Today is the final day for Massachusetts residents to enroll in a private healthcare plan if they want coverage to start on January 1st. As of last night, they had a total of 248,711 eligibility determinations, of which 131,732 are for private QHP policies (the other 117K have already been enrolled in Medicaid, aka "MassHealth", which is impressive in and of itself).
So, how many of those nearly 132K people have actually selected a plan? Well, since open enrollment started on 11/15, anywhere between 45-55% of total QHP determinations as of that day have also selected a plan. If that was the case here, I'd say that the number is around 50%, or around 66,000, which would be an impressive 4,600 spike over yesterday's confirmed 64.1K.
UPDATE: OK, I've received the official total: As of midnight last night, 67,759 people had selected a policy, or 51.4%. I've also confirmed that about 47% had paid their first premium already...32,000 people, or more than the total enrollees as of last April.
On Friday I discovered that my estimate of roughly 60% of Massachusetts "determined eligible for QHPs" actually selecting a plan was way too high; the actual ratio was closer to 48% overall, meaning that my prior estimate of about 62K QHP selections was too high; the actual number was 53,490 as of Thursday the 18th, which is still excellent, just not as great as I thought it was.
Today I received confirmation directly from the exchange that total enrollments (ie, selected plans) are up to 61,470 as of this morning, which means that the ratio is indeed starting to move up, just later and not as quickly as I had thought (61,470 / 124,403 QHP determinations is just shy of 50%).
OK, it looks like my theory about MA's "QHPs as % of Determinations" theory was wrong; I assumed that it would have started increasing from 50% over the past week, intstead it dropped to about 48% (or held steady at 52% if you include the "plans in cart" which neither I nor the MA exchange is doing anyway).
Therefore, the bad news is that the official total is around 8,300 fewer than I thought: 53,490 thorugh yesterday. The good news is that this is still an excellent number, and there's still tens of thousands of people who've started the process who have until next Tuesday to wrap it up.
In addition, remember my snark from 11/16 about "ONLY 3.5% HAVE PAID!!"? Well, guess what: That percentage is up to 34%, and they still have 5 days to pay (I presume they're dealing with a flood of payments at the moment).
The Medicaid tally holds at 98,530 since it doesn't include yesterday.
Massachusetts continues to chug along, with another 4.243 QHP eligibility determinations; assuming a minimum 60% plan selection rate, that should add another 2,500 or so to the total, for around 59K QHPs to date.
Meanwhile, Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollments have broken 94,000:
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.
Wow! I'm impressed! I know Massachusetts said they'd be issuing daily enrollment reports during weekdays, but I really didn't think they'd have time to do so today. Then again, their deadline isn't until next Tuesday (the 23rd), so I guess things aren't too crazy in the Bay State.
Anyway, let's take a look...
Well, they haven't officially updated the "QHP plan selection" tally in a week or so, but I'm reasonably certain that the % of "eligibility determinations", which had been hovering around 50-55% until about a week ago, should have worked it's way up to perhaps 60% in recent days. Assuming I'm correct about this, their QHP selection total should be roughly 52,600 by now, though I'll knock off 600 out of caution and go with 52K even.
Again: During the 2014 open enrollment period, MA only nabbed less than 32K during the full 200-day period, so they're already 60% ahead of last year less than 1/3 of the way through this one.
Meanwhile, they've also added 84K people to Medicaid as well.
Hmmmmm...MA has switched their weekly reports from Mondays to Fridays, which is fine...except that until now the weekly versions also included actual hard "QHP plans selected" data.
This one...doesn't. It includes all the other weekly stuff but not the actual plans selected (aka "total enrollments" by my lingo). As a result, I'll still have to do an estimate based on the Eligibility Determinations...which in this case is a total of 83,988.
Assuming that the % of QHP determinations which have already led to actual plan selections is up to around 60% per day by now (up from around 52% a week or so ago), that should mean roughly 44,800 QHP selections to date. To be cautious, however, i'll knock it down to an even 44K for now.
And, again, Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollments are already up to 72,175 people.
MASSACHUSETTS: The MA Health Connector allows for online premium payments (and in fact, payments have to be made to the exchange, not to the insurance company itself). The good news is that the website & billing system appear to be working properly this year, a vast improvement over last year's disaster. The bad news (or, odd news anyway) is that for some reason the system requires you to pay using only direct electronic fund transfers or a written check--it does not accept credit card payments!
I don't know if this is for technical reasons (which I doubt) or policy reasons (avoiding the 2.5% transaction fees or whatever), but it seems very odd to me.
HAWAII: Not only hasn't the HI Health Connector provided any enrollment updates since open enrollment started again on November 15th, they haven't even updated their enrollment report section since July 26th! Guys, either post an update or at least remove the link entirely; keeping it as is, locked in on 7/26 is just embarrassing.
Hmmm...for some reason, the MA Health Connector chose to give a daily report today instead of the weekly report which they've been doing on Mondays.
On the one hand, this is OK because it still includes the daily breakdown of QHP determinations. On the other hand, the weekly reports gave the hard QHP selection numbers, which aren't included here.
I'm going to assume that the ratio of actual selections has moved up to around 60% over the weekend (from the 48-50% it was at earlier) as we move towards the January cut-off point. If so, that means that QHP selections in Massachusetts should now be well above the 2014 total (31,695) and should be somewhere around 36,400 as of last night:
Meanwhile, Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollments have broken the 60K mark; I've been informed that these are effective immediately.