START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

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Charles Gaba's blog

A huge turnaround from last week, when it looked like WA was starting to slow down. Exchange QHPs are up from 112,225 as of 3/13 to 125,207 as of 3/23...an increase of 12,982 in 10 days (not quite the "past week" described in the press release, unless it took the first 3 days for 901 of them to go through).

The impact on the projection chart is equally dramatic: Washington State has now gone from running 37% below February's daily average to 25% higher than February did.

On the Medicaid side, new enrollments now stand at 250K "strict expansion" and 130K "woodworkers", up from 235K & 122K respectively, for a total increase of 23,000 new enrollees.

Lots of numbers here, but only one of any relevance here: 5,744 QHPs as of 3/22.

At just 350 higher than the 5,394 from 3/17, this is a bit of a slowdown from the first 2 weeks of March. Fortunately the HI numbers are too small to negatively impact the projection to any visible degree.

Total for the period of Mar. 16, 2014 through Mar. 22, 2014

  • 7 Certified Kōkua or In-Person Assisters
  • 2 Certified Kōkua or Certified Application Counselors (CACs)
  • 11,216 Unique Visitors to HawaiiHealthConnector.com
  • 2,997 Calls received by our Customer Support Center

Total since October 1, 2013

I just got back from taping my first TV interview appearance. Details to follow. Meanwhile, while I was gone, apparently the following happened:

--an update from Hawaii

--even HIGHER numbers from Connecticut (I started to post about this just before I had to leave, haven't finished writeup

--Washington State apparently released some VERY big numbers, a complete reversal from last week, which saw enrollments slowing

--Harry Reid stated that the final number of exchange-based QHPs will be between 6.5M - 7.0M

However, now I have to have dinner with my family. Will try and update all this stuff tonight...

Earlier today I posted CT's QHP total as "at least 65K", but didn't have an exact figure.

This new article lists the combined total (QHPs/Medicaid) as 170K.

Kevin Counihan says that Access Health CT now has a goal of signing up 185,000 individuals for health insurance by March 31. The exchange originally hoped to sign up 100,000 people but has already enrolled 170,021 individuals in private insurance and Medicaid plans.

UPDATE: HOLD THE PHONE...This just in from Access Health CT's Twitter feed:

RT @AccessHealthCT Our Grand Total is already over 174,000 Blowing way past our orginal goal. #EnrollCT -kc

— Tonya Wiley (@changetospare) March 25, 2014

Thank you to new contributor JTP for this CNBC article, which finally brings some clarity to the "how many already had insurance?" question.

Until now, the only hard numbers available were from New York and Kentucky, which were reporting 70% and 75% of all enrollees as not already having insurance respectively. However, these numbers included both exchange QHPs and Medicaid enrollees, which made it difficult to parse what percent of QHP enrollees only didn't have insurance prior to their enrollment.

This article is more specific: The number for NY QHPs is 59% of QHP enrollees (vs. 90% of Medicaid), and in KY is, surprisingly higher, at 75% for each!

Contributor deaconblues brings a very nice find. Massachusetts continues to be one hell of a mess, but this latest official briefing helps bring some clarity to the situation, while raising some more questions. Rather than restate it all myself, here's deaconblues summary, and the chart in question:

Yesterday, in response to a partially-reasonable, partially-not critique, I added something to The Graph: A prominent note that no, neither the spreadsheet nor the graph take into account the estimated 4.8 million non-compliant policies which were cancelled last fall (my own included). I concluded my response with the following:

However, you've [the commentor] chosen to completely ignore the single largest missing piece of the puzzle here, which I've discussed many, many times: OFF-EXCHANGE QHP ENROLLMENTS.

Minnesota just broke through their own goal of 135K total enrollments. The 36,176 exchange QHPs are only up 566 from 35,610 from 4 days earlier, but the combined Medicaid number (100,598) is up 4,731 from 95,867.

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Today, MNsure announced 136,774 Minnesotans have enrolled in comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, exceeding its open enrollment goal.

“We are thrilled that more than 136,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in quality, affordable coverage through MNsure,” said interim CEO Scott Leitz. “We’re not done yet. There are six days left in open enrollment and we want to make sure every Minnesotan has the ability to obtain health insurance coverage.”

MNsure’s original goal of enrolling 135,000 Minnesotans during the 2014 open enrollment period was established at the MNsure Board of Directors meeting on October 16, 2013.

To date, MNsure has enrolled 36,176 in a Qualified Health Plan, 27,512 in MinnesotaCare and 73,086 in Medical Assistance.

