I noted a few weeks ago that as many as 9 states are ramping up plans to reinstate one version or another of the ACA's just-repealed Individual Mandate. I concluded:
My only advice is that if they do take the political risk of imposing a mandate penalty, at least make sure it's more stringent than the one which was just repealed--I'd probably recommend making it something like the same cost as the least-expensive Bronze plan available on the exchange after whatever tax credits they'd otherwise have applied.
Well, I don't know about the details, but it looks like the District of Columbia, at least, is full-steam ahead:
Huh. Deadline extensions were fairly common in the first couple of years of Open Enrollment, but have mostly been phased out more recently. This is a bit unexpected from the DC Health Link:
.@MayorBowser has extended the deadline for individuals & families to enroll in quality affordable health insurance to Monday, February 5th at 11:59 pm. Take advantage of today's extended hours at enrollment centers across the city. Don't delay #GetCoveredDCpic.twitter.com/8R7zq0EzA1
As shown, the tally as of 1/8/18 is 21,352 QHP selections, slightly below last year's 21,437 as of the same date. Since DC (along with California and New York) are sticking with the full 3-month Open Enrollment Period, it should provide a good apples-to-apples comparison (and the fact that very few DC enrollees have CSR assistance also means there's a nominal CSR loading impact, either).
The final, official DC ACA exchange tally last year was 21,248, so technically speaking they've already surpassed that figure...but again, it was 21,437 as of 1/8/17, which means there were at least a few hundred people who were dropped off at the tail end due to cancelling or non-payment of their first premium.
I've just been sent a link to the first official update on ACA exchange enrollment in DC. It includes a whole mess of demographic data (click below for full-size version), but the main takeaway is near the top: 18,740 QHP selections as of December 5th (compared against December 8th of last year). With auto-renewals included, this year's tally is about 2% shy vs. last year, but again, those extra 3 days make a bigger difference than you might think, especially as we approach the mid-December deadline.
It's important to remember that DC, along with California and New York, is sticking with the full 3-month Open Enrollment Period this year, so residents will still have another 6 weeks after 12/15 to sign up for coverage starting in either February or March.
Washington, D.C. – The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) approved health insurance plan rates for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2018.
Insurers filed their initial rates with the Department in May. Since then, DISB engaged in its rate review process resulting in two out of the four insurers revising their rates down from their initial filings, one as much as half of what was proposed. The Department also held a public hearing during the rate review process to allow residents to provide input in the rate review process.
The District of Columbia is the 6th state (OK, it's not a state but it's considered one legislatively for purposes of the ACA) to post their initial 2018 rate filings (h/t to Louise Norris for the heads up). For 2017, the weighted average rate increase for the individual market was a mere 7.3%, highly unusual for this year, while the small group market increase was almost non-existent: Just 0.4% overall.
I've been cautioned that these numbers are preliminary, but that's true of all of the "final" enrollment numbers to date; there are often minor clerical corrections and the like before the final numbers are baked in.
Anyway, here's the OE4 QHP enrollment numbers for the DC exchange, which is up about 3.1% over last year.
However, according to the official ASPE report for 2016 Open Enrollment, DC's QHP tally was slightly lower (22,693); since that's the official total used by HHS, that's what I'm going with, which means they've enrolled about 4.1% more this year.
Yay! The DC exchange has issued their first OE4 enrollment report of the year! Boo! It doesn't include renewing enrollees (either active or passive):
DC Health Link Enrollment up Nearly 50% at First Deadline for 2017 Coverage • 60% of new enrollees are 34 years old and younger
Washington, DC – Today, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) released preliminary individual marketplace data for the fourth open enrollment period for DCHealthLink.com, the District’s online health insurance marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses.
These preliminary data show that through December 19, 2016:
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:
Two bits of news out of the DC exchange today: First, they announced that the uninsured rate has been slashed in half over the past 3 years thanks in no small part to the Affordable Care Act. Not a huge shocker given the recent surveys/studies released by the CDC, Gallup, Kaiser and so on of late, but still good to see:
Washington, DC – A new survey by the Center for the Study of Services conducted for the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) concludes that the District of Columbia made huge gains during the most recent open enrollment period to provide access to health insurance coverage to people who were previously uninsured. Results from this survey show that more than 25,500 people, who were not previously covered in 2015, gained access to health insurance coverage in 2016 through DC Health Link, the District’s online health insurance marketplace.
The DC exchange has this frustrating habit where they do issue regular, easy-to-read enrollment reports...but they keep using cumulative numbers since 2013 in those reports. I honestly have no idea why they do it this way; since people are constantly moving on and off of different types of coverage, and even those who keep the same policy have to renew those policies every year anyway, so reporting the multi-year cumulative number of enrollments makes about as much sense to me as Ford reporting how many cars they've sold since 1903.
However, by simply comparing the cumulative numbers against older cumulative numbers, I can use the difference to see how things are going during the off season, like so:
More Than 225,000 People Enrolled in Health Coverage Through DC Health Link from October 1, 2013 to June 10, 2016
The good news about estimating the DC exchange rate hike requests is that the DC Dept. of Insurance, Securities & Banking is pretty transparent about posting this info, and they keep it simple. It's simpler still because like Vermont, DC requires that all individual and small group policies be sold on the exchange, so there's no off-exchange data to track down.
The bad news is that it's a little bit too simple: Only two carriers (CareFrist and Kaiser) offer policies via the individual exchange, and only CareFirst is offering PPOs: