Recently there was a nonsense survey published by Bankrate which tried to claim that half of the 6.7 million current ACA exchange enrollees have no intention of sticking with the exchanges. What made this particular survey particularly stupid was that it included anyone who had visited one of the exchange websites, not just those who actually, you know, enrolled in a policy through one.
A couple of days ago, a new poll from Morning Consult, which actually surveyed those who are enrolled through the ACA exchanges came up with much more sensible results:
A majority of voters who purchased insurance from an exchange intend to keep their plan for 2015, according to a new poll.
Morning Consult polling found that compared with three months ago, more respondents say they will keep their insurance plans next year. Fifty-two percent of registered voters say they’ll continue with their coverage, compared with 44 percent in September polling.
I posted Connecticut's first week QHP & Medicaid numbers a few days ago. However, thanks to Dan Mangan providing a direct link to the press release itself, I can now add one other data point: SHOP (Small Business) exchange enrollments already have over 1,000 enrolled employees in just the first week of the 2nd Open Enrollment period (1,003 to be precise)!
To get a sense of how dramatic this is, consider that as of July, Access Health CT had only 602 total covered lives in SHOP plans. The distinction between employees and total lives is important, since the latter assumes perhaps 2-3 individuals covered for each employee enrolled.
In other words, 1,003 employees covered likely means perhaps 1,500 - 2,000 actual people covered by those policies...which means that in just one week, Connecticut may already have tripled the total people enrolled in SHOP plans for the full 2014 period.
I've been thinking about this a lot over the weekend. My prior estimate of QHP enrollments through the first week of the 2015 Open Enrollment period (enrollments being defined as "number of covered lives via plans selected, whether the first premium has been paid yet or not") stood at 212,000 "or more". I included the "or more" because some of the state data was not only partial, but only covered a single insurance company within that state. In addition, in some cases the data I have only covers renewals or new enrollments as opposed to both.
So, it's been 3 days since the Great #DentalGate story broke (yes, I'm abandoning my efforts to make #ObamaDentata the Officially Accepted Stupid Media Label for this incident...no one else seems to be running with it, so it seems that slapping "-Gate" onto every scandal/alleged scandal in politics is inescapable these days).
When Alex Wayne of Bloomberg News asked for my response before he broke the story publicly, I said that, assuming the story was accurate, I was "appalled". I stand by that response, because I am appalled regardless of whether it was done deliberately or by mistake.
Unfortunately, there aren't any specific enrollment numbers given out in this article, but the 3rd paragraph includes a hell of an eye-opener...especially given that this is in deep-red South Carolina:
Last year, insurance agents and federally funded navigators were sitting around their computers, hoping to get into the balky website in the first few weeks after it went online on Oct. 1. When they were able to log in, the system moved at a snail’s pace. The rollout was viewed as a disaster for the Obama administration and the early implementation of the insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
This year, the problem has been finding enough time to help the early rush of people who want to either shop for the best policy or go ahead and enroll. At Richland Library, the appointments for enrollment help are booked through the end of November.
OK, not an exact number, but this story ran on 11/20, the 6th day of 2015 open enrollment, so...
Nevada Health Co-op, based in Las Vegas, was created to offer affordable health insurance, and to compete with other companies offering insurance in our state. Since open enrollment began Saturday, the Nevada Health Co-op has been very busy.
Director of Business Development Patti McCoy says they have been enrolling about 100 people a day.
Again, like my initial entries for Illinois and Oregon, this is only for a single insurer out of several operating in the state, so the actual QHP enrollment number is likely considerably higher.
Like the Illinois item, this is only a very partial number because it only relates to the first 2 days for a single insurance provider, but it's better than nothing:
Dr. Ralph Prows, CEO of Oregon's Health CO-OP, said his plan tallied about 500 enrollments during the opening weekend and has not experienced any problems with the back-end process for receiving enrollment data from the exchange.
