Hot off the presses...

During the first eight weeks of open enrollment, 121,650 people enrolled in private coverage through Connect for Health Colorado and 47,724 in Medicaid and 2,272 in CHP+.  Connect for Health Colorado also enrolled 20,580 individuals in dental plans.
“The enrollments in Medicaid and Connect for Health Colorado show that Coloradans are attuned to the importance of having health insurance coverage,” said Susan Birch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “Whether Coloradans have health insurance coverage through private insurance or through Medicaid, health coverage is the first step to better health.”  

Colorado's last update ran through New Year's Eve, totalling 113,864 QHP enrollees, or 362 per day since the 12/15 deadline. That gives a nice apples-to-apples comparison to the new number (7,786 higher), which averages 519 per day...up over 40% per day since the holiday period.

This Just In...

Connect for Health Colorado® and Colorado Medicaid Report Enrollment Gains

Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Curtis Hubbard,, 303-908-2378 (Connect for Health Colorado)
Marc Williams,,  303-866-3144  (Colorado Medicaid)

DENVER, CO – Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31, more than 151,000 Coloradans enrolled in healthcare coverage for 2015, either in Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) or in private health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace, according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.


...The initial six weeks of open enrollment saw a total of 113,864 enrollments in private coverage through Connect for Health Colorado (20,790 people new  to the Marketplace and 93,074 re-enrollments from 2014); 35,981 in Medicaid; and 1,517 in CHP+.  Connect for Health Colorado also enrolled 19,068 individuals in dental plans.

A nice, no-BS, pretty comprehensive enrollment update out of Colorado:

DENVER, CO – In the first month of Open Enrollment, 136,315 Coloradans enrolled in healthcare coverage for 2015, either in Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) or in commercial health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace, according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

“These initial sign-ups during this first month were consistent with our projections and culminated with a single-day record of 12,600 enrollments on December 15th,” said Connect for Health Colorado Interim CEO Gary Drews. “It’s also important to remember that it’s not too late for people to purchase health insurance for 2015. Open enrollment continues until February 15th.”

Dec. 15 was the deadline for individuals and families to select plans for coverage to begin on Jan. 1. Connect for Health Colorado will continue working with those who started their application by Dec. 15 to help finish it so they can be covered by the New Year. Customers also have to take the last step to ensure their coverage: make the first payment on time.

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.

Until now, I've relied on states like Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont, which have given out frequent 2015 enrollment updates, to point out how impressive the enrollment stats have been this time around; Maryland and Vermont are currently running at nearly 5x their 2014 pace, while Massachusetts is adding people at an astonishing 10x their 2014 rate.

However, these are pretty misleading, because all 3 of those states had such Godawful websites last year that it didn't take much to outperform this year.

Instead, consider states whose exchanges were already doing pretty well out of the gate last year, such as Colorado:

On the surface, this looks pretty good, but nothing jaw-dropping. 24,811 in 27 days is 919/day, or about a 50% improvement over 2014's 627/day.

However, break it out between the first 16 days and the next 11 and it's a different story:

Colorado's first official enrollment report is simple, to the point, and includes not only new Medicaid/CHIP data after all (I was concerned that they'd stopped doing so, but apparently not), but also includes a handy 2015 vs. 2014 comparison chart, the SHOP number and even the number of QHP enrollees receiving tax credits/cost sharing!

In fact, the only gripes I have here are the lack of a new vs. renewal breakout (which it looked like they were going to include at first). They also don't include Medicaid/CHIP for 2014, but I already know that number went up 310K so far this year.

OK, technically not all of these are due specifically to ACA Medicaid expansion, but the majority of them should be, based on past reports. Unfortunately, it's my understanding that the Colorado exchange has decided to stop including Medicaid expansion data with their reports; hopefully this isn't the case, but assuming it is, this is the best I can do for now.

According to the CO Dept. of Healthcare Policy, as of October, the combined Medicaid/CHIP enrollment was 1,172,793:

In October 2014, there were 1,120,120 Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and 52,673 Coloradans enrolled in CHP+.

Back in December 2013 (just prior to the expansion provision), Colorado had 862,549 people in these programs, a difference of 310,244. 

I'm estimating that perhaps 40,000 of these are "woodworkers", the other 270K or so strict expansion.

According to, roughly 332,000 Coloradans are eligible for the expansion program.

This story from the 27th isn't an official number, but it's consistant with the formal press release from a few days earlier which had CO's tally at 6,144 as of 11/22:

Enrollment in Connect for Health Colorado, a health-insurance exchange, opened Nov. 15, and more than 8,000 people are already enrolled. Only about 200 people had enrolled during the same period last year, according to a release from Connect for Health Colorado.

