Keep checking this entry starting at around 2:15pm (eastern, I think?) for March/April HHS report highlights.

(this assumes, of course, that I'm not wrong and they actually do release the report this afternoon...if I'm wrong, oops...)

OK, I was suckered about this a couple of weeks ago, but I'm pretty damned certain about it this time: The HHS Dept. should be releasing their official ACA exchange report for all of March (and almost certainly the first half of April) in about 2 hours (around 2:15pm).

The GOP will no doubt claim that they're "only" releasing the March/April data today in response to their asinine "67% paid" report from last night, but a) HHS has already issued a formal response (more on this below), and b) the March HHS report has been widely expected for almost 3 weeks now.

Last night, after the GOP House Energy & Commerce Committee issued a rather lame report claiming that "only 67%" of QHP enrollees via the Federal Marketplace (ie, HC.gov) had paid their premiums as of April 15th, I pointed out how embarrassingly flawed this report was, including the following vital points:

  • Their 67% figure assumed that all enrollees as of 4/15 were supposed to be due by 4/15 (in fact, only about 63% of the total enrollments were due by 4/15; the rest weren't due until yesterday, or even later depending on the insurance company)
  • Their "only 67%" claim flies in the face of public statements by the insurance companies themselves, who are quite clear that the actual paid percentages range anywhere from 80-95%
  • They curiously failed to include two states--Idaho and New Mexico--in their own state-by-state breakdown, even though both of those states were part of the Federal Marketplace for the 2014 open enrollment period (both are scheduled to switch to their own exchanges this fall, but that's irrelevant to the existing enrollments)
  • Even if the 67% figure was accurate for the 36 states on the federal exchange, the paid rates for the other 14 state-run exchanges (+DC) ranged from 68% - 100% as of 4/15, including WA & MA at 100%, CA at 85% (making up nearly 20% of the 8M total) and so on, meaning that the actual overall paid rate nationally as of 4/15 was considerably higher than 67%.

However, there's even more:

A nice little final-day wrap-up report out of Alaska: 13K on the exchange and another 2,700 off-exchange QHPs. Premera is part of BCBSA, so I can't double-count their off-exchange number, but Moda Health isn't:

About 13,000 Alaskans signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that closed March 31st. The two insurers offering plans on the exchange in Alaska shared their enrollment figures today with APRN. Moda Health says it has about 7700 healthcare.gov enrollees in Alaska and the company is still processing some additional sign ups.

Premera Alaska enrolled 5300 people on the exchange. Before the troubled launch of healthcare.gov, the company had hoped for more customers. But Premera spokesperson Melanie Coon is satisfied with the numbers:

“I think we readjusted our expectations. We’re very pleased with how enrollment went, based on the slow start to the exchange and… the last minute changes that were made where people could extend.”

An hour or so ago, the Republican Staff of the Committee on Energy & Commerce Republican, chaired by Republican Representative Fred Upton, issued a press release which claims that:

April 15, 2014, only 67 percent of individuals and families that had selected a health plan in the federally facilitated marketplace had paid their first month’s premium and therefore completed the enrollment process. 

OK, let's unpeel this onion slowly, shall we?

First of all, the press release makes it very clear that the enrollment data which they're talking about includes all enrollments on the Federal exchange through April 15. Note the following wording (emphasis mine):

Rhode Island's ACA Medicaid expansion was at around 65K a couple of weeks ago, so this is a nice small bump:

Through April 19, 70,243 people had signed up for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act rollout, according to state figures, with federal dollars paying for about two-thirds of those people and state and federal dollars roughly splitting the cost for the other third, because they were already eligible before Obamacare entered the picture.

There may be a few thousand more enrollments to come from Nevada, Colorado and so forth, but today, April 30, is about as definitive a date as we're gonna get for the wrap-up of the first Open Enrollment period under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, otherwise known as the ACA or Obamacare.

With that in mind, the time has come for me to officially declare my intentions for this website going forward.

My Medicaid spreadsheet currently estimates Illinois at roughly 200K "strict expansion" and another 115K "woodworkers". This article suggests that the woodworker number may be too high, but the "strict expansion" number may be dramatically low:

For the first time, low-income adults without children are eligible for government health coverage.

