END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Connecticut

A small update out of Connecticut today; AccessHealthCT last reported just over 90,000 QHP selections as of November 30th, with 11,000 current enrollees who hadn't selected a 2018 policy yet. Today they've updated that to 92,041 QHPs as of this morning, leaving 9,380 left to renew.

This means they added 1,613 more people in the past week, but the pool of current enrollees dropped by 1,675, which means that at least a small number have actively cancelled their policies altogether. Looked at another way, the number of new enrollees has increased by 3,211 (from 11,749 to 14,960), which means that, again, a couple thousand current enrollees who either actively (or were passively) auto-renewed have since gone back into the system and changed their mind and cancelled their 2018 plans. This is normal, especially for the states which "front-load" auto-renewals before the December deadline passes.

Access Health CT has just posted their full November enrollment numbers: 90,428 QHP selections thru 11/30, of which 13% are new enrollees.

For comparison, last year they enrolled 111.5K people, so they've hit 81% of their 2017 number and 78% of their 2016 number.

They've also done something interesting: They're listing the 11,055 current enrollees who haven't actively re-enrolled as of yet. If every one of them did so (they won't), that would bring the grand total up to 101.4K.

Not much of an update, but good to see a hard number officially posted at AccessHealthCT (I assume they'll be updating this regularly from the looks of it):

 

No precise numbers yet, but this tweet from Access Health CT gives the key numbers:

To date, over 17K CT residents have enrolled in a plan for 2018 - with 6K new to #AHCT. #shopshopshop #AHCTBoDMeeting #GetCoveredCT

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) November 16, 2017

Assuming "to date" includes yesterday (11/15), this gives us a perfect year over year comparison; last year AccessHealthCT had 16,085 people enroll in Qualified Health Plans in the first 15 days (9,455 renewals + 6,630 new), so they appear to be up about 6% year over year so far.

via Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post:

That same day in Connecticut [Wednesday, Nov. 1st], 1,596 residents enrolled in qualified health plans on the state exchange while another 2,293 people either completed Medicaid applications or determined that they were eligible for that program. Access Health CT CEO Jim Wadleigh said in a statement that the state’s call center and website experienced a 15 percent increase in volume compared to opening day last year.

Not much to add here; last year the first enrollment number I had for Connecticut didn't show up until halfway through November (about 16,000 selections in 15 days), but that doesn't give me much to compare with for the first day only. Still, the 15% traffic increase is a good thing.

I ran an updated analysis of the requested average rate hikes for Connecticut last month. At the time, the only two carriers operating on the CT exchange next year (Anthem and ConnectiCare) were still noncommittal about actually committing to doing so. Statewide, it looked like the carriers were asking for rate increases averaging around 23.8% if CSR payments were guaranteed or 33.5% if they weren't.

As reported by Louise Norris today, the Connecticut insurance dept. reported that both carriers have now committed to sticking around next year, and the approved average rate increases now assume that CSR payments won't be made after all. In the end, the statewide average looks like roughly 28.4% (Norris pegs it at 29.3%, but that's because she generally only includes individual market carriers participating on the ACA exchanges, while I also include carriers and plans offered off-exchange as well).

As noted in the Virginia and Maryland updates, I've started going through the earlier state rate filings and revising them to include:

  • Updated/revised carrier rate filings;
  • Additional market withdrawls and/or expansions;
  • Corrections to CSR factor impact, etc.

The original versions of each state writeup includes screen shots of the actual filing documents and explainers behind specific requests; I don't have time for that with most of the updates, so I'm bundling several states together. Here's Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont's revisions:

UPDATE: As I've been warning for months, several carriers have now openly stated that perhaps 40% of their requested rate hike is due specifically to concerns about the Trump administration & the GOP's ongoing sowing of confusion and outright sabotage of the ACA and the individual market.

Connecticut is the 3rd state to post their initial 2018 rate filings.

Unlike most states, Connecticut did all the legwork for me, making it incredibly easy to plug the numbers into a spreadsheet for weighted average (requested, unsubsidized) rate hikes for both the individual and small group markets:

In Connecticut111,541 people selected Qualified Health Plans during the 2017 Open Enrollment Period. Of these, 76% are receiving financial assistance; of those, I estimate around 69,000 will actually pay their premiums and receive significant tax credits. In addition, the CT Dept. of Social Services just confirmed 213,000 CT residents enrolled in Medicaid via ACA expansion. That's a total of 282,000 CT residents who would likely lose coverage if the ACA is fully repealed without a reasonable replacement on hand.

For the individual market, my standard methodology applies:

Over the past few weeks I've compiled increasingly solid evidence (supported by a separate analysis by David Anderson of Balloon Juice) showing that yes, a significant portion of the reduced 2017 ACA exchange enrollment was due specifically to sabotage efforts on the part of Donald Trump and the GOP.

