First few numbers trickling in...
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
Modern Healthcare has an OE4 Launch roundup of sorts; most of the data is stuff I've already written about, and there isn't much in the way of hard enrollment data, but in general it sounds like things are off to a pretty promising start. First they note the 150,000 submitted applications on Tuesday which I wrote about earlier today; after that:
Open enrollment so far “has been going really well,” said Ambar Calvillo, national director of field and partner engagement at Enroll America, a D.C.-based not-for-profit group that helps people sign up for coverage. Calvillo said the group, which works with enrollment assistors across the nation, hasn't seen any major obstacles. Before open enrollment, exchange shoppers scheduled more than 5,400 appointments for in-person enrollment assistance through Enroll America's Get Covered Connector tool, up 80% over last year.
...State-run exchanges in California, Colorado, Idaho and Massachusetts reported no problems on the first day of enrollment.
Pat Kelly, executive director of Idaho's exchange, Your Health Idaho, said the marketplace “had a really strong first day.” Web page views were up 60% from last year, while call volumes increased 10% to 15%, he said. The Idaho marketplace also saw a greater mix of new users. The state marketplace now has about 95,000 enrollees.
...Minnesota's health exchange marketplace, MNSure, said it experienced “historically high call volume” and extended its call center hours. A spokesman for Colorado's exchange said the first day's plan selections “were significantly ahead” of last year's and enrollment ran smoothly in part because of the exchange's newly launched quick cost and plan finder tools.
A spokesman for California's exchange said its systems are running well and service centers are responding to customer's questions, but the state is holding off on marketing the exchanges until after the presidential election, so it doesn't expect large enrollment numbers in the first few weeks.
In spite of their tech issues (or perhaps because of them), Minnesota continues to be the only state reporting specific enrollment figures so far:
Officials say that MNsure received 50,000 calls Tuesday before 9 a.m. On Wednesday, they received 1,600 before 9 a.m.
...MNsure says as of Wednesday it’s enrolled 8,700 people.
As for the ongoing investigation into the robocalls and what caused MNsure and other state websites to crash, answers might come at a news conference Thursday morning.
This article was posted at around 5pm, so presumably MNsure will have broken 10,000 people by midnight tonight.
The only problem is that Minnesota is also the only state to have instilled a first-come, first-serve enrollment cap on 4 of their 5 carriers, meaning that MN residents are under extra pressure to not only sign up but to do so ASAP; therefore, it's the one state which likely isn't representative. Minnesota has about 1.7% of the U.S. population, so if that 10K was extrapolated across all 50 states it would mean nearly 600,000 enrollees nationally in the first 2 days, which is highly unlikely; my best estimate is about 1/3 of that: 150K via HealthCare.Gov and around 200,000 nationally.
Meanwhile, Kentuckians are experiencing a few problems as they transition from their own kynect exchange (which worked pretty much perfectly for 3 years and was beloved by state residents, so naturally new GOP governor Matt Bevin shut it down for no particular reason):
Sharon Bush spent 30 minutes on Tuesday helping a client sign up for an email account. The email address is a necessary step in signing up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov.
Bush didn’t realized that the email requirement for the federal exchange would take up so much time.
“In southeastern Kentucky, there are a lot of people who don’t have and/or use technology,” Bush said. “[The client] is a grandmother in her early 60s, and she just said, ‘I have two granddaughters and they use it a lot.’”
(sigh) Anyway, it looks like the first couple of days went well overall.