Now that the Arkansas legislature has finally agreed not to screw over tens of thousands of their own citizens, a few thousand more people have enrolled in their unusual "Private Medicaid Option" (their version of "Expansion", which appears to basically be effectively the same as an entry-level QHP enrollee who receives a 100% tax credit...I think). Anyway, the Private Medicaid Option is up to about 98K plus an additional 13.4K added to "regular" Medicaid; this is up from 94,000 and 11,500 a few weeks ago, for a total increase of 5,844 altogether.
DHS said Wednesday that 207,967 people have applied for the private option and that 137,809 have been found eligible. Of those, 97,934 have completed the process of enrolling in private plans and 13,410 have been determined to be better served by traditional Medicaid.
On top of today's Big News out of California (1M) and the HHS (5M) comes a smaller, but just as significant update from Nevada. They're up from 20,930 paid / 9,085 unpaid (30,015 total) to 22,533 paid / 10,520 unpaid (33,053 total), a total increase of 3,038 (although the Paid rate in NV is down slightly, from 70% to 68%...although again, none of the new enrollees start coverage until April).
The significance is this: The first week of March, Nevada was averaging 211 QHPs/day, virtually identical to February's 212/day. However, with this addition, their daily average has shot up to 323/day, a 52% increase. Even more impressive, if you only include the 2nd week of the month, that's 3,038/7 = 434/day, or more than twice the daily average. The Surge is definitely here, folks.
Update as of 3/15: 33,053 consumers have confirmed Qualified Health Plan selections through Nevada Health Link, 22,533 have paid.
Thanks to contributor deaconblues for sending me this story out of Massachusetts, which puts a bit of a downer spin on the otherwise fantastic one-two punch of hitting 1M QHPs in CA and 5M nationally. The short version? MA fired CGI, won't hit their own twice-extended deadline, and has tens of thousands of people stuck in a weird healthcare coverage holding pattern for...no one seems to know exactly how long:
Massachusetts has chosen to toss out CGICorp., the architect of the troubled Health Connector website, amid an ObamaCare enrollment crisis that threatens to spill into 2015....
As this historic open enrollment period enters its final weeks, millions of Americans are finding quality, affordable coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Fernando Valdez and Denise Schroeder were part of a weekend wave of consumers signing up for new coverage and bringing enrollment nationwide to more than 5 million through the Federal and State-based Marketplaces since October 1st.
OK, talk about an 11th-hour development: The Hawaii Health Connector, which has been competing with Oregon and Massachusetts for the "worst exchange" award, may have actually turned the corner just in time for the final 2 weeks of the ACA enrollment push.
If this development doesn't turn out to be another false promise (Hawaii's exchange has had several "It's working NOW! Oh, wait..." moments since October), there could be up to 16,000+ people who get piled onto the Hawaii tally over the final two weeks of open enrollment:
The Hawaii Health Connector, in its final stretch of open enrollment, says it has fixed a substantial number of system glitches that have frustrated consumers and stifled enrollment.
Contributor Maurice H. provides a bit of Off-Exchange data from Oregon. He contacted Oregon's Health CO-OP and while they didn't provide exact numbers, they were willing to provide their on-exchange/off-exchange ratios:
Oregon’s Health CO-OP is not sharing specific enrollment numbers, but is happy to give you the percentages of on and off Exchange:
On – 42% / Off—58%
Hope that helps.
Fortunately, an article in the Oregonian by the authority on all things Cover Oregon-related, Nick Budnick, provides the other piece of the puzzle:
Policies as of March 6th / Oregon's Health CO-OP: 212
Hmmm. Well, if 212 is 42% of the co-op's total enrollments, that makes off-exchange enrollments...505 people.
OK, not exactly a huge number, but an enrollment is an enrollment...noting it...
I just posted the big announcement out of California: They broke through the 1 million mark on Friday, reaching 1,018,315 QHPs as of Saturday night. This means they've been averaging over 10,600/day in March so far.
It also means, using my projection table, that the national total, which I had predicted would cross 5 Million sometime tomorrow, should actually break the 5 million mark today.
Specifically, the national total should be running around 167% higher than February's rate (33,600/day), or around 56,300/day in March so far. 56.3K x 15 days = 844,500, added to the 4,242,325 to date, for a total of about 5.09 million. I'll assume that this is highballing a bit, so tack on an extra day or so.
Now, they may not announce it until tomorrow, but if I'm correct about this, we should actually be at somewhere around 5.09 million by the end of today (Monday, March 17th).
There we go; I originally projected California to hit 1M last Tuesday or Wednesday, but didn't realize at the time just how bad the mid-February outage had hit the exchange. It ended up taking them 2 extra days to hit the 1M mark (Friday night). Fortunately, it looks like they've bounced back nicely:
Covered California’s enrollment reached the 1-million mark late Friday. By the end of Saturday, enrollment reached 1,018,315 in the health care exchange marketplace. The figure represents the number of people applying for coverage and selecting insurance plans for themselves and their family members through the exchange.
Just as a reminder: Based on my projection model and a little big of educated guesswork on my part, I've estimated that Private Exchange QHPs should be around 4.89 Million as of today, setting things up to cross the 5 Million mark sometime on Tuesday, March 18.
If I'm correct about this, then it means:
The rate averaged around 44,000/day for the first half of the month
The rate for the second half of March will have to average at least 74,000/day in order to hit 6 Million
The rate for the second half of March will have to average at least 141,000/day in order to hit 7 million
Obviously, the 7M target is going to be extremely difficult to reach at this point.
This new addition represents my personal estimate of the number of exchange QHP enrollments which have already been completed as of today, in addition to the ones which I've actually documented and sourced. Due to this addition, I'll be updating the chart daily going forward.
For instance, as of today, March 15, I've actually documented 4.47 million QHP enrollments. However, that only includes data through 3/01 for most states plus data since 3/01 for a dozen or so state-run exhanges. Obviously there have been additional enrollments in the other 35+ states that I just haven't documented/broken out by state yet.
From today's Detroit News, strong anecdotal evidence that Michigan, at least, is already seeing a spike in enrollment activity. The article also notes something that I didn't realize: I knew that anyone enrolling between 3/16-3/31 wouldn't have their policy coverage kick in until May 1st (and I've written about thisseveral times), but I didn't realize that those who do so would have to apply for an exemption from the IRS next year:
Health insurers and advocates are expecting a surge in enrollment for insurance plans Saturday, the deadline to guarantee coverage beginning on April 1.
March Surge Factor: Even if my formula for existing March data proves accurate, that only tells me how many March enrollments there would be if the daily rate doesn't change going forward. Obviously this is not likely to be the case; by all expectations, there should be a large end-of-month spike/surge that kicks in any day now. I haven't actually filled this in yet, I'm just prepping the spreadsheet for it. I'll be adding the Surge Factor starting on Monday.
Projected Daily Average: This measures my estimate of the QHP enrollment daily average throughout March so far. This is handy for helping estimate things like...
Projected Date for 5 Million QHPs: We should currently be at around 44K/day, which means we should hit the 5 Million mark sometime on Tuesday, March 18th.
No official update, but an article in yesterday's Coloradoan.com gives the Private QHP number as 93,000 as of Thursday, up 5,234 from 87,766 as of March 8th:
WASHINGTON — At least 100,000 Coloradans are expected to sign up for private health insurance on Connect for Health Colorado by March 31, according to the head of the state’s online health exchange.
With 93,000 people enrolled as of Thursday, “we are really exceeding our expectations,” Patty Fontneau, CEO of Connect for Health Colorado, told reporters in a conference call arranged by Families USA, a health care consumer advocate.