No, the official OE5 CMS data hasn't been released yet. Yes, the clock is ticking.


Time: D H M S

Over the past few weeks,I've posted partial 2018 Open Enrollment Period demographic data from Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, New York and Washington State. Still missing are final wrap-up reports from the other 7 state-based well as The Big One: The official report from the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

The 2014 ASPE report was released on May 1st, 2014...just 17 days after the first, tumultuous 2014 Open Enrollment Period ended (only 12 days, really, since the report actually ran through April 19th, 2014 even though the "overtime" period technically ended on April 15th).

The 2015 ASPE report was released on March 10th, 2015...just 16 days after the second Open Enrollment Period ended (officially Feb. 15th, but the overtime period ran through Feb. 22nd).

The 2016 ASPE report was released on March 11, 2016...a full 38 days after the third Open Enrollment Period ended. I have no idea why it took more than twice as long to be released.

For 2017 (the 4th Open Enrollment Period), the first one under the Trump Administration...there was no official ASPE report. Instead, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) issued their own summary report, but also released downloadable ZIP-compressed Excel Spreadsheet Public Use Files (PUFs) which include most of the raw data used in the earlier ASPE reports. They released that data on March 15th...43 days after the end of the 4th Open Enrollment Period.

On the one hand, I'm not thrilled about ASPE failing to issue their official final report (the PUFs are also available for earlier years). On the other hand, as long as they release the PUF data, it might be just as well that Trump appointees don't chime in on their opinion of that data--especially given the hatchet job they did with the one ACA exchange-related report of theirs I did analyze last year.

In any event, as of this writing it's been 33 days since the end of the 5th Open Enrollment Period, depending on your point of view. The "official" end of Open Enrollment for HealthCare.Gov, Vermont and Idaho was way back on December 15th, but obviously it wouldn't make much sense to release the report before all 50 states (+DC) wrapped things up on January 31st, so that's reasonable.

I'm assuming that CMS will do the same thing they did last year: No ASPE report, but a summary CMS report with the detailed PUF files made available for all 51 states (including DC) on or around March 15th.

If it's released by then, great. If there's no word from CMS after, say, March 20th, then it'll be time to worry.

UPDATE 3/15/18: Welp. It's now March 15th, 2018. If CMS doesn't release the Public Use File (and ASPE doesn't release an OE5 report), they'll have gone longer than ever without doing so...and with far less justification, since 41 states wrapped things up way back on December 15th, and only 3 exchanges (CA/NY/DC) stretched it out all the way until January 31st.

As I said a few weeks ago, healthcare and other data wonks should be putting pressure on CMS if they don't post the official OE5 data in the next few days.

If they do, of course, then this post is moot...except that I'd still like to know why it took so long to release given the half-length enrollment period for most states.