Charles Gaba's blog

SUMMARY OF #COVID-19 SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS:

ALL OTHER STATES: You may qualify for a 60-day Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you've recently lost (or will soon lose) your employer-based healthcare coverage, or if you've experienced other Qualifying Life Events (QLE) such as getting marrinew yorked/divorced, moving, giving birth/adopting a child, getting out of prison, turning 26 etc. For these SEPs you may have to provide documentation to verify your QLE. Visit HealthCare.Gov or your state's ACA exchange website for details on the process.

I know I've been seriously distracted with my county-level COVID-19 tracking project the past few weeks, but I'm still surprised this bill slipped by me:

Easy Enrollment Moving Forward

Denver -- Connect for Health Colorado® Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson released the following statement on the Health Care Coverage Easy Enrollment Program (HB 20-1236) after the bill passed through the General Assembly: 

“I am excited that we can extend access to affordable health coverage for Coloradans with the simple act of checking a box. Easy Enrollment can provide financial stability and improve health outcomes for thousands of residents, many of whom are unfamiliar with the sign up process, or do not know they qualify for help. Through legislation such as Easy Enrollment, we work toward our goals of reducing the uninsured rate and educating Coloradans on the financial help we provide.” 

This is actually from a couple of weeks ago, but Maryland's COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period continues until June 15th, so it's still relevant:

30,000+ MARYLANDERS HAVE ENROLLED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD

  • Remaining uninsured residents have less than a month to get marketplace coverage

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today reminded uninsured Marylanders that they have until June 15 to enroll in coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection, under the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period. As of May 15, nearly 31,000 residents across the state have taken advantage of this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland.

via the Washington Insurance Commissioner's office:

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Fifteen health insurers filed an average proposed rate decrease of 1.79% for the 2021 individual health insurance market. This includes two new insurers — UnitedHealthcare of Oregon and Community Health Network of Washington — that are joining Washington’s market. 

With 15 insurers in next year’s individual market, all 39 counties will have at least two insurers selling plans inside the exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder. Ten insurers will sell plans outside of the exchange. 

The proposed average rate decrease follows an average premium reduction of 3.25% for 2019 plans. 

I've made major progress in updating and revising my breakout of COVID-19 cases and fatalities at not just the state level but the county level. Again, I've separates the states into two separate spreadsheets:

Most of the data comes from either the GitHub data repositories of either Johns Hopkins University or the New York Times. Some of the data comes directly from state health department websites.

I hope to fill in the back-data for every state within the next few days, bringing them all up to date. This should allow for plenty of interesting analysis of trends and counties to keep an eye on. It will also allow me to get back to posting more regular ACA policy updates/etc.

My county-level tracking project continues. I've now plugged in confirmed/official COVID-19 cases and fatalities across 36 states and hope to bring the remaining 14 states (plus the U.S. territories) up to date within the next few days.

Meanwhile, here's how cases have spread on a per capita basis across those 26 states from March 20th until May 29th. At the high end, I haven't gotten to two of the worst-hit states yet (New York & Rhode Island); at the lower end, there's a cluster of states which are difficult to separate out at this level as they're running so close together.

Just as important as the infection rate itself, of course, is the curve of the line. Louisiana and Michigan were hit hard early on, but seem to be flattening their curves, while states like Minnesota, Iowa, Mississippi and Alabama, which were hit later, are starting to curve upwards now, definitely the wrong direction.

Since I've been neglecting other ACA/healthcare posts the past couple of weeks, I figured I should at least provide regular updates on why I've been mostly absent.

I've made major progress in updating and revising my breakout of COVID-19 cases and fatalities at not just the state level but the county level. Again, I've separates the states into two separate spreadsheets:

The District of Columbia has joined Vermont and Oregon in releasing their preliminary 2021 Individual and Small Group market premium rate filings:

This page contains proposed health plan rate information for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2021.

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) received 188 proposed health insurance plan rates for review from Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare in advance of open enrollment for plan year 2021 on DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace.

The four insurance companies filed proposed rates for individuals, families and small businesses for the 2021 plan year. Overall, 188 plans were filed, compared to 181 last year. The number of small group plans increased from 156 to 163, and the number of individual plans remained at 25.

In the middle of a deadly global pandemic which has already killed more than 100,000 Americans and completely disrupted the entire U.S. healthcare system, private insurance carriers still have to go about preparing their annual premium rate change filings for 2021. This is a long, complicated process which begins a good nine months before the new plans and prices are actually enrolled in.

The task of setting 2020 premiums was the first time since the ACA went into effect which was relatively calm for insurance carrier actuaries:

My county-level tracking project continues. I've now plugged in confirmed/official COVID-19 cases and fatalities across 26 states and hope to bring the remaining 24 states (plus the U.S. territories) up to date within the next few days.

Meanwhile, here's how cases have spread on a per capita basis across those 26 states from March 20th until May 23rd. At the high end, I haven't gotten to the worst-hit states yet (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts & Rhode Island), which wouldn't fit on this chart anyway; at the lower end, once you get below Alabama, there's a cluster of states which are difficult to separate out at this level as they're running so close together.

Just as important as the infection rate itself, of course, is the curve of the line. Louisiana and Michigan were hit hard early on, but seem to be flattening their curves, while states like Minnesota, Iowa and Alabama, which were hit later, are starting to curve upwards now, definitely the wrong direction.

My obsession with tracking COVD-19 cases and fatalities at the county level including the partisan divide continues (and before anyone gets on my case about that, the New York Times just did a massive feature on this exact political angle yesterday, which I'll be writing about tomorrow).

I've made major progress in updating and revising my breakout of COVID-19 cases and fatalities at not just the state level but the county level. Again, I've separates the states into two separate spreadsheets:

Most of the data comes from either the GitHub data repositories of either Johns Hopkins University or the New York Times. Some of the data comes directly from state health department websites.

I hope to fill in the back-data for every state within the next few days, bringing them all up to date. This should allow for plenty of interesting analysis of trends and counties to keep an eye on. It will also allow me to get back to posting more regular ACA policy updates/etc.

As a follow-up to my prior posts about the urban/rural divide of how COVID-19 has spread throughout Michigan, here's a graph which shows how it's spread in Detroit, the larger Metro Detroit area and the rest of the state on a per capita basis over time.

Obviously the probem is still far worse in Detroit and the Metro Detroit area overall...but the case trendlines are starting to flatten in Detroit and Metro Detroit, while it's still increasing at the same rate or higher in the rest of the state.

Oof! I saw this several weeks ago but somehow forgot to actually post about it until now; it's important to note that the May 25th deadline referred to below was just extended until June 23rd:

Massachusetts Health Connector continues extended enrollment as nearly 45,000 people enroll in new plans, update current coverage

April 28, 2020 – The Massachusetts Health Connector continues to help people who need health insurance after losing coverage or income due to the coronavirus, with a May 23 deadline ahead for June 1 coverage.

via Nevada Health Link:

Silver State Health Insurance Exchange enrolls 5,479 during Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19

Carson City, Nev. – The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals secure budget-appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace and State Based Exchange (SBE) platform, Nevada Health Link, enrolled 6,017 Nevadans during its limited-time Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period (SEP), March 17 – May 15, including 5,479 new consumer enrollments related to the Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period, and 538 enrollments due to loss of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC).

In response to Governor Sisolak’s March 12 Emergency Declaration, the SEP was opened to allow qualified Nevadans who missed OEP to secure health care coverage. Consumers who enrolled on or before April 30 received coverage effective May 1, and consumers who enrolled between May 1 and 15 will have coverage effective June 1, 2020.

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