I've mainly focused on the last-minute "ad kill" stunt pulled by the Trump administration, in which they yanked millions of dollars worth of TV ads reminding people fo the deadline during the critical last 5 days, and the evidence is pretty telling: Enrollment across the 39 states run through the federal exchange (HC.gov) dropped by about 5% from last year, while enrollment on the other 12 state exchanges increased by over 2% (there's still final enrollment data to be added from ID, MN, RI & VT).

The reason this is so significant is that the state exchanges have their own marketing budgets, ad campaigns, outreach efforts and most significantly, branding. Ads promoting "Covered California" are gonna have a far bigger impact on enrollment for the residents of CA than ads for "HealthCare.Gov". There's some residual effect, because some people visit HC.gov first and are then redirected to CoveredCA from there, but for the most part, the state exchange branding is completely separate. (As an aside, this can sometimes have negative consequences, as in the case of "kynect" in Kentucky, which did such a bang-up job of isolating their brand from "Obamacare" that most of the state hasn't the foggiest idea that the two were the exact same law, but that's a separate discussion).

Access Health CT, the Connecticut ACA exchange, just announced their final OE4 enrollment numbers; they're down about 3.9% year over year:

LT. GOVERNOR WYMAN, ACCESS HEALTH CT ANNOUNCE 2017 OPEN ENROLLMENT NUMBERS
111,524 Residents Enrolled Through Access Health CT; 13,791 are New to the Exchange

(HARTFORD, Conn.) – Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Chair of the Board of Access Health CT (AHCT), and AHCT CEO Jim Wadleigh today announced that the state’s health insurance exchange enrolled 111,524 residents during the 2017 Open Enrollment Period, which ended at midnight on January 31, 2017.  Of those enrollees, 13,791 consumers are brand new to the exchange. In addition, 5,000 people came through AHCT seeking dental coverage and 1,467 enrolled in health coverage through the Small Business Program.

It may seem a little silly to keep posting these tiny individual-state updates with everything going on at the moment, but every enrollee counts. Access Health CT held their monthly board meeting yesterday and posted some noteworthy data/policy points.

The irony is that this is exactly how the ACA should be being handled by Congress and the President: By using actual hard data and logic, problem-solving, fixing what's broken and improving upon what isn't.

...none of which seems to mean a damned thing to Trump or the Trumpublican Party.

107,736 have enrolled in a QHP for 2017. That includes 12k new customers. #AHCTBoDMeeting

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) January 26, 2017

Last year, 50% of #AHCT customers used broker to enroll. This year, only 25%. #AHCTBoDMeeting

Another 1,578 people have selected exchange QHPs via Access Health CT since the last update on January 12th:

ACCESS HEALTH CT ENROLLS 106,891 CONSUMERS IN HEALTH INSURANCE
1,192 enrolled in dental care, 1,519 enrolled through the Small Business Program

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 20, 2017) – Today, Access Health CT (AHCT) CEO Jim Wadleigh announced that 106,891 individuals have enrolled in health insurance in 2017. In addition, 1,192 individuals enrolled in dental coverage and 1,519 enrolled via the Small Business Program.

“As we head towards the final days of Open Enrollment, which ends on January 31st, we want to remind Connecticut residents that Access Health CT offers many ways to get free help choosing a plan,” said AHCT CEO Jim Wadleigh. “We are also very happy to see people taking advantage of the dental coverage we offer.”

Last week I noted that I overestimated the number of QHP selections in Connecticut by 9,900 (oops). Today they've reported that 818 of that gap has since been made up:

AHCT ANNOUNCES 105,313 CUSTOMERS ENROLLED IN 2017 HEALTH INSURANCE -  

CALL CENTER HOURS FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HOLIDAY

Call Center will be open Sunday, January 15 instead of Monday, January 16 in honor of Martin Luther King Holiday

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 13, 2017) - Today, Access Health CT (AHCT) CEO Jim Wadleigh announced that 105,313 people are enrolled for 2017 coverage as of January 12th.  In addition, Wadleigh announced that the AHCT Call Center will be open on Sunday, January 15th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and closed on Monday, January 16th for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Oops. Last week I reported that Access Health CT appeared to state that they had a total of 114,421 QHP selections during the current open enrollment period. The wording was slightly squirrelly ("currently active for 2016 and/or 2017"), especially since I also knew there were around 12,000 existing enrollees who still hadn't chosen a new policy...but an earlier update had given the number as "around 113,000" in a seemingly less-confusing way, so I assumed that all 114,421 applied to 2017.

It turns out I may have been wrong after all:

ACCESS HEALTH CT ENROLLS 104,495 SO FAR FOR 2017 HEALTHCARE COVERAGE
Consumers have until January 31, 2017 to sign up for coverage

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