START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

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Michigan

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.

According to the state administration, there are roughly 477,000 Michiganders who qualify for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Cue FOX News and Breitbart's conspiracy theorists...

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 487,190
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of December 15, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

In all seriousness, obviously that 477K eligibility figure could be off; I've heard other estimates as high as 500,000, for instance.

The point is that the Medicaid expansion well in Michigan, along with many other states, is already running dry less than a year into the program (and in Michigan's case, less than 9 months into the program).

Yup, my wife and I went ahead and manually renewed our own private healthcare policy via HC.gov this morning here in the Wolverine State. We had already used the window shopping/browsing feature ("See Plans & Prices") and determined that in our case, sticking with the same plan through the same company made the most sense for us.

Now, here's where things get interesting: For 2014 we qualified for a small tax credit. For 2015, while our projected taxable income is expected to be pretty much identical to what we had projected a year earlier, our tax credit went up by $61 per month.

The policy itself also did go up by $93/month, but due to our tax credit also increasing, our net cost ends up being just $32/month more. Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled about having to pay $384/year more on top of what's already a pretty steep rate, but the point is that for some people, their tax credits are increasing next year (ie, meaning a lower net premium increase than the official rate increase would indicate).

According to the state administration, there are roughly 477,000 Michiganders who qualify for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

As of December 8th...

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 474,372
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of December 8, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Now, obviously that 477K eligibility figure could be off (I had previously heard estimates as high as 500,000).

According to the state administration, there are roughly 477,000 Michiganders who qualify for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Well, guess what?

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 469,698
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of November 24, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Now, obviously that 477K eligibility figure could be off (I had previously heard estimates as high as 500,000). The point is, the Medicaid expansion well in Michigan, along with many other states, is already running dry less than a year into the program (and in Michigan's case, less than 8 months in).

UPDATE: Hmmmm...ok, that's a first: According to today's update, the number enrolled in the Healthy Michigan program has actually dropped by around 8,500 people over the past week:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Yup, that's another 16,000 Michiganders who are royally hosed if the Republican Party gets their way and repeals the ACA. The total is now up to around 662,000 people state-wide if you combine Medicaid expansion and those receiving QHP tax credits:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 449,949
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of November 10, 2014 

Over at Eclectablog, my friend Amy Lynn Smith has posted an eloquent, politely-worded open letter to newly-reelected Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

Her point is simple: While progressives may hate much of what he's done in his first term, unlike so many of his ultra-right wing nutbag colleagues, Gov. Snyder has at least shown the occasional moment of decency. Setting up a state-run ACA exchange for Michigan to ward off the fallout from a harmful SCOTUS decision on the King vs. Burwell case would be another such opportunity, which would play directly off of his successful (if belated) push to expand Medicaid for almost half a million Michiganders.

Read the whole thing.

Last week I crunched the numbers and pointed out that if the Republican Party ever successfully completes repealing the Affordable Care Act, tearing it out "root & branch" as Mitch McConnell is so fond of putting it, that 638,000 Michiganders would lose their healthcare coverage in one shot.

Today, that number has climbed 8,617 higher:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 433,469
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of October 27, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Yup. We're up to over 646,000 Michigan residents who'd be pretty much screwed if the GOP gets its way.

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