A couple of weeks ago there was much ado about a new Commonwealth Fund survey which found that nationally, the uninsured rate had been cut by 25% (from 20% down to 15%). Well, buried in that study was this bit about California specifically:
The percentage of uninsured Californians has been cut in half since the federal health law began expanding coverage nine months ago, according to a new national survey.
In September of 2013, 22 percent of California adults were uninsured. By last month, that number had fallen to just 11 percent, the biggest drop among the nation’s six largest states.
After yesterday's flood of updates, I'm taking a moment to give a shout-out to Chris Savage. He's currently running a fundraiser to help support Eclectablog, the Michigan-centric political site which deserves far more attention than this one. Eclectablog isn't primarily healthcare-related (although there are occasional ACA-related pieces by Amy Lynn Smith and LOLGOP from time to time), but it would mean a lot to me if readers of this site would lend a hand to that one.
Full disclosure: Not only is Chris a friend and colleague, he also happens to be one of my hosting clients, so in that sense this may be a bit self-serving.
Now, this is noteworthy because according to an earlier update, as of around a week earlier, the state had reported adding "between 2,000 - 3,000" exchange QHP enrollees between the end of open enrollment on 3/31 (WA did not offer an extension period) and May 27th; let's split the difference and call it 2,500. Add that to the official 3/31 total and you get around 166,500.
What accounts for the roughly 10,000 person difference? Well, the first number includes both enrollments and cancellations after the first month. Remember, Washington State only reports enrollments once the first month's premium has actually been paid, so these should be "clean" numbers.
WOW!! This article from last week is chock full of data-nuggety goodness, including the first solid updates out of Washington State in some time:
The share of Washingtonians going without health insurance has fallen by nearly 40 percent, thanks to factors put in play by the federal Affordable Care Act.
That’s the word from the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, which estimates that the overall 970,000 of uninsured residents had fallen by 38 percent to about 600,000. That drops the uninsured rate to 8.65 percent of the state, down from about 14 percent, OIC spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said Wednesday.
...OIC has said the individual market has grown to more than 327,000 – which was about 81,000 more insured people than were in the individual market on Oct. 1, the date that the Washington Health Benefit Exchange opened for enrollments for 2014 coverage. The individual market included 156,155 people buying private insurance policies through the exchange and 171,286 who bought policies outside the exchange.
Contributor deaconblues provides a very nice catch today: A story about Wisconsin's enrollment figures which gives all the tools necessary to calculate the state's total and paid QHP enrollments as well as the off-exchange total to boot...all without actually providing any of those numbers, which is kind of a neat trick!
Let's break it down:
Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has released information concerning the number of people that have acquired health insurance coverage as of June 1 of this year. The state’s Governor, Scott Walker, intends to cut the number of uninsured people throughout Wisconsin in half within the foreseeable future. According to state officials, the number of uninsured people in the state as of March of this year stood at 556,000.
Some 166,000 Wisconsin residents have purchased health insurance over the past several months, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Of these, some 134,000 people purchased coverage from the state’s health insurance exchange.
32,991 Applications completed in the Individual Marketplace 9,675 Individuals and families enrolled in the Individual Marketplace
675 Employers applied to SHOP Marketplace 1071 Employees and dependents enrolled via SHOP Marketplace*
* as of July 15, 2014
As I noted way back in October (seriously, I made a note of it at the bottom of the spreadsheet the very first week), the ACA situation in Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands is, to put it mildly, kind of screwed up. Due to some massive oversights, they were stuck with some of the ACA's provisions (no denials for pre-existing conditions, having to accept everyone, etc.), but didn't get the other key provisions (no exchanges, no subsidies). As a result, it's been a bit of a mess.
Thankfully, the problem has been "solved", although not quite the way the Obama administration intended:
Guam and the four other American territories got some good news this week: they will no longer be held hostage by a byzantine set of Obamacare rules and regulations.
As deaconblues notes, a mixed bag. Scott Walker kicked 63,000 people off of Medicaid, of which 38,000 weren't able to receive coverage of any sort. On the plus side, over 97,000 additional people were added to Medicaid coverage.
So, if I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like Wisconsin's Medicaid program added around 160,000 people but lost 63,000 to get the net of +97K.
Coverage ended in April for 62,776 people who earn too much to remain on Medicaid; they had until June 1 to buy the federally subsidized insurance offered through the federal online marketplace where applicants can shop for plans.
The new DHS numbers show that 30 percent, or nearly 19,000 people, purchased a plan through the exchange by the June deadline. Nearly 5,900 more, or 9 percent, either became Medicaid-eligible and received coverage through the state's BadgerCare Plus program or were enrolled in both Medicaid and the exchange.
Montana's official 4/19 exchange QHP tally was 36,584, of which I estimate around 33,000 have actually paid their first month's premium. Since MT has not expanded Medicaid, and is a sparsely-populated state, I only have them pegged with around 5,000 Woodworker enrollees, for a total of around 38,000 people.
Considering that the Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated the "previously uninsured" rate at only around 57% nationally, it's actually quite impressive that the net reduction in Montana's uninsured is 30,000; that suggests that for this state at least, it's closer to perhaps 79%:
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — About 30,000 more Montana residents are enrolled in a health insurance plan than were before the Affordable Care Act enrollment period took place, state officials said Tuesday.
State Insurance Office Deputy CommissionerAdam Schafer told a legislative panel his office surveyed the state's largest insurance companies to learn whether the number of uninsured decreased after the federal health care overhaul.
The good news: While Maryland's enrollment numbers are still way below their expectations due primarily to a screwed-up exchange website, they're continuing to crank out smaller numbers of enrollees, and have now hit the 75K milestone:
Maryland enrolled about 75,000 people in private health plans, about half as many as the state initially aimed to sign up in private insurance plans. However, the state ended up enrolling about 300,000 people through Medicaid. The Connecticut health exchange technology was chosen largely because it was effective and preserves Medicaid enrollments.
The 300K Medicaid number is impressive, but I already have that number plugged in so no changes there.
On the down side, MD's move to an all-new exchange website platform (purchased from Connecticut), while a welcome move, will also require everyone who's receiving subsidies to re-enroll this November:
I posted about Colorado's June enrollments a couple of weeks ago, but that was a rounded number and apparently was mixing in SHOP enrollees with QHPs. The official report has been released, and the numbers are a bit worse than I thought (though still impressive for off-season enrollment): 136,605 QHPs and 2,373 SHOP enrollments.
Arizona may not be adding Medicaid expansion recipients at nearly the same rate as states like Michigan, West Virginia and Arkansas, but they're doing a pretty good job; AZ is now up to over 192K people, or about 41% of the estimated 469K uninsured individuals who are eligible for Medicaid:
During the month of June, 19,736 were added to AHCCCS in the Proposition 204 Restoration Category (0-100% FPL) and 4,771 were added to Adult Expansion category. To date, 192,268 Arizonans have been added since January. The total AHCCCS population now stands at 1,552,186.
Yeah, yeah, I know...it's a bit stupid to set up a Facebook page now instead of, say, back in October, November, December...but whatever. I was encouraged by the response at Netroots Nation 2014 that there's still enough interest to keep the site not just running but running robustly, so here you go: The official ACA Signups Facebook Page.
Also, while I'm at it, I've established a separate Twitter account just for ACA Signups. I mainly did this to prevent any imposters from doing so, since so many people are already following @charles_gaba for ACA updates, but I'll probably start cross-posting at @ACASignups as well if enough people start following it.