Minnesota: WOW! 103.6K QHPs to date; jumps from last place to first!

Whoops! I think I owe the folks at MNsure a bit of an apology. A week or so ago I stated:

Minnesota is a different story. They started out Open Enrollment with a bang, racking up enrollees at up to 12x last year's pace...but that was mainly due to their unique "enrollment cap" policy this year. Once the caps were filled and current enrollees were all squared away, new enrollments appear to have dropped off dramatically. They're now dead last percent-of-target wise (again, I can't include NY or VT here since neither has enough data available).

The reason for this was simple: I thought that MNsure (which enrolled 83,507 people in private plans last year) had already baked their auto-renewals into their previous report of 54,586 QHP selections as of the December 15 deadline for January coverage. Since my personal target for them this year was 86,000 QHPs, and since enrollments tend to drop off after the mid-December deadline, I figured they were probably going to come up pretty short in spite of such a strong start.

Well, apparently I was mistaken about that, because check this out:

MNsure Tops 100,000 Private Health Plan Enrollments, Setting New Record

January 9, 2017 • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Today, MNsure announced 103,578 Minnesotans have enrolled in private health plan coverage since November 1, the start of the 2017 open enrollment period. This number far exceeds the 85,390 total private health plan enrollments during the last open enrollment period and marks the first time MNsure has enrolled more than 100,000 Minnesotans into private health plan coverage. Including Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, MNsure has enrolled 188,702 Minnesotans in health coverage.

The numbers reported include new consumers, renewing consumers who have come back and shopped for a new plan for 2017, and renewing consumers who are continuing their previous plan for 2017.

"Every year MNsure's enrollments have increased, and topping the 100,000 mark this year is a milestone," said CEO Allison O’Toole.

"Minnesota's health insurance rate is at a historic high of 96 percent, and these numbers will contribute to raising that even higher. In the coming weeks, we’re going to be working overtime to let more Minnesotans know about the assistance available and help them gain coverage."

Sixty two percent of private health plan enrollees are receiving tax credits this year, with the average credit $672 a month or $8,000 a year—about three times higher than it was in 2016. “Minnesotans are saving money through MNsure," said O'Toole. "Tax credits are providing real relief for consumers facing steep rate increases from health insurance companies."

By the Numbers:

  • Private health plan enrollments—103,578
  • Medical Assistance enrollments—65,164
  • MinnesotaCare enrollments—19,960
  • Total enrollments—188,702
  • Percentage receiving tax credits—62%
  • Average monthly tax credit—$672
  • Average yearly tax credit—$8,000

The 2017 open enrollment period began on November 1, 2016, and ends on January 31, 2017. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year round. As of February 2016, 96 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage—the highest percentage in state history.

Until now, aside from Vermont (which hasn't provided any enrollment data whatsoever this year), Minnesota was coming in dead last in terms of what percent of my enrollment target they had reached...just 63.5%.

With today's news, they shoot from #50 to #1...having already enrolled a whopping 20.4% more people than I thought they would. They've broken past Utah, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Massachusetts--which previously held the top spot, at 16% ahead of target.

So, apologies and kudos to MNsure...and they still have 22 days to sign people up for either February or March coverage.