Oregon and Nevada's data numbers should be interesting to watch since they both dumped their own exchange sites in favor of the federal one at HC.gov, of course...
Looks like New Hampshire is switching from "standard" Medicaid expansion to an Arkansas-like "Private Medicaid Option" program next year...and it includes an enrollment update:
"This waiver is an important part of our efforts to improve the health and financial well-being of Granite State families, businesses and communities through our bipartisan health care expansion plan, "Governor Hassan said. " Almost 24,000 Granite Staters have the security that comes with quality, affordable health insurance because of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, and if approved, this waiver will allow these people to choose private insurance on the health insurance marketplace."
...The purchase of Qualified Health Plans via the marketplace will be paid for with 100 percent federal funds through December 31, 2016.
Through the 19th of November, 23,975 New Hampshire citizens had enrolled in the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.
4,107 individuals have newly enrolled or renewed their enrollment in a qualified health plan.
735 individuals have enrolled in Medicaid
First, that QHP number is excellent.
As for the Medicaid number, it looks rather low. On the other hand, KY has probably already enrolled just about everyone in the state who qualifies for the ACA expansion program, so perhaps not...there may just not be that many more to add at this point!
On the other hand, according to their Twitter feed....
During #kynect's 2nd Open Enrollment, 4k+new accounts created; 15k+ applications submitted; over 4k enrolled in QHPs & 16k+ in Medicaid.
Hah...I knew I should've waited a couple more hours to send out the newsletter for the evening...
In the first week of open enrollment, 2,659 new customers signed up for private insurance plans and 8,945 people signed up for Medicaid through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange.
To reiterate: This is new enrollees only, not renewals:
The figures include people who had not previously had coverage through Access Health. The exchange did not release the number of people who currently have coverage through the exchange and signed up for 2015 coverage.
Oh, yeah, and I'm guessing that #ObamaDentata will mean more clarifications of this nature going forward:
Separately, 123 people signed up for dental coverage sold through the exchange.
Well, there's your transparancy improvement, folks...
Earlier today, in response to #ObamaDentata, Investor's Business Daily wrote an editorial in which they accused the HHS Dept. of flat-out "lying with statistics".
The first part of the piece lays out the basics: HHS claimed the number enrolled in QHPs was 7.3M in August & 7.1M in October, but it was revealed yesterday that the numbers were actually 6.97M in August and 6.7M in October...with the difference being 393,000 dental plans which were effectively double-counted:
This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell admitted that her agency had accidentally counted those who'd signed up for stand-alone dental benefits in its health insurance numbers, padding its latest enrollment data by nearly 400,000 — or 6%.
OK, the data is very limited (only 9 states...I left Illinois off because that only includes a single insurance company in the state), and it only runs through the first few days for some states (in fact, Hawaii is only part of the first day), but this at least gives me a starting point to work with.
Based, again, on extremely limited/partial numbers, it's looking like the national total in the first week may be twice as many as the entire first month last year. Amazing what a difference working websites can make...
Anyway, this chart is obviously going to jump around a lot as more numbers come in, and will likely increase dramatically as we approach December 15th...and then again as we approach February 15th. This is where it starts, though.
UPDATE 11/22/14:Only a few hours after I posted this, I received partial data from Kentucky & Connecticut which bumped my estimate for Week 1 even more, to at least 212,000 QHPs.
OK, this is excellent. Minnesota has not only updated their official Enrollment Update page for the first time since #OE2 started, they've also clarified exactly when it will be updated (over the off-season it was scattershot, although they sometimes updated it daily:
Latest Enrollment Numbers
November 21, 2014
MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.
Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 4,119
MinnesotaCare 1,215 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 2,551
That's 2,551 QHPs in (less than) 7 days, or 364 per day so far.
For comparison, last year they averaged 242 per day (and remember, that included the massive spikes in December and late March/early April).
Plus, of course, we have the reset Medicare/MinnesotaCare numbers to plug in.