END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (Connecticut & Maryland)

Time: D H M S

Michigan

It's no secret that I'm a progressive Democrat. It's also no secret that I live in the metro Detroit area (although I'm actually in MI-09, Sandy Levin's district, not MI-11). Obviously I'm a bit on the biased side when it comes to local Congressional races. All that said, MI-11 Republican candidate and foreclosure attorney David Trott (best known for kicking old ladies out of their homes) gave a newspaper interview recently which was jaw-droppingly full of nonsense when it comes to (among other subjects) the Affordable Care Act.

For starters, the question itself was disgustingly biased:

Many American families experienced sticker shock when the first monthly premium arrived for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Many also now have high deductibles that make them wary of getting medical care at all. What would you do too bring down costs and improve medical care?

...but Trott decided to one-up his interviewer in the gall department:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 364,929
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of August 18, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Here's an educated guess as to the possible impact on Michigan's uninsured rate:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 355,699
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of August 11, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

NOTE: I originally posted this as an update to my Florida rate increase entry this morning, but it's important enough that I figured I should repost it as a separate entry.

Thanks to Caitlin Sweany of PricewaterhouseCoopers for explaining an interesting discrepancy I noted in at least one state (my own state of Michigan). This is another example of how difficult it is to nail down the actual impact of these rate changes (and remember, in many cases these are still just requests, not approved rates, subject to change). Case in point:

According to the Detroit Free Press's original story on the subject, Michigan's "average" premium rates are only going up 0.8%. Yayyyy!!!

Things are slowing down now, but Michigan continues to slowly, gradually add to the Medicaid expansion tally. With appx. 500K people estimated to be eligible for the program, they've now hit 69% of that number.

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 345,533
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)
 

*Statistics as of August 4, 2014 

Thanks to my friends over at Eclectablog for this one:

With the recent conflicting rulings by federal courts over whether subsidies for health insurance can be used by residents in states relying on the federal health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, there is discussion of revisiting the creation of a state-run exchange in Michigan.

The key significance here is that unlike, say, Delaware or Illinois which have Democratic administrations/legislatures but still chose to stick with Healthcare.Gov until now, Michigan's government is currently completely controlled by Republicans...yet even they seem to be coming around to the reality that the ACA, for all of its flaws, is actually working pretty damned well so far:

Republican Jim Marleau chairs the state Senate Health Policy Committee. He says the federal health exchange has worked well for Michiganders since problems with the website were fixed late last year. But he says he’s still interested in a state-run exchange – especially if issues pop up again.

For a state which didn't even implement their Medicaid expansion program until April, Michigan continues to impress...

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 341,634
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)
 

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

While all the fuss & bother over the Halbig case continues to get bopped around by every pundit under the sun (including me? Do I count as a pundit now?), the ACA itself continues to actually, you know, work as another 8,400 people are added to Medicaid via the expansion program here in Michigan:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 334,599
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of July 21, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

(Note that this is actually as of a week ago...there should be another update later this afternoon...)

As there are an estimated 500K eligible for the expansion program, this means that Michigan has already reached 2/3 of the total in less than 4 months.

Yesterday I posted an update from Michigan which touted the state meeting their 1st year Medicaid expansion enrollment target of 322K; today the official tally was updated again, with another 3,000 people being added:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 326,167
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of July 14, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry regarding the proposed rate change requests by the 17 insurance companies participating on Michigan's ACA exchange for 2015. The news at the time was a mixed bag, with some companies requesting rate increases of up to 18%, while others were requesting a reduction of their rates by 22%. Overall, according to the Detroit Free Press article, the average rate increase request is a mere 0.8%. Hooray!

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder doesn't have many things to be proud of, but this is one of them: He did help push the ACA's Medicaid expansion through the extremist GOP-controlled state legislature. In response, the Healthy Michigan program has now enrolled over 323,000 newly-qualified people in Medicaid & CHIP:

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that after less than four months, enrollment for the Healthy Michigan Plan already has surpassed its first-year goal of 322,000.

As of today, July 10, Michigan has 323,022 Michigan residents enrolled in the program. The Healthy Michigan Plan extends health care benefits to a half-million low-income residents. Enrollment for the plan began April 1.

The press release mostly crows about reaching the "first year goal" of 322K people in only 14 weeks, but to me the more impressive achievement is hitting 64% of the total eligible population (500K) in that time.

The growth of Michigan's ACA Medicaid expansion program is finally slowing down, but they've still tacked on another 3,000 or so people in the past week, bringing enrollment up to 64% of the total eligible to enroll:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 317,931
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of July 7, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

The cognitive dissonance of the Republican Party (otherwise known as "hypocrisy" or simply "chutzpah" in layman's terms) is amazing.

Remember the complete FAIL of the Healthcare.gov launch last October? Remember how Republicans were screaming from the hills about a Canadian firm (instead of a U.S. based one) winning the largest site development contract, and then proceeding to utterly botch the job? Remember how the same company, CGI of Montreal, also dropped the ball in several of the state-run exchanges, including Hawaii, Vermont, and most infamously, Massachusetts???

Well, guess what story just broke here in Michigan?

LANSING, MI -- Michigan has awarded a $90 million contract to the Canadian tech company that built HealthCare.gov despite rollout problems with the federal website and a lower bid from another company.

Michigan's belated Medicaid expansion program continues to grind along...not only is MI up to 96% of the first year goal already, it's actually up to 63% of the total number who are eligible state-wide!

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 315,578
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of June 30, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

All 17 of the insurance companies participating in the federal ACA exchange this fall for Year Two of open enrollment have released their preliminary rate requests for 2015. It's important to stress preliminary, since the rates still have to be approved by the HHS Dept. Update: State insurance commissioner.

There could be some sticker shock, but some welcomed price cuts as well, when consumers go shopping for insurance this fall on the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, according to numbers the state released earlier today.

Overall, it appears that Michigan’s proposed average rate increase of just 2.2% is modest compared to changes in some other states, according to an ongoing analysis by consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers that so far has compared insurance pricing on more than a dozen state marketplaces.

That means the average premium cost in Michigan — $326.74 — remains lower than the national average premium of $360.

...At least four companies propose boosting premiums 9% or more, while others plan to slash those monthly costs by double-digit percentages. (See table: 2015 Michigan health insurance rates)

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