Minnesota

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

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
TOTAL 183,018

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.

This isn't an exact apples-to-apples comparison, since the Massachusetts number includes the "overtime" extension period while the other 5 states only run through 2/15/15, but I thought it would be useful to see how the 6 exchanges which had widespread technical issues last year fared this time around. Obviously  other states like Washington and California had some snafus, but these are the ones which were seriously hosed last year to the point of requiring massive overhauls or which were completely scrapped in favor of a new platform (I'm not including HC.gov itself here since everyone already knows what massive technical improvements they've made).

The chart below refers specifically to QHP selections only (whether paid or not), and compares the 2015 open enrollment period (11/15/14 - 2/15/15...or 2/26 in the case of MA) against the 2014 open enrollment period (10/1/13 - 4/19/14). I've also included some notes for context.

Three more updates to the #ACAOvertime Deadline Extension Roundup:

  • First, as noted this morning, California has tacked on an extra 2 days to their "In Line by Midnight" period (previously ending on 2/20; now extended to 2/22)

But by February 18, the exchange was offering an extension to people who tried to enroll by February 15 but were unable to do so by the deadline.  This has not been published on the exchange website, but an exchange representative confirmed that the extension runs through February 23, and that the call center (855-899-9600) will help enrollees complete the process between now and then.

MNsure just joined 46 other states (+DC)...that just leaves Kentucky, Vermont and Hawaii without an official extension policy of some sort or another:

MNsure Announces Special Enrollment Period for Consumers "In Line" to Enroll at Midnight February 15
Special Enrollment Period planned to ensure all Minnesotans have the ability to get covered

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Today MNsure announced a plan to ensure all Minnesotans “in line” have the ability to obtain affordable, comprehensive coverage. The Special Enrollment Period will make certain that Minnesotans who were “in line” to enroll—those who began the enrollment process but experienced difficulty, preventing enrollment in time to beat the February 15 deadline—will have their enrollments processed during a special enrollment period.  

“In line” is defined as anyone who took any of the following steps with the MNsure system:

Hmm...well, things are starting to pick up heading into the final weekend of Open Enrollment in Minnesota...

Latest Enrollment Numbers

February 13, 2015

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 66,538
MinnesotaCare 24,457
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 49,238
TOTAL 140,233

The last MNsure update was 1/25, when they had 44,331 QHP selections. Since then, they've added just 1,642 more...or about 150/day. In order to reach their lowered target of 67K by 2/15, they'll need to add 2,100/day for 10 days straight. I just don't see them pulling that off.

Still, if they can reach, say, half of that, they'll add another 11K, which would bring their total up to perhaps 57,000, which isn't unreasonable.

Meanwhile, Minnesota's Medicaid/MinnesotaCare tally is up to 78,863 combined.

February 6, 2015

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 57,593
MinnesotaCare 21,270
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 45,973
TOTAL 124,836

 

This update from MNsure comes not from their normal Enrollment Update page (which still only runs through 1/23), but from their monthly board meeting report from 1/28:

Huh. The actual QHP numbers are fine--that is, Minnesota is still lagging behind where they should be, but they've added 201 over the past couple of days, which is fine given that we're in the slowest part of the enrollment period.

However...what's going on in the lower-left? "Advanced Premium Tax Credits" is the government-ese name for "Tax Subsidies'. In most states they're averaging somewhere between 80-90%...yet in Minnesota, it's less than 50%? What's up with that?

Latest Enrollment Numbers

January 23, 2015*

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 44,308
MinnesotaCare 17,506
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 44,130
TOTAL 105,944

* (actually as of 1/22)

OK, let's see here...that's exactly 400 more QHP enrollees since 1/19, or 133/day, although they've averaged 194/day since New Year's Eve.

At that rate (with no mid-February bump), they'll add another 4,600 by 2/15, or 49K, well short of their target of 67K. However, it's more likely to be more like double or even triple that when you include the final surge, for a total of perhaps 58,000 or so. Reaching their internal target may still be feasible; reaching mine (75K) seems very unlikely at this point, but anything's possible.

I was rather surprised to see another update from MNsure today, since they've generally been issuing weekly updates on Fridays this year, but they decided to issue a special press release to trumpet attaining the 100,000 enrollment mark:

MNsure tops 100,000 Total Enrollments 
Less than four weeks remain before February 15 open enrollment deadline

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Today, MNsure announced more than 100,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage since November 15, the start of the 2015 open enrollment period.

“We are encouraged by this news, as well as the fact that so many Minnesotans are obtaining the health insurance coverage they need through MNsure,” said CEO Scott Leitz. “As we enter the final weeks of this open enrollment period, we’re stepping on the gas to make sure all Minnesotans know about the benefits of MNsure.”

Last week, with autorenewals added into the mix, MNsure was sitting at 41,704 QHPs as of January 5th. They just posted another update running through last night (the date of the numbers is actually as of the night before, as made clear from the corresponding press releases):

Latest Enrollment Numbers: January 16, 2015

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 38,405
MinnesotaCare 16,056
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 43,461

TOTAL 97,922

Minnesota had just posted year-end updates 2 days ago but I'm glad to see a new one which brings the numbers up through last night:

Latest Enrollment Numbers

January 6, 2015

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 29,936
MinnesotaCare 12,225
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 41,704

TOTAL 83,865

The major change here isn't so much new QHPs (just 1,844 of the increase) as the autorenewals (or "passive renewals" as MNsure calls them) which made up 8,701 of the total:

Updated @MNsure enrollments: 83,865 total. 41,704 in QHP (8,701 of which are passive renewal), 12,225 in MinnesotaCare and 29,936 in MA

As I noted last week, Minnesota had around 41,000 people enrolled in 2014 exchange QHPs as of October, and due to PreferredOne dropping off the exchange (with around 60% of the market), along with a state law which requires insurance companies to continue providing the same policy as long as a current enrollee wants to keep it (and keeps paying premiums), that meant that MN's renewal/re-enrollment situation was especially unusual compared to most states.

They bumped their January coverage deadline out to 12/31; today they posted their Year End results:

Latest Enrollment Numbers

December 31, 2014

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 26,540
MinnesotaCare 11,152
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 31,159
TOTAL 68,851

Hmmm...OK, I admit I'm starting to get a bit concerned about Minnesota. True, they bumped out their January deadline enrollment date until tomorrow (New Year's Eve), so there's still 5 day's worth of data to go including what I assume will be some sort of surge today and tomorrow, but I was expecting them to be doing a bit better at this point. They had just over 41,000 2014 enrollees as of mid-October. Nationally over 90% of 2014 enrollees should be renewed either manually or automatically, but MN has a special situation given that the largest insurance company on MNsure dropped out, leaving over 60% of the total to find something else or be moved off of the exchange completely.

Pages