year as well.
2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)
Time: D H M S
A week or so ago, I attempted to tally up the number of current ACA exchange enrollees who will have to shop around for a new policy this fall whether they want to or not, due to their current plan being discontinued. As a reminder, there are three main reasons for this: a) the carrier is pulling out of the exchange in their county/state (Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare); b) the carrier is going out of business entirely (4 co-ops); or c) the carrier will still have policies available but is dropping the one they're enrolled in (mainly PPOs).
In addition to the 1.69 million estimate from Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Humana and the 4 Co-Ops which are shutting down in CT, OH, IL and OR, we can also add the following (thanks to Louise Norris for the assist on some of these):
- MN: 103K via BCBSMN (PPOs only)
- AK: 14K via Moda
- AZ: 900 via Health Choice
- GA: 1,500 via Cigna (however, Cigna is also expanding into other states)
- OR: up to 20K via Lifewise
- WA: unknown number via Health Alliance Northwest
- NM: 10.5K via Presbyterian Health Plan
- TX: 4,700 via Scott & White
- TX: 7,000 via Oscar (Dallas only; however, Oscar is also expanding into San Francisco)
- NY: unknown number via WellCare
- KY: unknown number via WellCare
- IN: unknown number Southeastern Indiana Health Organization (SIHO)
- IN: 6,500 via Physicians Health Plan
- KS: unknown number via BCBS of KS (not to be confused w/other BCBS variants)
- MI: unknown number viaPriority Health Insurance (PPOs only)
- NJ: 26,000 via Oscar
- OH: unknown number via Medical Mutual (PPOs only)
- OH: unknown number via HealthSpan
- OH: up to 4,200 via Paramount (pulling HMOs out of certain counties)
...for a total of at least 198,000 people, plus unknown numbers from 6 of the carriers listed above. That's 1.9 million+, or again likely around 2 million people, give or take, out of the roughly 11 million people currently enrolled in ACA exchange policies, or perhaps 18% of the total.
For comparison, let's take a look at last year. Thanks in large part (but not entirely) to Marco Rubio's sabotaging of the Risk Corridor program, half of the ACA-created Co-Ops went belly-up, meaning around 800,000 people had to shop around for new coverage. In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas dropped all of their PPO offerings, so 367,000 people had to find new policies in TX alone. That's at least 1.2 million people.
Now, I didn't attempt to do any sort of formal tally last year, so those are the only significant hard numbers I have. There were also an unknown number of people enrolled in Moda plans in Washington State and California who had to shop around, along with other assorted plans. All told, I'd imagine the total was something like 1.4 million people last year, out of the appx. 9.95 million who were enrolled as of this point (late summer). That's around 14% of the total at the time. In other words, the situation may be worse this year, but it's not unprecedented either.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to downplay the situation, just trying to keep it in context.
UPDATE: Thanks to "M E" for reminding me that Assurant also went out of business last year (though I'm not sure how much of this can be pinned on the ACA), kicking nearly 1 million people off their policies. According to this LifeHealthPro article (subscription needed):
Individual enrollment increased to 838,000, from 783,000, and total major medical enrollment increased to 981,000, from 904,000.
838,000 people were enrolled in individual/family Assurant policies who had to shop around for new coverage. Unfortunately, I don't know how many of those were specifically exchange-based, but that still brings the 2015 "forced shop-around" tally up to around 2 million or more.