Michigan

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

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)

Slowly but surely, Michigan looks like it may end up achieving 100% expansion enrollment by the end of the first year, an amazing accomplishment (especially considering that the GOP state legislature delayed the program by 3 months for absolutely no reason whatsoever, financial or otherwise):

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 307,143
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of June 23, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Yes, I know I just posted a Michigan Medicaid expansion update a few days ago, and the numbers since then are "only" up 4,000 since then, but this story has another important data point. Regular visitors should have noticed that the Medicaid spreadsheet and section of The Graph always seems to be somewhat higher than the CMS's occasional reports on actual Medicaid enrollment. The main reason is that there's a difference between Medicaid determinations and Medicaid enrollments; the HHS and CMS reports, along with the occasional state-level reports, generally only list how many people have been determined to be eligible for Medicaid. There's still a process that they have to go through in order to fully enroll.

First, take a look at my most recent Michigan Medicaid expansion update from a week ago:

Michigan is now up to over 57% of the 500,000 residents eligible for Medicaid/CHIP under the Affordable Care Act:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 287,281
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of June 9, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

That was it. That was the entire entry.

As I noted last week, the whole "Obamacare is socialism!!" mantra, which was always stupid in the first place, looks even sillier now with the news coming in from state after state that more and more private insurance companies are jumping into the ACA exchange pool. Now comes news from my own state of Michigan that the number on the exchange for the 2015 open enrollment season will climb from 13 to a whopping 18:

LANSING — Additional insurers are asking to join Michigan's Health Insurance Marketplace.

The state said today that it has received filing information from 18 health insurance companies wanting to be included in 2015 — five more than participated last year.

Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Ann Flood said state residents seeking coverage through the marketplace will have even more plans to choose from and that "increased competition helps keep premiums lower."

Michigan is now up to over 57% of the 500,000 residents eligible for Medicaid/CHIP under the Affordable Care Act:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 287,281
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of June 9, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

OK, looks like expansion Medicaid enrollments are starting to slow down here in Michigan; only about 8,000 more people signed up over the past week. Still, that's 55% of the half a million total Michiganders estimated to be eligible for the expanded program:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 276,662
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of June 2, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Add another 10,000 enrollees onto the total. Michigan's ACA Medicaid expansion now stands at 84% of the first-year goal, or 54% of the half-million estimated to be eligible for the program:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 269,473

*Statistics as of May 27, 2014 

Michigan continues to quietly enroll thousands and thousands of people in ACA-expanded Medicaid, having already reached 81% of the 320K first-year goal in just 7 weeks (or, alternately, 52% of the total eligible for expanded Medicaid state-wide):

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 259,007

*Statistics as of May 19, 2014 

Michigan may have been 3 months late to the Medicaid expansion game, but once we got started, things really took off. The original target was 320,000 adults in the state...and MI has already reached over 74% of that goal:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics
Total Healthy Michigan Plan Beneficiaries: 237,329

*Statistics as of May 12, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

My own calculations (based on KFF.org data) give the total number of Michigan residents eligible for Medicaid expansion as about 500,000; even at that number, 237K still represents over 47%, which is fantastic.

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