UPDATE: On the down side, I was off by 4% this time around.
On the up side, I UNDERESTIMATED:
Actual Feb. enrollments: 942,833, for a total of 4,242,325 thru 3/01/14.
Sarah Kliff at Vox just announced that the February HHS report is expected to be released today at around 4:00pm. A few items in anticipation of that:
As I've noted several times, I'm projecting the report to total around 902,000 exchange-based private QHP enrollments for the month of February (technically 2/02 - 3/01)
If accurate, this would bring the cumulative total of exchange-based private QHP enrollments to 4.202 million (from 10/1/13 - 3/01/14)
From the data I have, the average daily enrollment rate in February was almost identical to that of January, which had about 1.146 million QHP enrollments. HOWEVER, the January report included five weeks of data (12/28 - 2/01), while the February report will only include four weeks (2/02 - 3/01). Therefore, even at the same daily average, it'll be about 20% lower no matter what.
If you want to get REALLY specific, call it 902,800 and 4,202,292.
I've been dead-on target 6 times in a row without hyping up my projections beforehand. This time I am hyping myself up beforehand, so I'll probably be way off...but as long as I've UNDERestimated the tally, I'll be perfectly fine with that...
The report will be released in about 5 minutes, but my kid gets home from school in about 10, so it'll be a good 20 minutes before I can really post anything. Feel free to follow Sarah Kliff of Vox in the meantime!
And another "mini-update" out of Minnesota...up another 2,000 total in 3 days to 115,001+. Still assuming a 30/70 QHP/Medicaid split until they release detailed numbers, based on existing data, which brings MN up to 34,600 QHPs / 80,401 Medicaid.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — MNsure announced today an addition to their television campaign that highlights the March 31 deadline to enroll in a qualified health plan. More than 115,000 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure to find comprehensive, affordable coverage, and with only 21 days left of the open enrollment period, MNsure is reminding Minnesotans to take action so they do not incur a penalty.
On the one hand, it's nice to see Minnesota post 3 enrollment updates in a single week. On the other hand, for some reason they didn't include the exact number or the QHP/Medicaid breakdown this time. Not sure why...it's already known that their private QHPs have been making up around 30% of the total until now, and the exact tally through 3/1 will be out next week sometime anyway; no point in trying to mask low numbers. Strange.
Anyway, I'm still assuming a 30/70 split, which would be another 300 QHPs and 700 Medicaid/CHIP on the pile, for a total of 34,000 / 79,001.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today, MNsure announced more than 113,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage through the state’s new health insurance marketplace.
Another non-exact update; in a press release issued today, MNsure gives the combined total of QHPs & Medicaid enrollees as "more than 112,000", up around 3,000 from a few days back. As I did then, assuming the same 30/70 split that MN has had up until now, this means an increase of around 900 QHPs and 2,100 Medicaid enrollees.
As always, these figures will be adjusted as necessary when the formal data is released by MNsure.
To date, more than 112,000 Minnesotans have selected health insurance plans on the MNsure online marketplace. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers must enroll in health insurance coverage by April 1, 2014, or face a penalty.
In an unofficial update, MNsure's CEO has confirmed the total number of exchange-based enrollments as "more than 109,000" total through March 2nd (the PR was issued on the 3rd). In the previous update (thru 2/24) had QHPs at 31,522 and Medicaid at 73,271 new enrollees (104,793 total), so the combined total has gone up at least 4,208. Assuming the current 30/70 split between private QHPs and Medicaid holds true, this brings Minnesota up to 32,784 and 76,217 respectively.
“Since October 1, more than 109,000 Minnesotans have secured affordable health insurance coverage through MNsure,” said MNsure’s interim Chief Executive Officer Scott Leitz
Minnesota issued an official update today (as opposed to the estimate that I came up with a few days ago based on a "nearly 95K" line in an unrelated press release); I was only off by 888 people on the private enrollment side, but by more than 5,500 on the Medicaid/CHIP side of the equation:
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today MNsure announced that more than 100,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance through the state’s new insurance marketplace. MNsure is working to enroll thousands more Minnesotans in coverage before open enrollment concludes on March 31, 2014. Today’s new milestone highlights the progress MNsure has made to significantly improve its performance, and the services it provides to Minnesota consumers....
31,088 Minnesotans selected private health plans;
21,574 Minnesotans enrolled in MinnesotaCare; and
48,682 Minnesotans enrolled in Medical Assistance (MA).
101,344 total enrollments
This update/correction also makes a slight improvement in the overall Feb/Jan enrollment model (from 75.6% of January's total to 75.8%).
One more very small update today. This isn't an official data release, but this press release from yesterdaymentions the total enrollment in Minnesota as being "nearly 95,000". This presumably includes enrollments through 2/17.
Assuming the same 32% / 68% ratio between existing private QHPs and Medicaid enrollments in Minnesota, this should break out to roughly 30,200 Private / 64,700 Medicaid, an increase of around 700 and 1,700 respectively.
