Massachusetts

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

With yesterday's 1,737 QHP determinations, Massachusetts has likely tacked on another 800 QHPs or so, bringing them up to around 117.5K. In order to reach the 170K target I've estimated, they'll have to enroll about 52K in just 11 days, or a whopping 4,700/day.

I won't know until their weekly report tomorrow whether my "45% of determinations" ratio still stands. At this point the other half of the lingering QHP determinations should start to be kicking in...there's over 214K total; if 117.5K have already selected a plan, that means there's still another 96K people who have gone through about 2/3 of the process already; most of them should be coming back to complete the job now.

For comparison, in 2014, with their broken exchange system, they only averaged 158/day. For the current period, they averaged 1,950 through the January deadline (11/15 - 12/23), and 999/day during the February period (12/24 - 1/22), though that was missing the crucial deadline day of 1/23. Since then they seem to have averaged about 726/day, though that's mostly durign the slowest part of the enrollment period.

Meanwhile, Medicaid enrollment has broken 226K.

Massachusetts continues to crank along. 1,632 QHP determinations x 45% selecting a plan means they should have added another 700 or so QHPs yesterday, for a total of around 116,700 to date.

Medicaid is now up to 223,655.

Another 1,644 QHP determinations yesterday. Assuming about half selected a plan, that's another 800 or so; the total should be up to about 116K by now. Medicaid has now reached 221K.

The "quiet period" continues this week, with just 2,673 QHP determinations over the past 3 days. Assuming 45% followed through and selected a plan, that means roughly 115,100 QHPs to date. Meanwhile, Medicaid enrollments have reached 218,587.

Here we go: The Massachusetts Health Connector has issued their weekly report, which confirms 113,887 QHP selections through last night, with 83% of those having paid their first month's premium and thus being fully enrolled. As I projected last week, the overall payment rate has risen by another 7%, and will likely continue to do so (of course, it will then "drop off" again dramatically during the final February surge, only to shoot back up again over the next few weeks as March enrollees start paying up).

Thanks to the massive snowstorm which hit New England (yes, it was pretty bad even if NYC itself only received a glancing blow), it's been several days since the last MA Health Connector update. Today, however, they released a new daily report which covers the past 3 days.

OK, that's 3,922. To get an idea of the drop-off from a deadline day to a post-deadline day, on 1/23 alone (MA's deadline for February coverage), they had  3,440 QHP determinations.

Anyway, assuming at least a 45% plan selection rate, that should be another 1,800 QHPs for Massachusetts, bringing the total up to at least 112,000 to date.

Meanwhile, Medicaid enrollment is now up to over 211K so far.

Last Friday's weekly report for the MA Health Connector had the official QHP selection tally up to 108,051 as of January 22nd. Since then, there have been another 4,751 QHP determinations, of which around 2,100 or more should have actually selected a policy.

Note the huge gap between last Friday (3,440) and the following two days (1,311 combined). This is partly due to the weekend drop-off, but is mostly because Friday was the enrollment deadline for February coverage. Anyone enrolling on Saturday or Sunday won't have their policy start until March 1st anyway, thus the massive drop-off.

Anyway, this should mean that Massachusett's QHP total is now up to at least 110K, while Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollment are now above 200K, at 206,063.

Meanwhile, the MA exchange has also announced that due to the massive blizzard/snowstorm rolling into the area later on today, they're extending the payment deadline for people who enrolled by the 1/23 deadline out to this Friday, January 30th:

And there you have it: As I've been expecting all week, not only has the MA Health Connector broken the 100K milestone, they blew past it, with 108,051 private policy selections as of last night (the Medicaid number is still hovering just below 200K, but that doesn't include yesterday; they should have easily tacked on another 5,000 to put MassHealth over the top).

In addition, the overall payment rate continues to climb, reaching 76%...but likely much higher when you consider that about many of the 108,000 total aren't scheduled to have their policies kick in until February anyway. I know that at least 50K of those who paid were for January-start policies, so it could easily be something like: 50K paid / 57K (January) + 32.2K paid / 51K (February), which would mean 88% of the January enrollees are paid up + 63% of the February enrollees so far. The larger point is that we won't know the real payment rate until late March (over a month after the enrollment period itself ends), so there's nothing to worry about for now.

As I've been saying for the past few days, the MA Health Connector should be closing in on the 100K QHP mark (and, by a nice coincidence, 200K Medicaid enrollees).

Today's update makes that even more clear: Another 2,976 QHP determinations likely means at least 1,300 more QHP selections, which should bring the total up to around 98,800 through last night. Another 1,200 today should put them over the top...and that's quite likely since the numbers should be ramping up further today (MA's February-start enrollment deadline is tomorrow).

For the record, this also means that Massachusetts has now officially enrolled 3x as many people in private policies as they did all of last year.

The Medicaid (MassHealth) side, meanwhile, isn't an estimate--those 195,549 people are enrolled immediately as I understand it. 4,500 more today and they've hit the 200K milestone.

Yestetrday I noted that the MA Health Connector should be closing in on 100,000 QHP selections, having likely reached around 96.5K. They've since added 2,107 QHP determinations, which should mean roughly 950 more, bringing the state up to around 97.5K as of last night. MA's deadline for February 1st coverage is coming up on Friday, so there should be a mini-surge over the rest of this week. Medicaid enrollments have now reached 191K.

After an extended break for the MLK Jr. Day weekend, the MA Health Connector's daily dashboards are back in business.

Friday's weekly report gave the latest hard QHP total: 93,262 through 1/14. Over the following 5 days, there were an additional 7,321 QHP determinations made. Using the 45% rule of thumb, that means Massachusett's QHP total should be up another 3,300 or so, for a total of 96.5K through last night.

There's one very odd thing here, though...what the heck happened on Sunday the 18th? Yes, enrollments are normally much lower on weekends, but only 657 total including Medicaid enrollments? I've seen that sort of drop on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, but this was just a Sunday (and MLK Day wasn't until a day later, where the numbers are a bit low but not by that much).

Anyway, given that MA's enrollment deadline for February coverage is coming up in 3 days, they should be able to break the 100K milestone easily in the next few days.

Meanwhile, their Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollment tally is up to 188K, and should similarly break the 200K mark within the next few days as well.

I was burned a couple of weeks in a row by overestimating the actual private policy (QHP) selections to date in Massachusetts by around 5% or so. Last week I downshifted a bit (from 50% of eligibility determinations to 45%), resulting in an estimate of around 90,700 QHPs as of Tuesday.

Today the MA exchange released their weekly dashboard, with official QHP selections, and sure enough, I'm back on target: 93,262 QHP selections as of Wednesday the 14th, in addition to 178,912 Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollees.

As for the payment rate, on the surface it appears to be just 72% (67,265 out of  93,262). However, remember that the 93K figure includes 19,000 people who are enrolling for coverage starting in February. We know this because of this update from December 30th:

Of the 74,203 people who selected plans by the Tuesday deadline, 51,888 paid their first month’s premium by Friday.

TODAY, January 15th, is the deadline for anyone who wants to enroll in a private insurance policy for coverage starting on February 1st in most states (or to switch to a different policy if you have one but want to make a change starting in February).

After that, of course, we'll have the big February 15th deadline (for March 1st coverage), which will also be a big deal because it'll be the last chance many (not all) uninsured people have to get coverage before the door slams closed until next fall.

Remember, the penalty in 2016 for not having health insurance in 2015 is considerably higher than it was for 2014: Instead of 1% of your taxable income (or $95/person in your household, whichever is higher), the fee this year is 2% of your income or $325 per person.

Another likely 1,100 QHPs yesterday (out of 2,540 QHP eligibility determinations) means that Massachusett's QHP selection total should be up to around 90,700 by now. Medicaid has broken the 175K mark:

 

Massachusetts continues to set the example (are you paying attention, CoveredCA??), releasing near-daily enrollment reports and regular weekly reports with hard numbers on QHP enrollments every week (including payment data, I should note):

Again, assuming 45% QHP selections out of the 2,652 determined eligible for private policies, MA should have tacked on another 1,200 or so yesterday, bringing their QHP total up to around 89,600 to date.

In addition, they've enrolled another 3,709 into MassHealth (Medicaid).

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