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.
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 Connecticut, 111,541 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 That's a total of 282,000 CT residents who would likely lose coverage if the ACA is fully repealed without a reasonable replacement on hand.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.
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).
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 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.”
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.
Access Health CT, the organization responsible for enrolling people in Obamacare, did not release numbers on how many people are enrolled in policies that take effect Jan. 1. Instead, they released a combined number of who's enrolled now and who will be enrolled next year: 113,161.
...Access Health CT noted that nearly 12,000 people who are currently enrolled are in plans that will not exist next year and are therefore not covered. They can still re-enroll, but they'll have a gap in coverage in January.
At this point in 2015, 100,314 people were scheduled to have Obamacare insurance coverage on Jan. 1, 2016.
I'm genuinely surprised by this. While deadline extensions and "overtime periods" were all the rage during the first two Open Enrollment Periods, there were only a handful of states which bumped their deadlines out last year, and I was honestly expecting every state to stick with their original dates this time around.
Today, in an article about the overall national numbers (mainly noting today's Week 5/6 Snapshot report), Kimberly Leonard of U.S. News & World Report cited a number I haven't seen elsewhere; I presume she simply called up the exchange directly. It seems about right to me:
Open enrollment began a week before Election Day, and several states reported that they didn't begin running ads until after that, saying they didn't want to compete with the attention the election was getting and noting that space sold during that time was particularly expensive.
That was the choice for Colorado, where enrollment is 16.3 percent higher than last year, totalling 50,207 people.
In addition, Leonard provides a couple of quick updates/corrections for some other states:
“The deadline to have coverage starting the first of the year is this week,” said CEO Wadleigh. “We’re seeing huge numbers of people enrolling – which is amazing. We want people to have coverage, that’s for sure. But what we want most of all is for Connecticut to be healthy. We’re on the right track – we’ve seen over 16,000 people sign up for 2017 coverage since November 1st.”
The Connecticut ACA exchange, AccessHealthCT, issued a press release today reminding Connecticut residents in general of the December 15th deadline for January 1st coverage. They also stressed, however, that while most current enrollees will be automatically renewed into either their existing policy, there are about 26,000 current enrollees who can't be auto-renewed because their carrier is leaving the exchange in 2017:
On December 1st, AHCT’s automatic renewal process began. The AHCT eligibility system will automatically enroll into 2017 coverage customers who have selected auto-renew and whose plans are still available. “But, there are 26,000 people who currently have coverage through AHCT who cannot auto-renew and must take action to renew their 2017 plans,” Wadleigh noted. Wadleigh reminds all customers “they should shop around and compare your options for 2017– that’s the purpose of the marketplace.”
As I've noted before, Connecticut has an unusual policy for reporting 2017 QHP selections. Instead of reporting the number of renewing enrollees + new additions, they start out by assuming every current enrollee will be renewed for the upcoming year, add the new additions and the subtract those who actively choose not to renew their policy. Technically, this makes it look like Connecticut has already broken 100,000 enrollees for 2017--over 80% of their enrollment target number--even though we're only 4 weeks into the enrollment period. As a result, I can't really give an accurate "enrolled for 2017" number until the third week of December, when every state has officially entered their autorenewed enrollees into the system.