 In Illinois, officials expect that'll mean 350,000 new people in Medicaid. And that's not all.

 Julie Hamos, director of the Department of Health Care and Family Services, says the news reports and advertising and community outreach around the Obamacare deadline led to a separate spike.

 "We have 80,000 more than the usual enrollment of people who already were eligible, they just didn't sign up. But because of that activity in the communities, now they're signing up."

One More final update from Minnesota...

Enrollment update, as of end of day on Tuesday, April 29:

  • 206,157 Total Enrollments
  • 112,834 Medical Assistance
  • 50,549 QHP
  • 42,774 Minnesota Care

 

SHOP: 731 * 1.8 = 1,316

The first article is mainly a breakdown of off-exchange QHP enrollments across various Blue Cross companies; normally this would be something of a jackpot for me, but since the BCBSA had already stated that they had over 1.7 million off-exchange enrollments not including March or April, these numbers don't really help out much. What I really need at this point are state-by-state off-exchange QHP numbers (ideally through at least the end of March), and I don't see those coming anytime soon.

HOWEVER, the article does also give an updated overview of where the "But how many have PAID???" situation stands...or at least, where it stood as of February 1st:

According to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, between 80% and 85% of people who signed up for a Blues plan through a public exchange are paying their premiums. The percentage is based on a survey of member Blues plans as of Feb. 1. But individual Blues plans say that number is higher.

Hawaii's original CMS target was a piddly 9,000 exchange QHPs...believe it or not, they may just barely squeak over that line after all (although my own target for HI was 11,000, which they're almost certainly not gonna pull off...)

Total through April 26, 2014:

31,310 Applications completed in the Individual Marketplace
8,742 Individuals and families enrolled in the Individual Marketplace
576 Employers applied to SHOP Marketplace
628 Employees and dependents enrolled via SHOP Marketplace

Yes, yes, I know...the "official" open enrollment period "ended" on March 31st, and the "official" extension period ended on April 15th. However, there were a few exceptions to even that, including:

  • The 36 states run by HC.gov: If you submitted a paper application by 4/07, you have until today to complete your enrollment
  • Hawaii, DC and Oregon pushed out their official extension date until today
  • Other states such as CA, CO, CT, KY, MD, MA, MN, NY, RI, VT and WA have already shut down open enrollment, either on 3/31, 4/15 or 4/22

To my knowledge, after midnight tonight, that leaves only three states with any sort of options left:

  • Nevada has bumped their "started by 3/31" enrollment extension out until May 30.
  • Colorado is allowing people up until May 31st to complete their enrollments, but only if they applied for Medicaid but had their eligibility denied.
  • Massachusetts still has something like 270,000 people stuck in "Limbo Status" who may (?) have until June 30th to have their situations sorted out...not exactly sure what's going on with that, however.

Aside from that, the following exceptions hold true for every state:

Wow! I just updated this yesterday, but that number was from last week...(again, 36.3K of these were bulk-transfers already accounted for):

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Total Healthy Michigan Plan Beneficiaries: 158,654

*Statistics as of April 28, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

guest post by Esther Ferington

Recently, I've been puzzling over a question: what is all this "deadline creep" really telling us? Not just about the considerable burden it's placed on Charles Gaba in continuing this website, which is obviously no joke—but also about what's happening as the ACA rolls out. We've been watching deadline creep for at least a month now. And I think it's kind of a big deal.

Holy Cats. For a solidly Republican state which didn't expand Medicaid, Idaho has actually kicked some serious ass when it comes to ACA enrollments (then again, they're also one of only two states--New Mexico is the other one--which are planning on moving from HC.gov to their own state-run exchange next year, so perhaps it's not as surprising as all that). In any event, bravo to Idaho!

Dowd says the Congressional Budget Office wanted to have 40,000 Idahoans sign up through the exchange during the first six-month open-enrollment period. Your Health Idaho exceeded that target by more than 36,000 people.

...She doesn’t know how many of the 76,061 sign ups actually paid for their policies. She also doesn’t know how many of Idaho’s roughly 300,000 uninsured people signed up for a plan. She says finding out how many uninsured people sign up for coverage is a priority for Idaho and will be a question on the state’s portal during the next sign up period.

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