Today, MNsure announced new TV and radio ads that tell the stories of Minnesotans who have used MNsure to find better, more affordable health care coverage. The ads highlight the affordability of MNsure plans and underscore the fact that MNsure offers the lowest premium rates in the country – with additional financial help available through tax credits. The ads are aimed at encouraging more Minnesotans to enroll in affordable, quality health coverage before the March 31 deadline. Nearly 95,000 Minnesotans have already selected health insurance through MNsure.
Minnesota's Private QHP enrollments went up a smidge from 28,611 to 29,493 the first week of February, while Medicaid enrollments increased from 61,784 to 63,005 (Medical Assistance + MinnesotaCare combined). Pretty weak tea, I have to admit.
Minnesota's Private QHP enrollments went up about 3% between January 18 and February 1st, from 27,775 to 28,611, while Medicaid/CHIP enrollments went up a more dramatic 18%, from 52,225 to 61,784 (when combining Medicaid & CHIP along with MinnesotaCare, which still counts).
Insurance sign-ups through Minnesota's health care marketplace continued to grow into February to more than 90,000 people, but enrollment continues to be weighted more toward public plans over private insurance.
MNsure released its latest enrollment measures on Wednesday, which covered mid-January through Feb. 1. By that date, more than 28,000 people had enrolled in commercial plans — an increase of about 3 percent from two weeks earlier.
In addition, Minnesota's SHOP (Small Business) exchange tally has gone up a bit as well, to 541 employees covered; multiplying this by a conservative average of 1.8 per employee household brings it up to around 974 people covered by MN SHOP plans.
Some minor updates buried in the MNsure Board of Directors report; thanks to an anonymous tipster for calling my attention to it. Nothing major, but some small updates to both the Private QHP and Medicaid/CHIP enrollment figures (27,775 and 52,225 respectively). The most noteworthy addition is the 475 SHOP (Small Business marketplace) enrollments noted on page 27 of the report.
A friend who wishes to remain anonymous provides a bit more info on the MinnesotaCare program discussed earlier.
The program seems similar to California's Low Income Health Program. The LIHP wasn't part of Medicaid, but it was set up with federal funds in preparation for Medicaid Expansion. However, Minnesota Care predates the ACA. It began in 1992. Part of its funding comes from federal Medicaid funds:
"MinnesotaCare is a publicly subsidized health care program for residents who do not have access to affordable health care coverage. It is funded by a state tax on Minnesota hospitals and health care providers, federal Medicaid funds and enrollee premiums.
Most enrollees pay a monthly premium based on family size and income. Children under 21, some military families, and families with an enrolled American Indian do not pay a monthly premium.
A regular site visitor has sent me some in-depth information about the public healthcare program situation in Minnesota, which is evidently quite a bit more complicated than most other states. I've put together this information into what I hope is a cohesive whole, with my response below. Anyone who's more familiar with the Minnesota situation can feel free to correct or clarify any of this if you'd like.
"Of those nearly 72,000 enrollees, slightly more than 26,000 signed up for private insurance while the rest are on public plans."
Several thousand more than 26,000 should be counted as exchange sign-ups rather than Medicaid signups. Minnesota has a sort of in-between basic health plan called MinnesotaCare. It covers people between 133% and 200% (I think?) of poverty. It is not Medicaid (which is called Medical Assistance in Minnesota) and therefore not part of the ACA Medicaid expansion, but it is a public plan. So, when the StarTribune refers to "public plans," they are lumping Medicaid and MinnesotaCare together. The state has cleared this up before in reporting on Minnesota's enrollment numbers in the New York Times. MinnPost reported on this correction back in November.
Ironically, even though the article itself is primarily about Medicaid expansion in Nevada (from a newspaper in Georgia), I can't actually use the Medicaid numbers provided since they're fuzzy. It does, however, give slightly higher numbers for private enrollments in NV.
It also mentions 23,000 dental plans, which I'm not even covering. In other news, the spreadsheet includes minor corrections to both Colorado (private enrollment typo had it off by 10) and Minnesota (I had MN down as 26,001 based on "just over 26,000", this article specifies it as being exactly 26,011...or an increase of 10, although that also means decreasing the MN Medicaid number by 10 as well).
Another report presented later Thursday to the board overseeing Nevada's insurance exchange shows 17,946 people who shopped for private insurance through the online portal have confirmed plan selections. Of those, 10,776 have paid the premiums. About 23,000 have chosen stand-alone dental coverage.
Pretty slim pickings here on the private enrollment front (up just 141 assuming "slightly more than 26K" = 26,001), but the Medicaid number is up 9.6% to 45,981.
Despite MNsure's problems, so far 71,982 people have signed up for insurance coverage through the exchange. According to newly released demographic details, 53 percent are women and the median age is 48. The largest number signed up for mid-level "silver" plans — about 35 percent of total enrollees. Of those nearly 72,000 enrollees, slightly more than 26,000 signed up for private insurance while the rest are on public plans.