END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (41 states)

Time: D H M S

Charles Gaba's blog

And there we have it: Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post reports that BCBSA (the family of Blue Cross companies, as well as Anthem, Regeant, etc) confirms 1.7 million ACA-compliant QHPs sold OFF-exchangenationally from October 1st through March 1st (that's right, the rest of March isn't included; for comparison, March made up 40%of the exchange QHP total for the open enrollment period):

Newsy: BlueCrossBlueShield companies sold 1.7 million ACA-compliant policies OFF-exchange between 10/1-3/1. #obamacare

— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 3, 2014

@charles_gaba @Cripipper no link. I had been asking for the data and I got it the old fashioned way--a phone call.

— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 3, 2014

Since I'm shifting the "Paid/Unpaid" tally to a simplified "93% Paid or Will Pay Within a Reasonable Time" model, I'm no longer distinguishing the paid/unpaid factor for states which do so (although I am still listing them when released by the states):

Enrollment data (Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014)

Total HealthSource RI enrollments (including those who have not yet paid): 27,961

Paid enrollments: 21,097

Medicaid enrollments (per EOHHS): 64,590

Small employer applications initiated: 1,319

Small employer enrollment: 175 (based on their submitted census, these employers represent 700 covered employees and 1,110 covered lives)

Small employers who enrolled in Full Employee Choice: 103

  • Thru 4/02: QHPs: 63,002
  • Thru 4/02: Medicaid: 232,075 (295,077 - 63,002, includes one-time PAC transfers)

O’Malley points out that despite the problems, Maryland exceeded its overall enrollment goal of 260,000. As of Tuesday night, that number had hit 295,077. It includes people who have enrolled in private plans (which has dramatically lagged expectations) and Medicaid (which has exceeded expectations).

...Sharfstein said in late February that a more accurate projection is 75,000 to 100,000 private enrollees.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 63,002, with hundreds or thousands more expected to finish their applications in coming weeks.

As a follow-up to my follow-up last night, HuffPo healthcare reporter Jeffrey Young tweets:

About 3/4 of the 28K @HealthSourceRI enrollees had paid a premium as of 3/31. People who signed up after 3/23 have until 4/23 to pay.

— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) April 3, 2014

@asymmetricinfo And the paid rate through 3/8 was 83%, including people whose bills were due later.

— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) April 3, 2014

Interim CEO of @MNsure, Scott Leitz, to tell U.S. House subcommittee that 95% of its 47,000 enrollees have paid, and the rate will rise.

— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) April 3, 2014

OK, looks like I completely misunderstood the Vermont figures from a few days ago; half of them were supposed to go on the Medicaid side after all. From a source at the Vermont Health Connector:

In the meantime, I can provide the enrollment figures: 48,150 are fully enrolled in a plan through Vermont Health Connect; 25,930 of those enrolled in Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur, our CHIP program.

Doesn't impact the overall national total, but it does change the dynamic for Vermont to something...rational (prior to this it looked like they had hit a whopping 585% of their year 1 target!

This means 22,220 QHPs and 25,930 Medicaid.

The Hawaii Health Connector has enrolled 7,861 individuals as of the March 31 deadline, with another 24,176 who completed applications for coverage through the state-run online health insurance exchange. 

...It is important to note there are only about 50,000 uninsured people in Hawaii who are not deemed Medicaid eligible, which makes Hawaii’s market small compared to other states.

...Kayla Rosenfeld, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, told PBN on Wednesday that since Oct. 1 — when the department launched its new online eligibility system KOLEA— net Medicaid enrollment in Hawaii has increased by 46,605, which is close to the expected increase of 48,000.

Van Pelt highlights the more than 300,000 "enrolled in health care coverage since October thanks to Cover Oregon ... and the Oregon Health Authority."

That figure includes:

  • 55,000 people enrolled in private plans using the backup manual processing system set up to cope with the exchange's technology issues.
  • more than 120,000 people enrolled into Oregon Health Plan after the exchange forwarded their information to the state for processing, a workaround for the exchange's broken Medicaid interface.
  • 125,000 people enrolled directly into the Oregon Health Plan using a streamlined system set up to bypass Cover Oregon.

OK, this just adds to the confusion over the "extension periods"...not only is Kentucky joining the "you have until 4/15 if you started by 3/31" brigade, but it appears that they're also allowing people to start the application/enrollment process between 4/4 - 4/11 as well:

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Tuesday that the state will extend its deadline. People will be able to file for health insurance from April 4 to April 11.

