...it could actually be several hundred dollars lower.
A week ago I posted a story in which I busted Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck for blatantly spewing nonsense numbers about the ACA in an Op-Ed in the Detroit News.
Yesterday, my follow-up story, about the Detroit News allowing Colbeck to go back in and correct some (but not all) of his insanely false factual garbage a solid 10 days later (while failing to give any indication about just how absurdly wrong he had been in the first place) went viral, generating more visitors than any other story I've posted in months.
After an all-day saga, the end result was that the Detroit News finally posted a "correction" notice...except they did so in such a disingenous way (and so long after the original editorial was publshed) as to be nearly meaningless.
The reason it's bobbling around the 600K mark, of course, is because of normal "churn" as people move onto/off of the program as they gain/lose jobs, move into/out of the state, give birth/lose family members and so forth.
A couple of days ago, the editiorial board of the News posted an editorial which correctly calls for the renewal of Healthy Michigan, which requires a federal waiver once a year (I think) in order to continue because it includes modifications from simply increasing the eligibility threshold to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.