Idaho

Your Health Idaho has only issued one official enrollment data press release to date, back on 12/18, when they reported "over 93,000" private policy selections.

There was one additional update via the HHS Dept's ASPE report, which reported exactly 96,662 QHPs as of 12/26/15, which seems about right given that it included 8 extra days.

Since then, there's been nothing out of Idaho...until today, when they reported:

BOISE, Idaho – The deadline to get health insurance coverage through Your Health Idaho is just days away. If you want health insurance for 2016 you must enroll by January 31. Already, more than 95,000 Idahoans have selected health insurance plans through the state’s health insurance exchange.

At long last, Idaho has come through...in a big way!

Your Health Idaho Enrollment Update

BOISE, Idaho – Since Open Enrollment began on November 1, over 93,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan for 2016 through Your Health Idaho. Approximately 86,000 Idahoans are currently enrolled for 2015 coverage.

“We are pleased to see an increase in enrollments at this half-way mark,” said Your Health Idaho executive director, Pat Kelly. “This demonstrates there is a continued need for access to affordable healthcare in Idaho. The good news is that Idahoans who remain uninsured still have until January 31 to enroll for health and dental coverage. But we encourage people to act now.” Idahoans who complete an application between now and January 31 will have coverage as early as February.

Idahoans who need assistance picking a health insurance plan can find a local agent or broker in their community to help them free of charge by visiting www.YourHealthIdaho.org and clicking on “find help near you.” 

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.

I admit that given the carnage of the past couple of weeks, I'm almost afraid to post this entry...but I had to write something positive about the CO-OP situation.

With the ACA-created CO-OPs seemingly dropping like flies due to the #RiskCorridorMassacre, I thought this would be a good time to flip things around and look at which CO-OPs are doing well (or at least not badly).

This isn't much, but it'll do for now:

Wisconsin's insurance department says it has no intention of shutting down its #ACA co-op, which appears it will remain solvent next year.

— Bob Herman (@MHbherman) October 22, 2015

@charles_gaba and at this point, other than Maine, it's difficult to expect many others will last beyond risk corridors.

— Bob Herman (@MHbherman) October 22, 2015

When I updated my #OE3 state-level enrollment projections yesterday, I came across this official projection for #OE3 from Your Health Idaho's Sept. 18th board meeting minutes:

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.

A few days ago I noted that the Maryland Health Connection has officially launched window shopping for the 2016 open enrollment period (#OE3).

As it happens, at least two other state-based exchanges have done so as well:

COVERED CALIFORNIA: It's pretty obscure for the moment, but if you click the "Shop & Compare Tool" link at the lower left-hand corner of the CoveredCA website, you'll be given the option to shop around for 2016 plans (you can also choose 2015 plans in case you've had a qualifying life change and need coverage for the last 2 months of this year, or even 2014 plans if you still need that information for tax purposes or whatever):

YOUR HEALTH IDAHO:

Anonymously Shop and Compare Health and Dental Plans on Your Health Idaho

This article from the Idaho Statesman provides the final approved rate changes for 2016 in Idaho, which were mostly left intact:

Blue Cross of Idaho’s rates for individuals buying their own plans will go up an average of 23 percent. Company officials say the increase is needed after Blue Cross lost millions of dollars because current customer premiums are not keeping up with claims paid.

Last year, the company’s average rate increase for individual policies was about 15 percent. That year, the company paid nearly $221.1 million in claims while receiving $188.7 in premiums.

Other average rate changes for 2016, including for plans sold off the Idaho health insurance exchange:

  • Mountain Health COOP: 26 percent
  • SelectHealth: 15 percent
  • Regence BlueShield of Idaho: 10 percent
  • BridgeSpan Health, a sister company of Regence: 7 percent
  • PacificSource Health Plans: -8 percent

State Insurance Director Dean Cameron said he did not find any proposed rate changes to be unreasonable.

The HHS Dept. reported that exactly 97,079 people had selected private policies in Idaho via their all-new state-based exchange during 2015 Open Enrollment (including the "standing in line" period).

