Hmmm...this is different; I'm pretty sure this is the first time that I've been quoted in a formal enrollment data press release...


Exchange enrolls more than 100,000 at one­ month mark

BALTIMORE (Dec. 16, 2014) — The Board of Directors of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) today celebrated the progress of the Maryland Health Connection one month into its open enrollment. More than 100,000 Marylanders have signed up for 2015 health coverage.

Maryland Health Connection has enrolled 105,902 people — including 61,031 in Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and 41,871 in Medicaid. By comparison, during the first open enrollment a year ago, 1,278 Marylanders enrolled in private QHPs through the marketplace during its first 30 days.

A rebuilt website that enables consumers to “browse” plans without needing to create personal accounts, a much larger schedule of enrollment fairs across the state than a year ago and additional “storefront” spaces where Marylanders can get assistance enrolling in person have helped propel the improved results. The changes have been noted in the media, including:

As you can see from the graphic I posted yesterday (and had to revise several times throughout the day), the official enrollment deadline for private policies starting on January 1st, 2015 has now passed for all 37 states operating via HealthCare.Gov, as well as residents of DC, Hawaii and Kentucky. It's certainly possible that any or all of these will announce some sort of "special circumstances" allowance for those who didn't make the midnight cut-off (10pm in Alaska), but I'm assuming those would be done strictly on a case-by-case basis.

OK, so what about the remaining 11 states?

Well, 4 of them (MD, MA, RI & WA) had later deadlines for January coverage all along: Maryland on 12/18 (Thursday) and the other 3 on 12/23 (next Tuesday).

New York and Idaho bumped their deadlines out from yesterday until 12/20 (Saturday), although Idaho had previously claimed that their deadline was 12/23, but are now claiming that it was originally 12/15. I still don't understand what happened there, but so be it: 12/20 it is for ID.


For Immediate Release


Hartford, Conn. (December 15, 2014) – In advance of tonight’s midnight deadline for coverage beginning January 1, Access Health CT (AHCT) Acting CEO Jim Wadleigh has released the following statement:

“The deadline to sign up for quality, affordable health care coverage that begins on January 1, 2015 is tonight at midnight. If customers have an application started and select a plan before midnight tonight, they can still get coverage beginning January 1, as long as they complete the application and get us all the relevant information by midnight this Friday, December 19.

The latest official report from the MD exchange...

Enrollment Report (Thru Dec. 11, 2014)

More than 80,000 Marylanders have enrolled in advance of Dec. 18 deadline for full 2015 health coverage


As of Dec. 11, a total of 80,354 Marylanders have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage for calendar year 2015 since the 90-day open enrollment period began Nov. 15.

This includes 45,014 individuals enrolled in private Qualified Health Plans and 35,340 individuals enrolled in Medicaid. Marylanders must enroll or renew their plans by Dec. 18 for insurance that starts New Year’s Day and, if they qualify, to receive an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) beginning then. Open enrollment for 2015 ends Feb. 15.

Again, for comparison: Last year, Maryland scored a grand total of 67,757 QHP enrollments through the April 19th open enrollment cut-off (6 1/2 months).

This year, they've already reached 2/3 of that in under 4 weeks.

The Maryland exchange just tweeted out a rough total enrollment number: 76K. It isn't broken out between commercial policies and Medicaid, but based on the trend until now it looks like it should be roughly a 56/44 split, or around 43,000 QHPs & 33,000 Medicaid/CHIP enrollees:

76000 Marylanders have enrolled in less than a month said @drJoshS. Took 4 months to reach that last year

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) December 11, 2014

I'll update this if the hard numbers are provided.

UPDATE: OK, this isn't an update to the above number, but it does include some useful data from a few days earlier:

Not an official press release, but the number is solid:

#Maryland has surpassed 60,000 enrollments (+ 34,000 QHPs) w/ great help this weekend from @Seedco_org @capregionhealth & @HealthyHoward

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) December 8, 2014

Maryland has now enrolled 50% of their 2014 open enrollment period total in just 23 days...1/4th of the 2015 open enrollment period.

Maryland just released their second official 2015 Open Enrollment report, and the numbers continue to impress:

As of Dec. 4, a total of 51,796 Marylanders have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage for calendar year 2015 since the 90 day open enrollment period began Nov. 15. This includes 29,543 individuals enrolled in private Qualified Health Plans and 22,253 individuals enrolled in Medicaid.

From Nov. 15 to Dec. 4, 62,713 consumer accounts were created; 66,752 calls were made to the Consumer Support Center and 339,578 individuals visited the website.

Marylanders must enroll or renew their plans by Dec. 18 for insurance that starts New Year’s Day. Open enrollment for 2015 ends Feb. 15. 

For comparison, during the 2014 OE period, MD enrolled 67,757 people. They're already at 43.6% of that in just 20 days this time around.

Not a formal press release, but I'll take it for now:

UPDATE: Enrollments top 44,000, including more than 25K QHPs

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) December 3, 2014

Holy smokes indeed.

Again, for comparison: Last year, Maryland enrolled a total of 67,757 people in 6 1/2 months. They've now achieved 37% of that total in just 18 days.


I know I've been saying that the worst-performing state exchanges from last year seem to be overperforming this year, but this is still a jaw-dropper. Maryland has done a complete turnaround this year:

As of Nov. 24, 2014, more than 25,000 Marylanders have enrolled in quality and affordable health coverage since the open enrollment period began on Nov. 15.

With the successful launch of the upgraded website, 25,780 individuals have enrolled, including 14,749 enrolled in qualified health plans and 11,031 in Medicaid. From Nov. 15 to Nov. 24, 32,744 consumer accounts were created; 29,546 calls were made to the Consumer Support Center, and 79,681 visited the application portal on the website. 

For comparison: Last year, Maryland enrolled a total of 67,757 people in 6 1/2 months. They've now achieved 22% of that total in just 10 days.

As of this afternoon, 23,457 total applications. 9,735 apps complete. 16,743 Marylanders enrolled in QHP + Medicaid. #GreatStartMaryland

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) November 21, 2014

OK, without knowing the QHP/Medicaid breakout, I have to temper my data-geek about the 16.7K total. Even so, that's pretty impressive.

For comparison, through October 3rd, Maryland's ratio was around 81,000 QHPs to 263,000 Medicaid additions...or about a 1:3 ratio.

except that about 96,000 of these were "one time" bulk transferees from an existing state-run program. If you take them out, the ratio is more like 81K / 167K, or about 1:2.

Until I get a hard number, I'll err on the side of caution and go with the 1:3 ratio, which would mean around 4,000 QHPs and 12,743 added to Medicaid.

I'm pretty sure that in this case, "applications completed" does refer to actual "plans selected", judging from both the number from a day earlier (1,500) and the context of the quote, although I could be wrong (I also think that's supposed to read "through early Tuesday afternoon...")

Andrew Ratner, a spokesman for the exchange, said it seems to be working well so far. Ratner said 5,324 people have applied and 1,915 applications have been completed since early Tuesday afternoon.

We're launching online enrollment a day ahead of schedule. Enroll now at for quality, affordable 2015 health coverage

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) November 18, 2014

Yes, I know what you're saying: This is either a joke or a typo; how could Maryland be launching open enrollment a day early when 2015 #OE2 actually started 3 days ago?? Shouldn't that read "3 days late"?

Well, no, actually. As I noted back in September, due to the horrible technical problems which the MD Health Connection had with their original platform last year, they wisely decided to be extremely cautious this time around with their all-new software.

In short, instead of opening the floodgates all at once on the 15th, MD decided to take a phased approach:

OK, not much detail but the key number seems to be 1,500 exchange QHPs in the first 2 - 2 1/2 days: 

Since Saturday 42K visitors to 2,000 accounts created, 1500 enrollments started, 500 applications complete #GoodStart

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) November 17, 2014

By comparison, during the first open enrollment period, as of April 19th, Maryland had only enrolled 67,757 people in private policies, or 338 per day (or around 840 in 2.5 days).

So, right off the bat Maryland is doing twice as well so far this time around.


Yes, that's right. I'm posting a blog entry about exactly one person being enrolled. Let it never be said that I'm not meticulous in documenting my data:

Saturday was the first day of open enrollment in Maryland and around the nation on exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act for people who do not get health insurance through employers. In Maryland, residents received their first shot at gaining coverage at an enrollment fair in Glen Burnie, hosted by the state's nonprofit partner HealthCare Access Maryland.

Banda arrived at 9:22 a.m., 38 minutes early. She was fourth in line. By 9:30 a.m., about a dozen people were waiting, and organizers decided to get the day started early. Less than an hour later, she became the first enrollee on the state's new exchange website. Her plan will cost her $97 a month, she said, and her co-pay will be zero.

"I feel awesome," she said. "It's a relief. I feel that it's going to work for me."

And yes, I've even plugged the number into The Spreadsheet :)


I've ranted several times before about the importance of current Obamacare private policy enrollees making sure to actually visit the exchange website, shop aroundlog into your account and manually re-enroll for 2015, even if nothing has changed at your end (ie, no changes in income, dependents, residence etc).

There are many reasons NOT to auto-renew, most of which are financial in nature. The short version is, you could easily end up paying more than you thought next year by not switching (in addition to premium changes, your tax credit might drop even if your income hasn't changed due to how it's calculated), and you could pay substantially less next year if you do switch to another policy (premiums are actually dropping in many markets).