Idaho

OK, this is earlier than I expected...Your Health Idaho has decided to be first out of the gate with official 2017 ACA Exchange Window Shopping: 

October 1, 2016

Preview Health and Dental Plans on Your Health Idaho

BOISE, Idaho – Starting today, Idahoans can get a preview on YourHealthIdaho.org of the 225 different health and dental insurance plans being offered on the exchange in 2017.

“Before open enrollment begins on November 1, Idahoans can preview and compare different health and dental insurance plans to figure out which one best meets their needs,” said Pat Kelly, executive director of Your Health Idaho. “There are not only more plans being offered this year than ever before, but customers can see the size of the plan’s network to get a full perspective on the choices available to them.”

Prior to the 2017 open enrollment period, health insurance carriers will reach out to their customers to inform them of any changes to their current plan, including differences in rates and deductibles.

The final rate approvals for the Idaho indy market are either positive or negative, depending on your POV. On the one hand, the statewide weighted average is roughly 24%. On the other hand, this is 4 points lower than the 28% requested average from the carriers. As I noted in June, Idaho is among the only states which also posts exactly how much each carrier earned in premiums and paid out in claims for both last year and this year to date, giving some insight into which carriers are making a profit or taking a loss on the indy market:

I don't write about Idaho much, which is a bit surprising when you think about it because it's kind of a unique state when it comes to the ACA exchanges. Most states never set up their own exchange platform. A dozen or so set them up and are still using them. Two states (Massachusetts and Maryland) scrapped their original, failed platforms and completely overhauled them. Three states started out with their own platform but gave up when they failed, moving home to the mothership (HealthCare.Gov). One state, New Mexico, was supposed to move off of HC.gov after the first couple of years, but changed their mind and is still hosted by the federal platform. Oh, and there's also Kentucky, which is scheduled to scrap their perfectly-functioning tech platform for absolutely no good reason other than the petty whim of their new Governor, Matt Bevin.

And then there's Idaho.

Idaho is unique for a couple of reasons: Not only is it the only state to start off hosted by HC.gov and then move off of the federal tech platform onto it's own system, it's also the only state running it's own full exchange which hasn't expanded Medicaid as well.

The Idaho insurance department website has made this really easy for me. Most states either don't provide the requested rate hikes at all (forcing me to track them down via a slew of SERFF filing forms) or, if they do provide the rate requests, they don't provide the actual enrollment numbers for each carrier, making it very difficult to run a weighted average.

In the case of Idaho, they don't give the enrollment numbers, but they've already ran the average and posted the weighted number for me! Better yet, they've done this for both the Individual and Small Group markets:

Over the past week or two I've been compiling the currently effectuated exchange enrollments for as many states as possible (the official Q1 ASPE effectuation report likely won't be available until early June). So far I have the data from either February, March or April for 7 states: CO, CT, MA, MN, NH, OK and WA.

Today I can add Idaho to the list, and unlike some of the other states, Your Health Idaho's number appears to not only be cut & dry, but very good news indeed:

Hello Mr. Gaba,

Your Health Idaho’s effectuated enrollments for March stand at 95,522. Numbers for April are preliminary at this point.

That compares to 101,073 QHP selections as of the end of the 2016 Open Enrollment Period, which means that as of 3/31/16, Idaho had only lost 5.5% of their total enrollments, which is fantastic considering the 13-17% drop on average from the other states so far.

In a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, I posted two very wonky, detailed entries over the past couple of days about Minnesota and Connecticut's latest enrollment numbers...but completely missed one crucially important data point.

Investor's Business Daily's Jed Graham picked up on some of my work for his post today, including the enrollment data for both Minnesota and Connecticut...but in addition to that extra data point (which I'll come back to in a moment), he also nabbed the latest number out of a third state, Oklahoma, from one of Adam Cancryn's updates on what I'm calling the UnitedHealthcare Disenrollment Odometer:

And Then There Were Two...

The final 2016 Open Enrollment Period exchange-based QHP selection numbers have been posted for just about every state for a couple of weeks now...but until today, there were still 3 states with missing data: Idaho, New York and Vermont.

Unfortunately, both NY and VT are still AWOL, but moments ago Idaho scratched itself off the list with the following press release:

Your Health Idaho Reaches Record Enrollment
Idaho has second largest per capita enrollment in the U.S.

BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho today announced that 102,353 Idahoans have enrolled in Qualified Health Plans for 2016 through the state’s health exchange.

Idaho had just over 97,000 QHP selections last year, so this is about a 5% increase. Not fantastic, but not terrible; this puts ID in between Kansas and New Mexico in terms of year over year enrollment increases.

In any event, I can at least plug in one more data point.

Your Health Idaho informs me that their official final OE3 total won't be announced until after February 15th, but here's a quick mini-update:

More than 97,000 Idahoans Select Insurance through Idaho Exchange
Lawmakers Get Update on Your Health Idaho’s Progress

BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho executive director Pat Kelly went before lawmakers on Tuesday to give them an update on the second year of operations for Idaho’s state-based health insurance exchange. Kelly said Idahoans have benefitted from state lawmakers’ choice to keep the federal government out of Idaho’s health insurance decisions.

Currently, more than 97,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan through the exchange. In 2015, Idaho ranked fourth in the nation per-capita for enrollments and had the highest enrollment numbers of any state-based health insurance exchange.

YHI also makes a strong case for keeping full state exchanges as opposed to moving to HealthCare.Gov (Matt Bevin of Kentucky might want to take notice...):

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

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