Minnesota

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

Minnesota held their monthly board meeting. At first glance, it looks like they've managed to add 1,991 QHPs since December 28th, which would be impressive...except that, as a later slide shows, 1,871 of these are due to including their SHOP (small business) enrollees in today's number versus these folks not being included in the news article a week or so ago.

Nothing wrong with this, actually, but it does mean that the net gain of individual market QHPs is far less impressive (just 120), for a total of 67,800:

UPDATE/CORRECTION: I've been informed by the MNsure exchange that, in fact, they did add 1,991 individual QHP enrollments since 12/28/15 after all; apparently the 67,680 figure from a couple of weeks back also included SHOP QHPs, so the net increase really is nearly 2,000 people, which is indeed very impressive.

Adding 1,991 in just 13 days represents a 3.0% increase during the slowest part of the enrollment period. By comparison, as I noted earlier today, HC.gov added just 157,536 people from 12/27 - 1/09...or only 1.8% in 14 days. Minnesota has basically been doubling the enrollment rate of the federal exchange since Christmas, which is interesting even if the raw numbers are still small.

In addition, as MNsure noted in their correction: "45% of our QHP enrollments are NEW to MNsure in 2016. That's the highest percentage nationwide according to the data HHS released about a week and a half ago now."

My apologies for the error, and mazel tov on the improved numbers!

Less than 24 hours after Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin decided to pull the plug on the kynect ACA exchange for no particularly good reason, a completely different recommendation was made by a task force subcommittee in Minnesota:

A subcommittee of a state task force recommended Monday continuing with a state-run health insurance exchange like MNsure for now, rather than transferring Minnesotans to the national exchange called HealthCare.gov

Moving to the federal website would be costly and wouldn't work with the state's MinnesotaCare insurance program, said a report endorsed by the 11-person subcommittee of the state task force on health care finance.

Plus, by moving to HealthCare.gov, the state would lose control over its network of health insurance navigators that help people enroll in coverage, according to the report.

I've been getting a little worried about the Minnesota exchange of late. Their first two years were pretty rough, and their most recent update prior to today had them at only 26.5K QHPs as of 12/13. Of course, that didn't include the critical final few days before the January enrollment deadline...nor did it include the extended deadline for Minnesota, which was pushed all the way out to 12/28.

Well, it looks like my concerns were unfounded, and the extension definitely did the trick, because MNsure just announced that as of 12/28/15, they had enrolled 67,680 people in private policies:

Nearly 68,000 Minnesotans Enroll in Private Plan Coverage for 2016 through MNsure

Eighty percent of goal reached with one month of open enrollment remaining

January 04, 2016

Not an official data update, but a nice catch from Louise Norris (the article is mainly about MNsure bumping out their enrollment deadline from 12/15 until 12/28):

As of Sunday, MNsure reported 26,532 sign-ups in private insurance policies through the exchange, including 18,595 new enrollees. The overall sign-up tally is up by more than 8,800 people in a five-day period, and the new enrollee figure is up by 6,415 people.

The tally is actually up 8,854 from MNsure's official report as of 12/08.

 

Thanks to Louise Norris for the heads up! MNsure held their monthly board meeting today as well, bringing their data right up to date through yesterday:

MNsure, the Minnesota ACA exchange which has gone through a lot of political ping-pong but is still standing, just released their first official 2016 #OE3 enrollment report:

OK, that's 6,864 QHP selections in 17 days, or 404 per day so far.

Minnesota only accounted for 0.5% of total QHP selections for 2015; extrapolated nationally at the same ratio, this would suggest around 1.37 million QHPs nationally through yesterday...which is a little lower than I'm currently estimating, but in the right ballpark.

OK, this isn't an official exchange update, and it only covers the "first hour after opening" on Sunday, but aside from Maryland, this is the only hard number I have so far; from Sunday's Wall St. Journal:

The federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, opened for business Sunday and will serve 38 states that rely on the marketplace. California’s state-run exchange is launching a 38-stop bus tour to get the word out about signing up and re-enrolling for coverage. Minnesota’s exchange had a couple hundred people sign up in the first hour after opening in the morning with no signs of any technology problems.

“We’re not expecting a whole lot of enrollment because it’s a 60 degree day on a Sunday, but so far so good,” said Shane Delaney, a spokesman for MNsure. The state exchange has hundreds of brokers and navigators geared up to assist consumers.

OK, that's a bare minimum of 200 QHP selections as of 10am (I'm guessing) on Nov. 1st in Minnesota. Duly noted.

This is basically a mini, state-level version of the "Shop Around & Save $51/month" press release from the HHS Dept. the other day.

MNsure, the Minnesota ACA exchange (which isn't included in the HC.gov analysis above, of course), just posted their own independent analysis of their 2016 rate offerings, and while the picture is pretty ugly for current enrollees who don't shop around, it's actually pretty damned good for those who do so:

When I updated my #OE3 state-level enrollment projections yesterday, I came across this official projection for #OE3 from Your Health Idaho's Sept. 18th board meeting minutes:

Rep. Rusche asked what our target enrollment is for this cycle and what barriers we see in making those targets. Mr. Kelly said the team is focused on the 80% goal of 92,000 as our enrollment target.Premium increases are a potential barrier. Net premium is a relatively small increase for most consumers, and each consumer will experience something different depending Page 5 of 14 on their plan, their location, their carrier, etc. We feel that while the premiums are increasing the relatively small net premium increase will mitigate this barrier to a large degree.

When I asked for clarification, they informed me that:

We currently have 86,659 effectuated enrollments with Your Health Idaho, as of September 15. The 92,000 would also refer to effectuated enrollments.

When I crunched the numbers for Minnesota's requested rate hikes, the results were pretty scary-looking; based on partial data, I estimated that the weighted average was something like a 37% overall requested increase:

Note that there were several crucial missing numbers: I didn't know the actual market share for several companies (I made a rough guess based on an estimate of the total missing enrollments), nor did I know what the requested increases were for Medica or PreferredOne, other than thinking that both were under 10%.

Just moments ago, however, the Minnesota Insurance Commissioner released the approved rate changes...and it's admittedly not pretty:

Individual Market

Minnesota's troubled MNsure exchange continues to quietly roll along through the off-season...

Cumulative QHP selections are up 1,093 since July 14 (42 per day), 2,937 since June 14 (52 per day), 5,059 since May 14 (58 per day) and 9,355 since the end of Open Enrollment on 2/21/15...or about 55 per day). Things have gradually slowed during the off-season, but not by much.

In just the last month they've also beefed up their Medicaid enrollment tally by over 16,800 and added 3,800 more to MinnesotaCare.

This report also gives some important additional stats, such as:

(sigh) Just 2 days ago there was excellent news on the 2016 rate increase front from the largest state (California, 4% weighted average) and one of the smaller ones (Maine, just 0.7%). Today brings the other side of the coin: Assuming the requested rate hikes are approved, Minnesota is looking at some pretty unpleasant increases next year:

A team of actuaries at the Minnesota Department of Commerce are currently scrutinizing the proposed rates that have been filed for 2016, and final rates will be announced on October 1. But for now, four MNsure’s individual market carriers have proposed the following rate changes for coverage effective January 1, 2016 (market share is as of the end of the 2015 open enrollment period):

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