2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure national QHP selections are gonna break 1.5 million by midnight.

As you may recall, there was a day or two last week where I was as despondent over the election results as anyone, and I was deeply concerned that Trump being elected—combined with his promise to join the GOP in wiping out the ACA—would cause people to abandon the currently ongoing 2017 Open Enrollment Period...thus making my pre-election projection utterly meaningless.

Instead, the exact opposite appears to be happening...or, at the very least, the election results don’t seem to be keeping anyone from signing up. Some people may be abandoning their plans to enroll via the exchange out of fear that it’s gonna get yanked away from them a few months into the new year, forcing them to scramble later...but many others seem to be realizing that the law, including the federal tax credits and CSR assistance, is still on the books and will continue to be through Jan. 20th at the very soonest...and, depending on how much squabbling and legal steps the GOP has to go through, could potentially stick around mostly as is for up to 2 more years. In any event, many have concluded that it’d be better to go ahead and sign up now so they’re covered for as long as possible.

My guess is that these lines of thinking are effectively cancelling each other out, leading to enrollment numbers for the first 2 weeks similar to what I was projecting in the first place. As of this morning, here’s where I think things stand:

Assuming I'm correct about this, total enrollments nationally should break the 1.5 million mark by midnight tonight, with around 1.2 million of those coming via the federal exchange (HealthCare.Gov).

Before jumping to any conclusions, two important caveats:

  • First, it's possible that this is temporary...this could simply be people taking care of enrolling earlier than they otherwise would have. If that's the case, the total number as of 1/31 will still be the same, it's just the pattern of The Graph between now and then which will be off.
  • Second, it's possible that this is a case of more people actively renewing/shopping around this year as opposed to allowing themselves to be passively re-enrolled in their policies. Again, if that's the case, the total number probably won't be all that different. That's still a good thing, of course, since it means people are getting more involved, taking advantage of better values and so forth.

Unfortunately, the HHS Dept. has decided to abandon their weekly “snapshot enrollment reports” this year, so I’ve only been able to confirm about 146,000 exchange enrollments so far, but I’m quite confident that the actual number through today should be roughly in the ballpark above. (Update 11:55am: OK, make that 151,000...this Washington Post article gives HC.gov's 11/09 tally as 105K instead of simply "over 100K").

So far:

Whether Open Enrollment will continue to pace The Graph all the way through the end of January is a real unknown...especially since the last 11 days of the enrollment period will officially be under the incoming Trump Administration.

God help us all.

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REMINDER: It takes an awful lot of time/effort to maintain ACA Signups. Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.