The official deadline had been midnight March 31. Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said 21,000 people signed up over the weekend, including 12,000 people who signed up Monday. The deadline affected only those signing up for private health insurance, because those eligible for Medicaid can apply at any time.

Because of the high demand, Bond said, state officials decided to add additional days for enrollment or a "special enrollment period." The days between the March 31 deadline and the special enrollment period will allow for some tweaks to the technical system to allow for the extension, she said.

Huh. Good for them, but if that's the case, why not just bump this out to 4/15 and be done with it? Weird.

Up from 1,300...

So far, 198 companies have bought SHOP policies for 1,770 covered lives — both their employees and their employees’ dependents, Sugden said. That's less than a large state like California, but ahead of other states that have not even been able to launch their small-business exchange, he said.

...The SHOP is attracting about 40 new companies per month right now, a number that will continue to rise because companies can continue to buy policies throughout the year, he said.

Why the heck Nevada couldn't have posted the 3/31 total instead of tacking on 4/1, I have no idea, but what the hell; it's starting to look like I'll have to wait for the HHS report in order to get the precise monthly figure anyway (assuming they don't move the 30th & 31st over to April's report, that is...)

Update as of 4/1: 41,823 Nevadans confirm Qualified Health Plan Selections through http://t.co/k2YKIcssBl. 25,899 paid to date.

— Nevada Health Link (@NVHealthLink) April 3, 2014

Regular followers may recall that a couple of weeks ago, in response to a Glenn Kessler "Fact Checker" article, I ended up converting the "Sub26er" tally from a solid 3.1 million figure (the number touted by Pres. Obama and the HHS Dept. for months) to a "range" setup, similar to the other enrollment figures.

Kessler's argument was essentially that the quarterly reports comparing the number of 19-25-year-olds on their parent's plans between 2010 and 2013 fluctuated greatly from one quarter to another, and that therefore instead of taking one particular quarter and measuring it against another (which is where the 3.1M figure came from), it would be more rational to take the averages for the full years and compare those against each other. Based on this, he came up with a range of 2.2M - 2.8M, instead of 3.1M solid.

Over the past month or so, several researchers, reporters and other data nerds have inquired about whether I'd be willing to open up the QHP and Medicaid spreadsheet permissions to let people export them to Excel. It was always my intent to do this once the 3/31 deadline was past. However, a few things complicate this.

OK, now that we're over the hump of the 3/31 "official" open enrollment deadline, it's time to take a look at the "But how many have PAID???" fuss again.

I've been trying to decide whether my "90% either Paid or Unpaid for Legitimate Reasons" rule of thumb seems valid, or whether I should bump it up...or down.

An article up in today's National Journal states that according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, their Paid Enrollee figure is around 80 - 85%...for policies from October, November, December and the first half of January.

On the one hand, this is significant for two reasons: First, because the BCBSA is huge; I don't know their collective marketshare, but it's big (they include Anthem/WellPoint, the various Blue Cross companies such as Highmark, Regence and so forth). I dunno...maybe 30% or more of the market in total?

Secondly, according to the article, this specifically refers to policy premiums which are well past-due. That is, policies which started either January or February 1st. This does not apparently include more recent enrollments (those from late January, February or March):

A few weeks back (upon my request) I was sent updated enrollment data (both on- and off-exchange) from CoOportunity Health, which operates in Iowa and Nebraska.

Earlier today (upon my semi-request...that is, I had asked about it a couple of weeks ago but kind of forgot about it), I was sent a press release for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which included their ACA Open Enrollment data breakdown (well, most of it...I had to have them clarify the rest).

A few minutes ago, without any doing on my part, eHealth Insurance (which I've written about a couple of times for off-exchange data, and which is actually a broker, not an insurance company themselves) tweeted out a link to one of my stories about them.

A lot of good info here, mostly about off-exchange enrollments, but also about the "Paid/Unpaid" question:

That total breaks down as 27,968 individuals who used HealthSource RI to sign up for plans from Blue Cross or Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, along with 11,271 who bypassed HealthSource and boughtObamacare-compliant policies directly from Blue Cross, the two organizations told WPRI.com.

Those 11,271 direct-purchasers are important to Blue Cross because they will be combined with those who bought through HealthSource RI to make up the insurer’s 2014 risk pool for individual insurance. The size and shape of the risk pool is crucial to determining how much premiums will cost.

...Roughly four in five of those who bought insurance through HealthSource by March 8 had paid their first premiums at that point.

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