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:
This Just In...the DC exchange has issued their official enrollment report as well (note: remember that this includes the first 2 days of February as well):
DC Health Link Individual Marketplace Data for Third Open Enrollment Period
61% of New Customers are 34 years old and Younger
Washington, DC – Today, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) released preliminary individual marketplace data for the third open enrollment period for DCHealthLink.com, the District’s online health insurance marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses.
The third open enrollment period for individuals and families ended January 31, 2016. District residents had two extra days to enroll due to the historic snow storm that hit the DC region. Data includes people enrolling from November 1, 2015 to February 2, 2016.
There are 22,912 customers with 2016 health insurance coverage through DC Health Link’s individual marketplace:
Throughout the first two years of the ACA exchanges, the DCI exchange's official enrollment updates were simultaneously clear & simple as well as frustrating. On the one hand, they break out the numbers quite cleanly, such as this one from October 21st of last year:
From October 1, 2013 to October 16, 2015, 173,090 people have enrolled in health insurance coverage through DC Health Link in private insurance or Medicaid:
25,702 people enrolled in a private qualified health plan,
125,261 people have been determined eligible for Medicaid, and
22,127 people enrolled through the DC Health Link small business marketplace (includes Congressional enrollment)
On the other hand, as noted above, these numbers are cumulative, dating all the way back to October 2013 when the exchanges originally launched. This makes the numbers shown kind of useless for the same reason that Chrysler stating that they've sold 100 million cars since the company was founded tells you nothing about how many cars they've sold so far this year.
If you take a look at the State-by-State chart, you'll notice that in addition to a few clarifications here and there, there are 5 states (well, 4 states +DC) all the way at the bottom labelled "NO DATA YET".
California insists, just like last year, on doing this weird thing where they release the number of new enrollees who have signed up on a fairly regular basis, but the number of renewals by current enrollees is kept a secret all the way into January. I have no idea why they do that, and it's pretty important given that we're likely talking about somewhere between 1.0 - 1.3 million people here.
On the other hand, at least they've posted data on their new additions. DC, Idaho, Kentucky, New York and Vermont haven't even done that much as of this writing.
Rep. Rusche asked what our target enrollment is for this cycle and what barriers we see in making those targets. Mr. Kelly said the team is focused on the 80% goal of 92,000 as our enrollment target.Premium increases are a potential barrier. Net premium is a relatively small increase for most consumers, and each consumer will experience something different depending Page 5 of 14 on their plan, their location, their carrier, etc. We feel that while the premiums are increasing the relatively small net premium increase will mitigate this barrier to a large degree.
When I asked for clarification, they informed me that:
We currently have 86,659 effectuated enrollments with Your Health Idaho, as of September 15. The 92,000 would also refer to effectuated enrollments.
This is a pretty minor 2015 exchange enrollment update, and one of the last ones I'll be doing before the 2016 Open Enrollment period kicks off, but I should squeeze it in:
From October 1, 2013 to September 23, 2015, 166,789 people have enrolled in health insurance coverage through DC Health Link in private insurance or Medicaid:
24,663 people enrolled in a private qualified health plan,
120,739 people have been determined eligible for Medicaid, and
21,387 people enrolled through the DC Health Link small business marketplace (includes Congressional enrollment)
As always, the DC exchange insists on giving cumulative totals since 10/1/13 instead of the 2015-only numbers, which isn't particularly useful. However, by comparing it against their earlier update, I can figure out the difference since then:
From October 1, 2013 to June 7, 2015, 125,478 people have enrolled in health insurance coverage through DC Health Link in private insurance or Medicaid:
Way back in May, the requested rate hikes on the individual market for our nation's capital appeared to average roughly 5.3%. Earlier today, the District of Columbia Dept. of Insurance, Securities & Banking (DISB) announced the approved rate changes for DC:
DISB announced Sept. 15 the approved health insurance plan rates for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2016.
Eight carriers through four major insurance companies – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – will have plan offerings for individuals, families and small businesses on DC Health Link when enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2015.
The DC exchange just issued a welcome-but-unexpected update; as usual, they do this weird thing where they're including the cumulative totals dating back to October 1, 2013, which is pretty much pointless (this would be like measuring how well Chrysler is doing in 2015 by counting every car they've sold since 1925).
From October 1, 2013 to April 26, 2015, 106,364 people have enrolled in health insurance coverage through DC Health Link in private insurance or Medicaid:
22,354 people enrolled in a private qualified health plan,
67,761 people have been determined eligible for Medicaid, and
16,249 people enrolled through the DC Health Link small business marketplace (includes Congressional enrollment)
The 2016 Rate Request Train continues to chug along; in addition to Oregon, Washington State, Connecticut and Michigan, I can now add the District of Columbia to the list.
The first thing to note about the DC market is that one of only two (the other is Vermont) in which all individual and small group enrollments are done through the ACA exchange; no off-exchange enrollees here. That makes things a bit simpler.
In addition, the DC Dept. of Insurance, Securities & Banking has also provided a handy table showing the year over year changes on both markets:
As you can see, DC has a pretty simple setup; 4 insurance companies operating in the Small Business (SHOP) exchange, only 2 of which are operating on the Individual exchange (and one of those, Kaiser, is only offering HMOs, not PPOs). An unweighted average of each gives the following: