As I noted the other day, CoveredCA will be releasing (hopefully) completely updated ACA enrollment data, right up through Sunday night (1/11) in about a half an hour. So far they've only said that 144K new QHP enrollees have been added, and even that only includes 11/15 - 12/15. They haven't released any data on renewals of the 1.12 million 2014 enrollees yet, nor have they issued any further updates on new additions since Dec. 15th, 4 full weeks ago.
I've noted several times that I'm expecting them to announce roughly 960K renewals (active + automatic) from California, or around 85% of current enrollees to be renewed/re-enrolled. If that proves accurate, that would bring their 12/15 total up to around 1.1 million. That just leaves the new enrollments since 12/15.
Obviously the real unknown here is the renewal/autorenewal number. If it's fairly close to 85%, I should be pretty close on my total.
As I noted Saturday, CoveredCA is supposedly going to finally release their full, updated ACA enrollment data between now and Wednesday. So far they've only said that 144K new QHP enrollees have been added, and even that only includes 11/15 - 12/15. They haven't released any data on renewals of the 1.12 million 2014 enrollees yet, nor have they issued any further updates on new additions since Dec. 15th, 4 full weeks ago.
I've noted several times that I'm expecting them to announce roughly 960K renewals (active + automatic) from California, or around 85% of current enrollees to be renewed/re-enrolled. If that proves accurate, that would bring their 12/15 total up to around 1.1 million.
This article pretty mostly is a more in-depth explanation of the Medicaid/Medi-Cal situation in California that I wrote about the other day. However, the final line in the article also addresses my other post from a couple of days ago, asking when the heck CA and NY are going to release updated enrollment data (including renewals from 2014, which should account for around 960K in CA alone):
LA Times reporter Chris Megerian has posted an important story about California's looming healthcare budget crisis. It mostly deals with the headaches facing the state budget as it tackles major increases in both Medi-Cal (CA's name for Medicaid) and the cost of caring for public employee retirees, and is a good read for healthcare/budget wonks.
What caught my eye, however, was this line about halfway through:
Over the next year, total Medi-Cal enrollment is expected to reach 12.2 million, he said — about one-third of the state's population. It was less than 8 million in 2013.
Hmmm...that sounds a bit high to me, so I ran the numbers against my own current estimates and came up with the following:
The unreported renewals (both active and automatic) from California & New York, and
Another roughly 150,000 scattered amongst all 50 states & DC since the date of their most recent updates until today (which varies from as little as 1 day to as much as 25 days in the case of Idaho).
If you do the math, you'll see that the biggest missing piece here is the 3rd item above: Covered California and New York State of Health have, to date, still refused to give out any re-enrollment/renewal data for 2014 QHP enrollees. Not just autorenewal numbers, but active renewals as well.
As CoveredCA has noted before, they have no plans on posting renewed policy enrollments until January, but this at least gives data on the new additions:
COVERED CALIFORNIA AND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES RELEASE EARLY RESULTS FOR FIRST MONTH OF OPEN ENROLLMENT THROUGH HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE
Demand for Coverage Continues to Be Strong, with Applications Submitted for More Than 592,000 People Through Dec. 15
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — More than 592,000 people sought coverage and were determined eligible for private health insurance and eligible or likely eligible for Medi-Cal in the first month of open enrollment, Covered California and the California Department of Health Care Services announced Wednesday.
The consumers, who applied for coverage through Covered California since open enrollment began on Nov. 15, include 157,361 eligibility determinations and an additional 144,178 plan selections for private coverage, as well as 216,423 enrollments into Medi-Cal coverage and 74,965 who are likely eligible for Medi-Cal. So far in 2014, Medi-Cal has enrolled more than 2.2 million consumers.
As you can see from the graphic I posted yesterday (and had to revise several times throughout the day), the official enrollment deadline for private policies starting on January 1st, 2015 has now passed for all 37 states operating via HealthCare.Gov, as well as residents of DC, Hawaii and Kentucky. It's certainly possible that any or all of these will announce some sort of "special circumstances" allowance for those who didn't make the midnight cut-off (10pm in Alaska), but I'm assuming those would be done strictly on a case-by-case basis.
OK, so what about the remaining 11 states?
Well, 4 of them (MD, MA, RI & WA) had later deadlines for January coverage all along: Maryland on 12/18 (Thursday) and the other 3 on 12/23 (next Tuesday).
New York and Idaho bumped their deadlines out from yesterday until 12/20 (Saturday), although Idaho had previously claimed that their deadline was 12/23, but are now claiming that it was originally 12/15. I still don't understand what happened there, but so be it: 12/20 it is for ID.
California’s health insurance exchange extended its deadline for consumers wanting Obamacare coverage in effect by Jan. 1.
Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said people who start the application process or make some “good faith effort” by Monday will have until Dec. 21 to finish signing up. Monday at midnight had previously been the hard deadline.
“We are providing this window to get people across the finish line,” Lee said at an exchange board meeting Monday. “We know many of the people applying have never had insurance before, and these are individuals who need to sit down and talk with someone.”
Lee said many insurance agents and enrollment counselors were already fully booked with applicants Monday. He said the deadline extension will allow people to make appointments through Dec. 21.
A nice update out of California...but still a frustrating one. They held an executive board meeting today at which they posted an updated QHP selection total for 2015: 91,693 as of 12/11/14. Unfortunately, this still doesn't include any renewal data for existing enrollees.
As I noted last week, however, I'm extremely confident that CA's renewals/re-enrollments are running easily at the same rate (or potentially as high as 4x as many) as new additions, so I'm very comfortable doubling this number to at least 184,000 total QHP selections as of the 11th.
Just moments ago, CoveredCA head Peter Lee held a conference call in which he issued the first full 2015 open enrollment period data (until now, the only number released was 11,357 QHPs in the first 4 days...except that only included new enrollees, not renewals).
When I last checked in on ACA Medicaid expansion in California back in mid-September, it had reached a whopping 2.2 million...or possibly as high as 2.55 million, depending on whether the number included a massive backlog of 350,000 CA residents.
Well, it now seems that not only has that question been answered, but the grand total is a bit higher yet: 2.6 million low-income Californians can thank Obamacare for their newfound healthcare coverage:
The state Medi-Cal system has taken on 2.7 million more Californians since October 2013.
That's an increase of 31% from the 8.6 million previously enrolled. The jump brings the current number of Californians in the Medi-Cal program to 11.3 million -- roughly 30% of the state's population. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
There's been a lot of fuss made about 2015 ACA exchange premium rates not being available at Healthcare.Gov until after the election. The presumption, of course, is that this is being done for political reasons. While this may be true, it could also simply be that there's a lot of different policy figures to plug into the federal system, and some states haven't even finalized their rates yet.
That being said, residents of some states can check out the 2015 premiums now and compare them against their current premium:
IDAHO: Idaho is the only state moving from HC.gov to their own exchange. Idaho residents can check out their 2015 rates directly via the state exchange site.
CLARKSTON, WA – Leaders with Washington’s Health Care Exchange are preparing for the second open enrollment period, but at the same time they are still working on resolving billing and computer problems for 1,300 accounts from the first sign-up period.
This is very confusingly worded, because it makes it sound like all 3 companies have been operating on the HC.gov exchange when it turns out that only 2 of them have. Wellmark did not participate in the ACA exchange; the 19,000 customers referred to here have off-exchange policies which are still ACA-compliant:
Commissioner Nick Gerhart said today that he has approved premium increases from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CoOportunity Health and Coventry Health.