A very nice find from a contributor: This press release which just came out today, detailing private off-exchange online insurance broker eHealth Insurance's demographic breakdown of ACA-compliant QHP enrollments since January.

You may recall that eHealth Insurance makes up about 25% of the total known off-exchange QHPs I have listed on the spreadsheet so far; the 148K entered from them so far only runs through the end of December.

While this new press release doesn't include their updated enrollment numbers, it does prove, once again, that off-exchange enrollments are vitally important:

In an editorial piece from the The Courant newspaper, a non-exact QHP update is revealed: 65K, up from 62K as of 3/13:

Even without that money, Connecticut created a model portal in http://www.accesshealthct.com. This state should take pride in being among the most successful in enrolling at least 65,000 consumers in private health insurance plans. Maryland is reportedly considering abandoning its own dysfunctional portal and using Connecticut's in the next open enrollment period in November.

(SIGH) OK, in the words of Emily Litella..."never mind..."

It looks like I was right to be suspicious of the seemingly fantastic QHP enrollment numbers reported out of both North Carolina and Louisiana.

Thanks to Jed Graham (via Twitter) for pointing me towards Page 21/22 of the February HHS Report. Normally I only focus on the 3rd and 4th columns ("Determined or Assessed Eligible for Medicaid / CHIP by the Marketplace" and "Number of 
Individuals Who Have Selected a Marketplace Plan", since these are the actual exchange enrollment numbers through the end of that month.

I've updated The Graph as I'm doing every evening, and while there's nothing terribly dramatic to see, there are two notable changes:

  • First, I've changed my mind from a few nights ago and have decided to remove the 217,000 "Massachusetts Limbo Status" enrollees after all. These have been troubling me for some time, but on further reflection they really fall into the same category as other people who got halfway through their enrollment process before getting stuck. The difference in these folks case is that some of them (all of them?) have actually paid for their policies already, and are facing a ticking clock. However, I'm just not comfortable including them until their situation is settled.
  • Second, my "polite critic" this morning did have one valid point: I should acknowledge the 4.8 million cancelled non-compliant policies on The Graph. So, I've added a large, prominent note about them...but, as I explained, I'm not going to subtract them from the total until I also document the millions of Off-Exchange enrollments which are absolutely still remaining out there among 47 states. I'm guessing that there's a good 4 million or so, but without knowing for sure I can't list those either...so instead I'm just listing the two missing numbers next to each other, one positive, one negative, in the interest of total transparency.

OK, I either have some very good news...or one heck of a misunderstanding here.

Earlier today I updated both New York and Colorado's QHP numbers...and while both were very fine, they were actually down somewhat from last week (large drop for NY, small one for CO). This may actually make sense, as both of these state exchanges have been running very smoothly for months now; it's possible that they've simply started to reach the end of the line in terms of residents actually signing up (or perhaps they'll both experience a final mini-surge right at the tail end this weekend).

However, the apparent news out of both North Carolina and Louisiana has me thrown for a heck of a loop (visit the links for details).

Another find from Stevef101 (and this one, while impressive, is not setting off any warning bells with me either): Colorado breaks 106K QHPs as of this morning, up 6,000 from 100,112 as of a week ago:

As of Monday morning, Connect for Health chief executive Patty Fontneau said, 106,000 Coloradans had signed up for private insurance. About 24 percent of enrollees were in the prized young (and presumably healthier) adult category of ages 18-34.

...More than 151,000 Coloradans had been added to Medicaid rolls by March 17.

This keeps Colorado's QHP rate at around 91% higher than February...which is actually down slightly from the 93% increase it had been earlier in the month.

OK, not only are the numbers here as hard to believe as North Carolina, but the source is the same: Dr. Renard Murray of CMS:

In Louisiana the numbers put the state near the back of the pack.  Dr. Renard Murray with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services say there needs to be a late surge in enrollment.

''We've got well over 100,000 who have signed up but well over 800.000 are eligible,'' said Murray.

As of March 1st, HHS only had Louisiana down as having 45,561 exchange QHPs, plus another 9,105 new Medicaid enrollees (again, LA is not an expansion state). Just like with NC, even if the 100K includes both (and he says it's "well over" 100K), assuming an 83/17 split between the two, that would still be an increase of 37,627 QHPs for a total of 83,188...an 83% increase in just the past 3 weeks...at a daily rate 3.8x that of February.

And, just like with North Carolina, if that number doesn't include Medicaid, that would mean a more than doubling of the total through 3/01...at a rate 5.5x that of February.

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