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.
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:
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%.
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):
Hmmm...this is a bit surprising. The last report out of MNsure stated that they had added 1,405 QHP selections in the 15 days from 2/21 - 3/08, or 94 per day. I assumed that as today's tax filing deadline approached, this rate would increase as procrastinators scrambled to get their taxes filed under the wire. Instead, however, this is their latest report:
61,874 - 61,109 = Just 765 people enrolling over the 36 days since the prior report, or just 21 people per day. ACA exchange enrollments have actually slowed down substantially over the past month compared to the prior 2 weeks (which were after open enrollment ended). If this slowdown is representative of the whole country, then instead of several hundred thousand #ACATaxTime enrollees, we might be looking at fewer than 100K. However, this isn't nearly enough to draw any conclusions from yet.
The impending King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision will cast an even larger shadow over the ACA over the next 2 months (the decision is expected to be announced in June), as exchanges in 6 of the 14 states running their own (State-Based Marketplaces, or SBMs) are at risk of either being abandoned, dissolved or otherwise moved over to the federally-run Healthcare.Gov exchange:
The federal government is threatening to take over Hawaii's health insurance exchange within months and has restricted grant money to support operations of the Hawaii Health Connector.
Jeff Kissel, the Connector's executive director, told lawmakers at a briefing Thursday that if the exchange created by the Affordable Care Act does not get state funding soon, the federal government will abolish Hawaii's marketplace and run it directly.
The good news is that MNsure is continuing to provide off-season enrollment reports. The only bummer is that they appear to have switched to monthly reports, but I guess I can live with that:
Latest Enrollment Numbers
March 12, 2015
MNsure provides a robust enrollment metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. This page will be updated on board meeting days.
Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 90,839
MinnesotaCare 31,070 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 61,109
Unlike today's DC update, which seems highly questionable due to the "...since Oct. 2013" wording, MNsure's report only includes 2015 enrollments, and the numbers, while still impressive, are much more reasonable.
Now that the King v. Burwell Supreme Court oral arguments are out of the way (with radio silence expected until they announce the decision sometime in June) , the next Big Development to keep an eye on ACA-wise is...Tax Season! There will be plenty of stories about how many people have to pay back some/all of their 2014 tax credits, how many will receive additional tax credits...and, most germane to this site, how many additional people enroll via the exchanges to avoid having to pay (most) of the higher tax penalty next year for not being covered in 2015 during the Tax Filing Season Special Enrollment Period (SEP), or #ACATaxTime as I prefer to call it.