COVID-19

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

Nationally:

Updated numbers from Maryland Health Connect:

MORE THAN 21,500 MARYLANDERS OBTAIN HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH STATE SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS

  • Special Enrollments for Coronavirus Emergency, Tax Filers Allow Uninsured Additional Opportunities to Enroll Through Maryland Health Connection

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today announced that more than 21,500 residents have enrolled in coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection. Earlier this month, the deadlines for both special enrollment periods were extended to accommodate growing health concerns as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the new tax filing deadline.

The coronavirus special enrollment period, which began a month ago and now runs through June 15, has resulted in more than 19,000 residents obtaining health coverage — 61 percent in Medicaid and the remainder in private insurance, with most of those qualifying for financial help to lower the cost of the plan.

via press release from MNsure:

Don’t Wait: MNsure's COVID-19 Emergency Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured Minnesotans ends Tuesday at Midnight

Uninsured Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, to enroll in coverage through MNsure’s COVID-19 Emergency Special Enrollment Period. Those who enroll through this SEP will have coverage that retroactively begins April 1. Minnesotans can shop and compare plans and see if they qualify for financial help to pay for their plan by using MNsure’s plan comparison tool.

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

Nationally:

Yesterday I ran an exclusive analysis based on existing COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (SEP) data to figure out a) roughly how many Americans are likely to enroll in ACA exchange coverage using this SEP in the twelve states offering one, and b) how many additional Americans would likely #GetCovered via ACA exchange policies in the other 39 states which don't currently have a CV19 SEP in place.

As I've explained before, while pretty much anyone who loses their employer-based health insurance is automatically eligible for a normal 60-day Special Enrollment Period regardless of what state they live in, under the current pandemic/mass layoff situation, the standard "loss of coverage" SEP is a red tape nightmare under Trump Administration regulations since you have to provide hard-to-get documentation of your status and have it verified by CMS, which can take weeks.

On March 20th, the Vermont Health Connect ACA exchange joined other state-based exchanges in launching a formal COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period.

There was some confusion about the original deadline (they said "month long" which suggested April 20th, but a note on their website last week set it as April 17th, which is this Friday).

However, today they've updated that note:

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.

Unlike Connecticut, Nevada and Washington State, it doesn't sound like you necessarily have to call the VT exchange to actually enroll, but I'd recommend doing so anyway since I'm not sure how they're working it logistically.

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

Nationally:

4/16/20: Important Update at bottom!

With all the anger at CMS Administrator Seema Verma, HHS Secretary Alex Azar and of course Donald Trump himself over CMS's refusal (to date) to open up a COVID-19 specific Special Enrollment Period on the federal ACA exchange (HealthCare.Gov), last week I decided to try and figure out just how many people are enrolling across the 12 state-based exchanges which are offering CV19 SEPs...and just as importantly, how many people would likely take advantage of a CV19-specific SEP on the federal exchange if and when they ever decide to go ahead and launch one.

This just in via Covered California:

Covered California Enrolls Tens of Thousands as Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic Hits California Households

  • More than 58,000 people have signed up for coverage through Covered California since March 20, when a special-enrollment period was announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Covered California has seen a tremendous surge in consumers visiting CoveredCA.com and the website’s Medi-Cal page.
  • The special-enrollment period allows anyone uninsured and eligible to enroll in health care coverage through Covered California to sign up through June 30.
  • Consumers can enroll in as little as 30 minutes, either through CoveredCA.com or over the phone with the help of one of Covered California’s thousands of Certified Insurance Agents or enrollers.
  • In addition, Medi-Cal enrollment is open year-round for consumers who qualify.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced on Monday that 58,400 people had enrolled in health care coverage since the exchange announced a special- enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pace of sign-ups has been nearly three times the level that Covered California saw during the same period in 2019.

Back on March 23rd, I noted that while every other state-based ACA exchange has launched an official COVID-19-specific Special Enrollment Period, there are two ACA exchanges which have refused to do so. One of them is the mothership, HealthCare.Gov, which is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and which hosts a whopping 38 states. The other one is Your Health Idaho:

I contacted the exchange last week to see what the deal was re. a COVID-19 SEP and they kicked the ball over to the state Insurance Dept:

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is not currently considered grounds for a Special Enrollment Period in Idaho. Questions around the potential offering of an SEP would be best answered by the Idaho Department of Insurance. This really falls within their regulatory authority. YHI will follow their guidance and support whatever decision is made.

I did indeed contact the Idaho DOI, but I didn't hear back from them until today. Here's what they had to say:

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

via HealthSource RI:

Health Coverage Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Extended through April 30, 2020

  •  Special Enrollment Period has been extended through April 30th, 2020

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 13, 2020) — HealthSource RI has extended the limited-time Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that was established following Governor Raimondo’s State of Emergency declaration in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This SEP provides an opportunity for uninsured Rhode Islanders to purchase coverage through April 30, 2020. Coverage will begin on the first of the month following the application.

Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. When completing the online enrollment form, Rhode Islanders should select the “other” SEP event and indicate COVID-19 or coronavirus as the explanation. Once approved, customers will need to choose a plan and pay for their first month of coverage.

As I expected, the Nevada Health Link board just extended their existing #COVID19 Special Enrollment Period deadline out until May 15th:

The @NVHealthLink Board of Directors just approved of an extension to our Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period through May 15, 2020. If you or anyone you know needs insurance NOW is the time to get connected - https://t.co/7szDKShOd7 or call us at 1-800-547-2927 pic.twitter.com/Jlbpm2QXEw

— Heather K. (@HKORB) April 13, 2020

Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Extends Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period on Nevada Health Link

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

Just how deadly is COVID-19? The answer might seem obvious on the surface--divide the number of victims who die by the total number infected--but it's actually a lot more complicated than that. This isn't a particularly profound insight, but it's worth laying out the basics for the record.

As of this writing, according to Worldometers.Info (one of the most reliable, accurate sources of COVID-19 data), around 560,000 Americans have tested positive for the virus, of which around 22,000 have died. Officially, that's a mortality rate of 3.94%.

There's a lot of problems with both the numerator and denominator here, however. First, let's look at the numerator:

The official tally of COVID-19 victims who've died could be too high...or too low for any number of reasons:

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