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.
Hmm...Last week Maryland finally reported their Paid/Unpaid numbers (54% paid); this week they didn't for whatever reason. Anyway, their total QHPs are up from 38,070 to 40,693, an increase of 2,623 since March 1st.
On the Medicaid side, they've decided to bundle together the 96K PAC transferees with the "normal" new Medicaid enrollees for whatever reason. Subtracting out the PAC number gives 97,781 through March 11th, a very impressive 37% (26,332) gain since Feb. 25th.
From October 1, 2013, through March 8, 2014, there have been more than a million unique visitors to the Maryland Health Connection website. 186,268 Marylanders have created identity- verified accounts. Through March 8, 40,693 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.
As of March 11, 193,670 individuals have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid. This includes the 95,889 PAC enrollees who were automatically converted on January 1, 2014 to full Medicaid coverage.
UPDATE: CNBC Reports that 2 additional states (well, one state, Minnesota, as well as DC, anyway) have released their paid/unpaid data; the chart has been updated below, which changes...nothing really; Minnesota is at 90% while DC is at 75%, and Vermont's paid rate has apparently fallen from 85 to 59%...between the three they seem to have cancelled each other out.
I've written about the "But How Many Have PAID???" issue many times before, but going into the final stretch, I wanted to explain my reasoning as clearly as possible.
The following chart only includes states which have broken out Paid vs. Unpaid Enrollments. If you only use these 9 states as a guideline, it looks like the paid rate is around 80%:
Connecticut continues to Do It Right®. Not only have they broken their own combined goal by 60%, they're also now 37% past their fair share of the CBO's original 7 million QHP figure. The exchange's CEO is quoted in the article as saying that CT doesn't expect to see much of a "March surge", but that isn't too concerning to me--they're already doing fantastic, so any enrollment rate increase wouldn't be as dramatic by comparison anyway.
Oh, yeah--and 92% of all of their enrollees to date are paid up, even more impressive considering that this should include people whose policies don't even start until April.
In Connecticut, 160,580 people have enrolled in coverage through Access Health CT, surpassing the exchange's self-imposed goal of 100,000 people. Counihan said roughly 62,000 of those who enrolled signed up for one of three private health plans represented on the exchange. Most of the remainder signed up for some form of Medicaid.
Considering that their exchange website is still a complete mess, Oregon is actually doing a pretty good job of processing enrollments (not sure how many of these are newly added or reducing the backlog of older ones, not that it matters). Private QHPs are up almost 2,800 over last week, and Medicaid enrollees are up over 8,700.
In fact, so far, Oregon's March QHP enrollment rate (526/day) is actually nearly triple what it was in February (179/day). If every state were to pull this off, the total would actually surpass 7 million after all, though that doesn't seem likely at the moment.
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon
Total: 145,941 Private insurance: 45,119
Oregon Health Plan: 100,822
Earlier today, contributor Esther Ferington brought an old New York Times article from last October to my attention. The article is actually about off-exchange enrollments as an option to using the exchanges, but the opening line of the story includes an interesting snippet:
WITH so much attention being paid to the troubled debut of the Obama administration’s health insurance exchanges, another alternative has largely gone unnoticed: unless you live in Washington, D.C., or Vermont, you can also buy insurance outside the exchanges — by going directly to insurance brokers, agents or company Web sites.