...Many residents re-enrolled this month, he said, and there are a “significant” number of new enrollees.

Colorado becomes the 14th state with at least partial enrollment data, and as with every other state so far, the opening numbers are very, very good:

State health insurance exchange officials on Monday said 6,144 people have signed up in the first eight days of open enrollment for 2015, well ahead of last year's pace of 204.

The 6,144 sign-ups were predominantly renewals — 4,400 people re-enrolling though Connect for Health Colorado, according to its interim chief executive, Gary Drews.

...Among this year's enrollees, Drews said, 3,400 are receiving financial assistance.

The 936 people who have signed up for dental insurance since Nov. 15 compares favorably with the 87 dental plan enrollments for this period in 2013.

Also glad to see CO breaking out the renewal/new numbers; it'd be a nice touch if every state did so.

Connect for Health Colorado has just released their final ACA exchange report prior to the 2015 open enrollment period starting up (it runs through October 31st). The top of the line numbers aren't surprising: 2,206 more people enrolled in private QHPs last month, while the SHOP (small business policy) enrollment total went up a mere 4 people (from 2,517 to 2,521).

The QHP rate was 71 per day in October, down from 126 per day from May through September and from 627 per day during the 2014 open enrollment period. This is hardly surprising; a lot of people are likely to decide to "stick it out" for the final 1-2 months of the year and wait until Nov. 15th to enroll in a policy that kicks in on January 1st instead of going through the trouble of enrolling in a policy that will have to be renewed or changed a month or so later anyway.

COLORADO: Exchange COO joins exodus, new system late

Colorado’s 2.0 “Kentucky-style” system that is supposed to simplify the way people get health insurance won’t be ready until days before the Nov. 15 open enrollment starts.

And as Colorado’s health exchange enters its busy season, a third “chief” has announced she’s leaving Connect for Health Colorado. Chief Executive Patty Fontneau departed in August. Chief Financial Officer Cammie Blais left two weeks ago. And Chief Operating Officer Lindy Hinman announced her resignation and plans to leave next month after open enrollment begins.

VIRGINIA: Funds to help Va. health care coverage signups

Virginia is getting $9.3 million in federal funding to help residents sign up for health insurance.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the money will help hire more than 100 people to help with enrollment that runs from Nov. 15 through Feb. 15.

Some fun with numbers.

As I predicted in early September, Part Two of the "OMG!! GAZILLIONS OF POLICIES CANCELLED!!" freakout has commenced with 3 weeks to go before the election. Case in point: Colorado, where the state Insurance Commissioner sent a letter to "state Senate Republicans" yesterday (I'm going to assume that this was in response to their request, as opposed to the Commissioner voluntarily choosing to only inform the Republicans specifically) stating that a total of 22,000 policies are scheduled for cancellation due to non-compliance with ACA provisions:

Over 22,000 Coloradoans have had their health insurance canceled by Obamacare in the past month — and 200,000 are slated to be shut down in 2015, the state insurance department announced Friday.

The Colorado Division of Insurance wrote to state Senate Republicans Friday, notifying them that five more insurance carriers have ended plans for 18,783 more Coloradoans in just the last month. By far, the most canceled plans will come from Humana Insurance Company and Humana Health Plan.

Colorado's official monthly metrics report is out, and shows that while off-season QHP additions have started to drop off as we approach the 2nd Open Enrollment period, they're still within my estimated range of 20-25% of the on-season rate.

Meanwhile, SHOP enrollments have inched above the 2,500 mark to sit at 2,517 covered lives as of the end of September.

OK, the number-crunching gets a little complicated here, and isn't helped by some sloppy wording on the part of the reporter (though it's a highly useful article overall).

First, let's start with the headline: "Thirty-percent attrition bites into exchange revenues"

Health exchange managers expect to lose about 30 percent of enrollees due to attrition by year’s end.

That means they’ll carry over about 114,000 existing customers as they head into the 2015 open enrollment season.

Connect for Health Colorado managers expect enrollments to slide back from a total of 146,000 so far.

...Of the 146,000 people who signed up by the end of August, exchange managers said 10 percent dropped out right away, never paying their first month’s premium. Then about 20 percent more leave in subsequent months.

At first glance, my headline above might seem to have a typo; according to the story itself, the actual increase is a whopping...1.18%, nearly a full percent higher! Busted, right?

Health insurance premiums next year will increase only about 1.18 percent on average statewide next year.

That’s according to the Colorado Division of Insurance after it reviewed and approved 1,072 health insurance plans from 20 carriers that will offer health coverage to consumers and small businesses next year.

However, when I read the actual report from the Colorado Insurance Division, it's even better than that: