2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Michigan

For months now, Michigan's implementation of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion provision has defied expectations, enrolling far more than the 477K - 500K expected. A couple of weeks ago it managed to break the 600,000 mark, peaking at 603,681 people, and I've been wondering for quite awhile when the growth might finally stop.

The answer appears to be, "the first week of April":

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 573,115
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of April 6, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Hey, journalism and political spinmeisters! Here's a great example of what not to do (if you're the former) and what to do (if you're the latter)!

Check out this story from the Detroit News about the success of Michigan's implementation of the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act, aka "Healthy Michigan":

Detroit — On the eve of the first anniversary of the Healthy Michigan Plan, Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday more than 603,000 Michiganians have enrolled since the expanded Medicaid Program launched on April 1, 2014.

Mazel Tov!! Over 600,000 Michiganders enrolled in a program enabled by and paid for by Obamacare! I'm sure they'll mention that in the 2nd paragraph, right?

The number exceeds by more than 100,000 people the two-year enrollment projections made prior to the program’s launch. The Healthy Michigan Plan provides health insurance to low-income working people for a minimal cost.

OK...maybe not. Perhaps the third paragraph?

And there we have it: The "Healthy Michigan" program, the Wolverine State's implementation of ACA Medicaid expansion, has broken the 600,000 enrollee mark:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 603,681
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of March 30, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Michigan continues to astound. Remember, the official estimates of how many Michiganders are eligible for ACA Medicaid expansion ranged from 477K - 500K.

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 596,246
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of March 23, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

That's as much as 25% higher than the number supposedly eligible for the program.

At this point, I've stopped even trying to come up with cutesy headlines. Michigan's ACA expansion program, for which supposedly only 477,000 people were supposedly eligible, now claims that over 588,000 Michiganders have enrolled in the program:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 588,641
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of March 16, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

As I noted the other day, there may be a plausible explanation for this:

I have a ton of ACA-related stories cluttering up my in-box again; here's some of the more interesting ones, all regarding ACA Medicaid Expansion:

MICHIGAN:

For months now, I've been a bit obsessed with figuring out how my home state's Medicaid expansion enrollment has managed to reach as high as 21% more people than were supposedly even eligible for the program. Estimates last year ranged from 477,000 - 500,000, yet enrollment in Healthy Michigan (Gov. Snyder's name for Obamacare Medicaid Expansion) currently sits at a whopping 579K, less than 1 year into the program.

Yup, Michigan's ACA Medicaid expansion is still continuing to grow, although it does seem to be slowing down at last:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 579,115
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of March 9, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Again, for the record, the prior estimates of how many Michiganders are even eligible for the program ranged from 477K - 500K. We're 16 - 21% above that now.

Back in December, I noted that Michigan's implementation of the ACA's Medicaid expansion provision had achieved an impressive 99.4% of it's theoretical maximum enrollment. Official state administration estimates pegged the number of Michiganders eligible for the program at around 477,000, and as of 12/08/14, enrollment had hit 474K.

Other estimates had Michigan's eligible population as being higher--perhaps 500,000, so I didn't think too much of it at the time. Besides, population shifts, changes in the economy and so forth could mean that an estimate from last spring had shifted up or down a bit.

Even so, as the official enrollment total broke 500K, then 510K, then 530K, I noted each increase, with increasing curiosity about the discrepancy.

At this point, either the original estimates were way off, the economic situation in Michigan has changed dramatically since last year, or there's something seriously weird going on:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 559,965
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of February 17, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Again, the original estimates were that somewhere between 477K - 500K Michiganders were eligible for the program. They're up to between 12% - 17% above that range now.

I've written about this many times before, and now it's just gotten surreal. Depending on your source, Michigan supposedly has somewhere between 477,000 - 500,000 residents eligible for ACA Medicaid expansion...but they passed the lower end of that range months ago, the upper end several weeks ago, and as of yesterday, reported that a whopping 547,000 people are now enrolled in the Healthy Michigan program:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 546,807
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of February 9, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Here in Michigan, the official estimates of how many residents are eligible for ACA Medicaid expansion ranged from around 477K to 500K, and over the past month or so, the weekly reports from the official MI Dept. of Community Health "Healthy Michigan" website has pegged the current enrollment total at between 490K - 510K. This led me to assume, naturally, that the program has been essentially tapped out, with close to 100% of those eligible already having signed up within the first 10 months.

Yesterday, however, they posted the weekly update again, and guess what?

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 533,110
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of January 26, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Wow. 533,000 people. So, what's going on here? Well, possibilities include:

Over the past month or so, the "Healthy Michigan" program (our name for ACA Medicaid expansion) has been bouncing around between 490K - 505K...a bit higher one week, a bit lower the next as people move on and off of it.

This week it reached an all-time high of 509,435 enrollees.

However, given that the estimated maximum number of Michiganders eligible for the program is somewhere between 477K - 500K depending on your source, it's unlikely to go much higher than that. I'll keep a close eye on it for the next few weeks, but assuming it continues to jostle above/below the 500K mark, I'll consider Michigan to be effectively "tapped out" and will likely stop reporting it every week.

For the past month or so I've repeatedly noted that Michigan's ACA Medicaid Expansion program (Healthy Michigan) enrollment has exceeded the estimates given as to how many Michiganders are actually eligible for the program (between 477K - 500K depending on the source).

With today's update (also the first of the new year), it looks like the number has finally bumped up against the "ceiling" and is now receding a bit:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 496,870
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of January 5, 2015 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

OK, YES, I know that the HHS's monthly ASPE report on ACA enrollment was finally released today. And yes, I know there's been a ton of other state-level data and other news over the past couple of days. However, as I noted on Saturday, I had to go out of town right in the middle of all of this and just got back, so I have a busy afternoon ahead of me bringing everything up to date...

So, let's start out with one of the less-obvious updates: Medicaid expansion in Michigan.

To recap: Estimates of Michigan's ACA Medicaid expansion-eligible population have ranged from 477K - 500K, thus making the enrollment data from the official state website rather eyebrow-raising:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 507,618
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of December 29, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Remember last week when I noted that the "Healthy Michigan" program (MI's implementation of ACA Medicaid expansion) had reached 487,000 people, which was actually 2% more than the official estimate of how many Michiganders are even eligible for the program?

I made sure to note that this was just an estimate, after all, and that some other estimates put the number as high as 500,000 even.

Well, guess what?

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 501,860
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of December 22, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Yup. Even using the higher number, Michigan has still broken through it in less than 9 months. And if you go by the 477K estimate, that means my state has managed to enroll 5.2% more than that.

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