Unlike most states, Idaho chose not to participate in any sort of special tax filing season enrollment period (MA & CO are the other two which didn't do so; every other state is still allowing enrollment for people who had to pay the fine last year and didn't make the cut this year until April 30th, except for WA which cuts things off today and VT which bumped theirs out until the end of May).

While Idaho, like every state, does still allow people to enroll during the off-season if they have a major life change (getting married/divorced, having a baby, moving, losing other coverage, etc), that tends to be cancelled out by other people dropping their coverage for similar reasons.

In my post about today's official ASPE ACA Enrollment Report, there weren't too many surprises....but there were a few notable items. As I noted:

  • HAWAII: I was assured 8 ways from Sunday that Hawaii's23,000 enrollee figure was specifically for 2015 enrollment. This made no sense to me given their tiny enrollment last year, but I was assured of it. Well, apparently my original instincts were correct, because they're showing up with only 12,625 in the end.
  • IDAHO: This is the only state which hasn't given their own enrollment update in forever. According to the prior ASPE report, they were at around 90.5K as of January 17th...yet somehow they only managed to rack up another 6,500 enrollees over the entire final month of Open Enrollment?? I was expecting upwards of 30K or so. This makes zero sense to me...am I missing something here?

In addition, there are a few states where their most recent official enrollment reports had some confusing data, which the ASPE report pretty much trumps regardless of anything else (at least, this is the official number which will be tossed around no matter what anyway):

I'm expecting final official #OE2 enrollment reports from Massachusetts and Minnesota later today, but otherwise have to catch up on a bunch of my actual day job work. Here's three quick things to note:

MARYLAND: The Maryland Health Connection has released a big slideshow PDF with a mountain of demographic info. The only gripe I have is that it only runs through 2/15, so doesn't include the extra folks who signed up during the #ACAOvertime period. Data nerds, rejoice!!

Over the past 2 days, enrollment data updates were released through at least the official February 15th deadline by DC, Vermont, Colorado, Massachusetts and Kentucky (Massachusetts and Rhode Island's new full deadline is now 2/23). In addition, Connecticut released a partial update which ran through Friday the 13th (not including the final surge weekend).

That means that aside from the 2 days in Connecticut, there's only 1 state which is missing significant enrollment data prior to the 2/15 deadline: Idaho. Idaho hasn't issued a full enrollment update report since January 13th, and their QHP tally hasn't been updated since the 2nd monthly ASPE report on January 27th, which brought their data up through January 17th (90,567 QHP selections).

Yesterday I poked fun at many of the ACA exchanges for issuing vaguely-worded, non-specific statements about "making sure that everyone who tried" to enroll by midnight would be assisted, without any particular deadlines being given or other specifics.

Since then, most of the exchanges which hadn't done so already have clarified the extension policies--hard end dates, what the procedure is and so on.

And then there's Your Health Idaho, which features this on their home page:

I checked the most recent entry on their Twitter feed...

You’re close to missing out on health coverage for 2015! Today is the final day to enroll in a YHI plan. Don’t wait! pic.twitter.com/HAn8qeERqs

OK, this is a pleasant surprise: Your Health Idaho has issued their 2nd enrollment report, and it's pretty darned good:

BOISE, Idaho – In the first two months of open enrollment, Your Health Idaho processed 83,383 customers, which includes consumers renewing coverage for 2015 and new applicants.

“Having health insurance gives Idahoans peace of mind that if something horrible should happen they are covered” said Your Health Idaho executive director, Pat Kelly. “We are happy so many Idahoans have been able to find a health insurance plan that meets their needs, however, we know many more people still need to find coverage and we will continue to reach out to them until open enrollment ends on February 15.”

ID had 74,689 enrollees as of December 14th (including autorenewals). They bumped out their January deadline a bit, but that's still a pretty good baseline for the post-deadline numbers: 8,694 between 12/15 - 12/31, or 511 per day.

They also include some demographic data for the 83.4K QHPs:

A quick reminder: If you live in Idaho or New York, today is the deadline to enroll in a private healthcare policy if you want coverage starting on January 1st, 2015.

Here's the upcoming deadlines for January coverage for other states:

Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Washington State: Tuesday, December 23rd

Minnesota & Vermont: Wednesday, December 31st

If you live in any other state, you have until January 15th to enroll for coverage starting on February 1st.

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