Oregon

As I noted a week or so ago, there's a slight discrepancy between Healthcare.Gov's ON-exchange QHP tally for Oregon (currently 92,059 as of 1/23) and the state insurance division's record (85,912 through 1/25). This turns out to be due to a combination of lag time between HC.gov recording new enrollments & the state insurance dept. receiving them, plus the fact that one of the companies is only reporting paid enrollees, not total, which skews the numbers. As such, I'm using HC.gov's data for the on-exchange QHPs.

However, for off-exchange QHPs, the only source is the Oregon Dept. of Insurance, and this has gone up a couple thousand people over the past week or so:

The Insurance Division will collect enrollment information from carriers each week throughout 2015 open enrollment. Updated numbers will be posted each week on this web page.

Members enrolled,
Nov. 15-Jan. 25
On Healthcare.gov 85,912
Outside of Healthcare.gov 92,872
Total 178,784

A few days ago, I posted an article over at healthinsurance.org which delved into the mysterious world of OFF-exchange QHPs...ie, people who just enroll in a private, individual/family healthcare policy the old-fashioned way, by contacting Blue Cross, Aetna, UnitedHealthCare or whoever directly instead of going through one of the ACA exchange websites.

I also posted an accompanying piece here which noted how hard it is to lock down these enrollment numbers, since the carriers aren't generally required to provide that information publicly except in a general sort of way (and even then, usually only once a year or so). Only Oregon and Washington State really post off-exchange data with any sort of frequency, and only Oregon is doing so weekly.

Updating Oregon's QHP total does nothing to change the overall tally this year because they're operating on HC.gov now. It is useful to keep a running total on the state, however. In addition, Oregon is the only state (so far) providing hard numbers for off-exchange QHP enrollments.

Members enrolled, Nov. 15-Jan. 4

  • On Healthcare.gov 81,037
  • Outside of Healthcare.gov 62,678
  • Total 143,715

About the data: Enrolled means a person has selected a plan. Consumers must pay the first month's premium for their coverage to become effective. These numbers do not identify whether the first month's premium has been paid. These numbers do not include Oregonians enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).

As I've noted before, updating Oregon's QHP total does nothing to change the overall tally this year because they're operating on HC.gov now. It is useful to keep a running total on the state, however, given the mess from last year that they're comparing against. In addition, Oregon is the only state (so far) providing hard numbers for off-exchange QHP enrollments.

As I also noted a week or so ago, however, there's an odd discrepancy between the OR state website (which claimed just 67.4K QHPs through 11/21) and the HHS Dept. report (which claimed QHP selections were alredy at over 73K 6 days earlier, on the 15th). With that in mind, use tonight's update with caution:

Open enrollment weekly updates

The Insurance Division will collect enrollment information from carriers each week throughout 2015 open enrollment. Updated numbers will be posted each week on this web page.

Members enrolled,
Nov. 15-Dec. 28
On Healthcare.gov 75,740

Outside of Healthcare.gov 40,731
Total 116,471

A few days ago, I reported that Oregon had only enrolled 40,581 people in private 2015 policies via Healthcare.Gov as of December 14th. I further speculated that even if you include the big Deadline Spike on the 15th, the grand total for OR was likely around 48,000 total in time for January coverage...and of those, the odds are that around 8K of them are new enrollees, leaving around 40K manual renewals from this year.

At my last count, there were around 77K people still enrolled in 2014 plans as of late October, so that leaves potentially 37K people who will miss the boat for January coverage (at least with tax credits...they can still enroll off-exchange without credits, and almost 27K have done so in the state so far).

Many of those 37K may have dropped off of the exchange voluntarily, due to switching to employer-sponsored coverage, aging into Medicare and so on, while others who don't qualify for tax credits anyway may have gone off-exchange instead this year.

However, politically/image-wise, there are still thousands of people who qualify for tax credits who probably missed the deadline.

Open enrollment weekly updates

The Insurance Division will collect enrollment information from carriers each week throughout 2015 open enrollment. Updated numbers will be posted each week on this web page.

Members enrolled,

  • