Minnesota

Minnesota continues to quietly crank along as we enter the 2nd year of MNsure:

latest enrollment numbers 

October 5, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 217,535
MinnesotaCare 75,870
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 55,243
TOTAL 348,648

Note that I'm not really even bothering to keep the Off-Season Projection Chart updated anymore; we're close enough to the 2nd Open Enrollment period that it seems a bit silly to bother (heck, I've already projected the graphs out through 11/15 anyway).

It may seem a bit pointless to keep posting 2015 premium rate changes now that we're only 6 weeks away from the Open Enrollment period anyway (everyone will find out soon enough at this point), but the BS is still flying fast & furious, and the topic seems especially relevant in Minnesota's case since the largest insurer on the 2014 exchange, PreferredOne, has pulled out for Year Two:

Minnesota officials say the average rate for policies sold on the state health insurance exchange next year will go up 4.5 percent.

But, they say Minnesotans will still have access to the lowest average rates in the nation.

The five companies participating in the exchange range from dropping their averages by 10 percent to hiking them more than 17 percent.

They declined to say which companies are raising rates and which are lowering them.

BluePlus joins Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners, Medica and UCare this year.

Unfortunately, not only is there no way of doing a weighted average here since the current enrollees for the various plans aren't listed, I can't even post which companies are increasing or decreasing their rates. Ah, well.

Yes, I know I just updated Minnesota 2 days ago, and no, the latest numbers aren't terribly significant increases, but given that MN is the only state which has been consistently updating their data almost daily, with a nice simple breakout between QHPs, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare (a sort of quasi-Medicaid/QHP hybrid allowed for by the ACA), I figured I owed it to them to provide an update which matches their numbers up precisely with Day 365...exactly 1 year to the day since the exchanges launched last October:

enrollment update

latest enrollment numbers 

September 30, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 214,071
MinnesotaCare 75,013
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 55,148
TOTAL 344,232

QHPs are up another 183, Medicaid 5,242 and MinnesotaCare (which is a little bit like high-end Medicaid, from what I can tell) is up another 1,160 over the past 7 days:

latest enrollment numbers 

September 28, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 212,331
MinnesotaCare 74,609
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 55,001
TOTAL 341,941

One of last week's big ACA stories was the news that the largest insurance company on Minnesota's exchange, PreferredOne, was dropping out of MNsure.

ACA critics pounced all over this news as Yet More Proof That Obamacare Is Failing®, even though pretty much every "proof" they've presented to date has turned out to be nonsense or, at best, vastly exaggerated (never mind, either, the fact that overall, 77 new insurers are joining the ACA exchanges while only 15 are dropping out, for a net gain of 62 companies nationally).

Minnesota's QHP numbers continue to quietly rise slowly despite the news last week that the MNsure's largest participant, PreferredOne, is pulling out of the exchange for year two. Meanwhile, their Medicaid number is up another 6,541, and MinnesotaCare (which isn't actually Medicaid proper, but is sort of a quasi-Medicaid-like program allowed for & funded by the Affordable Care Act) is up 1,489.

I've generally sort of lumped Medicaid and MinnesotaCare together, but it's worth noting that the successful addition of 73.4K people to MinnesotaCare is one of the main reasons for PreferredOne pulling out of the exchange in the first place.

latest enrollment numbers 

September 21, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 207,089
MinnesotaCare 73,449
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 54,818
TOTAL 335,356

Ouch. While most states are seeing their list of insurance providers increasing this year, in a few cases some are dropping out...and in the case of Minnesota, it's the one with 59% of current enrollees:

The insurer with the lowest rates and most customers on Minnesota's health care exchange is pulling out.

Golden Valley-based PreferredOne this morning confirmed its exit from MNsure. It comes as a major blow to the exchange — the next open enrollment period starts Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15.

MNsure officials said the online insurance exchange would reach out soon to PreferredOne customers who bought coverage through MNsure last year with information on next steps.

They said consumers still have at least four, well-known, Minnesota-based carriers "who are committed to providing important health coverage" to everyone, including people who qualify for tax credits and public programs.

...According to a company statement, MNsure policies make up only a small percentage of PreferredOne's entire enrollment but take up a significant amount of resources to support.

Old Reliable Minnesota comes through again...

latest enrollment numbers

September 14, 2014

Health Coverage Type Total Enrollments
Medical Assistance 200,548
MinnesotaCare 71,960
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 54,646
TOTAL 327,154

 

That's 156 more QHPs in the past 6 days, and 5,681 more added to Medicaid:

latest enrollment numbers

September 8, 2014

Health Coverage Type Total Enrollments
Medical Assistance 196,027
MinnesotaCare 70,893
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 54,510
TOTAL 321,430

If it seems like I keep posting Minnesota's latest every few days, that's because...well, frankly, I am, for two reasons: First, they're updating it every few days (almost odometer-like); and second, MNsure is pretty much the only one posting updates on a regular basis (again, Oregon is now the only one doing so more frequently than once a month).

On the up side, those MN numbers keep increasing at a pretty impressive rate, with another 294 QHPs added and 5,848 more added to Medicaid/CHIP in just the past 6 days:

latest enrollment numbers

September 2, 2014

Health Coverage Type Total Enrollments
Medical Assistance 191,568
MinnesotaCare 69,671
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 54,354
TOTAL 315,593

For some perspective, this means that Minnesota's total ACA exchange enrollments have gone up over 5.1% in just the past 12 days.

Minnesota continues to quietly crank along...

latest enrollment numbers

August 27, 2014

Health Coverage Type Total Enrollments
Medical Assistance 187,112
MinnesotaCare 68,279
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 54,060
TOTAL 309,451

The Good News: Minnesota, as always, continues to provide consistent, up-to-date enrollment data, adding 56 QHPs over a 3 day period:

latest enrollment numbers

August 24, 2014

Health Coverage Type Total Enrollments 
Medical Assistance 183,503
MinnesotaCare 67,054
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 53,866
TOTAL 304,423 

The Bad News: Up until recently I was only receiving regular upates from 3 states (plus monthly updates from Maryland and random, occasional updates from various other states). For the past few weeks, however, even 2 of those 3 states (Hawaii and Oregon) have seemingly gone radio silent as well. Aside from the next monthly MD update (due sometime this week, I believe), that leaves Minnesota as the sole state keeping their data up to date.

Meanwhile, Minnesota's exchange Medicaid total has now broken the 250K mark and stands at 250,557.

I received the following email from someone regarding small group insurance policies out of Minnesota (emphasis mine):

Maybe not useful to you, but an insurance agent in MN told me he just got quotes for his first three 2015 group coverage renewals: -7.5%, -2.5%, -7.5%.

He's slightly shocked.

I asked if he could provide some further details; so far this is as much as he's able to add:

...He's rural, so those are likely group plans for small businesses, maybe a small school system.  Recent changes have been +8-24%,  so this is a gigantic change.

Three more quick hits...the third one really deserves its own entry, but frankly, I'm too exhausted today and want to get it off the books, so...

Vermont: STATE SIGNS $9.5 MILLION CONTRACT EXPANDING ROLE OF OPTUM IN HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE

Vermont signed a revised contract with the tech firm Optum that expands its role in Vermont Health Connect’s operations.

Optum already had a contract worth $5.6 million for consulting work, and the latest deal, signed Aug. 15, is worth an additional $9.5 million for a total of $15.1 million.

 

...At latest count, Optum has helped the state halve its backlog of coverage changes and information errors from a high of more than 14,000 to roughly 7,000. Also, close to 4,000 people are having billing issues with Vermont Health Connect. There is some overlap between the two groups, Miller said.

Minnesota exchange gets new marketers

The news that MNsure is switching to a new ad team isn't that noteworthy, but check out the reasoning (in bold):

When I updated the Minnesota exchange numbers just a few days ago, they stood at 53,647 QHPs & 240,654 Medicaid/CHIP enrollees...or 294,301 total.

Just 3 days later, the MNsure exchange has tacked on almost 5,800 more people, breaking through the 300,000 mark:

More Than 300,000 Minnesotans Enroll in Quality Health Coverage Through MNsure

ST. PAUL, Minn.—MNsure today announced that 300,085 Minnesotans have enrolled in comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage through the state health insurance marketplace.

“I’m proud to announce today that more than 300,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in health insurance through MNsure,” said MNsure CEO Scott Leitz. “During the State Fair, we hope to help even more Minnesotans find comprehensive, affordable coverage that meets the needs of their families or small businesses. Be sure to visit us in the Health Fair 11 building and bring your questions about MNsure.”

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