Health Connector extends enrollment an additional month to July 23rd for uninsured individuals
On June 22, 2020, the Health Connector announced in an Administrative Bulletin an extension to the special enrollment period in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency through July 23, 2020 to assist uninsured Massachusetts residents seeking health coverage. (The extended enrollment period was previously set to end June 23.)
On April 14th, Covered California reported that 58,000 residents had enrolled in ACA exchange coverage during their COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period, of which roughly 20,000 did so via standard SEPs (losing coverage, moving, getting married/divorced, etc), while an additional 38,000 took advantage of the COVID-specific SEP.
Back in early March (a lifetime ago given the events of the past few months), House Democrats were on the verge of finally voting on a suite of important ACA protections, repairs and improvements which I've long dubbed "ACA 2.0" (the actual title of the first version of the "upgrade suite" bill was ridiculous when it was first introduced in 2018, and the slightly modified version re-introduced in 2019 was somehow even worse, no matter how good the bill itself was).
The big story re. the coronavirus pandemic the past week or two is how it's shifting from the mostly northeastern states ravaged by it from March - May to now hitting the sunbelt, south and southwestern states in June (and likely July). With that in mind, here's graphs showing the cumulative per capita increase in positive COVID-19 cases and fatalities over time in the 5 states with the highest cases (all of which happen to be Dem-controlled, w/the exception of Massachusetts having a Republican governor) vs. the 5 states with the highest percent increase in cases over the past week (all of which happen to be GOP-controlled).
I've also included the per capita cumulative testing for each as well, since it's reasonable to expect positive cases to increase as testing ramps up. The critical thing to look for is whether the rate of the upwards curve is greater for testing or new cases. If the testing rate is increasing faster than the case rate, that's a Good Thing. If the case rate is increasing faster than the test rate, that's a Bad Thing.
Now that I've brought all 50 states (+DC & the U.S. territories) up to date, I'm going to be posting a weekly ranking of the 40 U.S. counties (or county equivalents) with the highest per capita official COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
Again, I've separates the states into two separate spreadsheets:
Happy Father's Day. Here's my weekly update of the spread of COVID-19 across all 50 states, DC & PR over time, from March 20th through June 21st, 2020, in official cases per thousand residents.
I've given up trying to tie every trend line to the state name; it simply gets too crowded near the bottom even with a small font size, so I've grouped some of them together where necessary.
Note that this graph doesn't take into account any of the rumored undercounts in Florida, Georgia etc...these are based on the official reports from the various state health departments. If and when those are ever modified retroactively I'll update the data accordingly.
Click the image itself for a high-resolution version.
Note: The sudden jumps in New York and Massachusetts reflect reporting methodology changes; MA started including probable COVID-19 cases, while New York added a batch of 15,000 positive antibody tests results they hadn't been previously including. Michigan's probable cases have been retroactively added into each daily total.
Statement from Peter V. Lee on Protecting Individuals from Discrimination Based on Categories Like Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee released the following statement following the federal administration’s June 12 rule that eliminates preexisting federal rules protecting individuals from discrimination based on categories like gender identity and sexual orientation:
“Covered California continues to make quality health care coverage more accessible and affordable to Californians of all ages, religions, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identities, races, ethnicities and national origins. We’ve built upon the Affordable Care Act’s landmark market reforms to ensure that no one can be turned away from coverage, and that once enrolled they would have access to affordable, high-quality care.
Regular readers may wonder why I've spent so much time obsessively tracking not just the spread of COVID-19 (as numerous sources have been doing) but specifically the partisan spread of it between so-called "red" vs. "blue" states and even red vs. blue counties.
I've obviously never been shy about sharing my political leanings on this website, but a public health crisis shouldn't be a partisan issue, right?
That's correct: It shouldn't be. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has decided to make it a partisan issue at every stage of the crisis, and with few exceptions, the rest of the GOP has embraced this at the federal, state and even local levels.
As a result, public health POLICY is being directly influenced and in many cases flat-out mandated by PARTISANSHIP.
In the earlier stages of the pandemic hitting the United States, this could be seen in cases like favoratism being shown in which states the federal government was sending PPE (personal protection equipment) to and which states were being given zilch (or, in some cases, broken ventilators and moldy N-95 masks).
CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15
More than 43,000 have enrolled since mid-March
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange announced today that it has extended the deadline of its Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period so that uninsured residents will have until July 15 to enroll in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The deadline extension comes as more than 43,000 residents have received coverage during this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland. Even before this extension, Maryland already offered one of the longest special enrollment periods in the country since the emergency began.
For the most part, however, I've settled on WorldoMeter for the state-level data and Johns Hopkins U for the county-level data, as each source formats their data in the most convenient manner for my purposes in porting it to my spreadsheets.
Note: This is a guest post by Miranda Wilgus, Executive Director and Co-Founder of ACA Consumer Advocacy (disclosure: I'm on the ACACA board of directors).
In the middle of June 2020, with over three months of an international pandemic behind us, over 100,000 Americans and more around the world dead from Covid19 and its complications, what are we waiting for? We know that our administration has done everything possible to impede the facilitation of needs and resources to our country. Special interests are running rampant, price gouging is the norm, government agencies have been scooping up supplies from states that are desperately needed, and the GOP controlled Senate is more focused on packing courts with unqualified idealogues than with passing bills to assist Americans financially affected by the pandemic.
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont Health Connect has opened a Special Enrollment Period until May 15, 2020. During this time, any uninsured Vermonter can sign up for a Qualified Health Plan through Vermont Health Connect. Qualified families can also get financial help paying for coverage.. Please call us at 1-855-899-9600 to learn more.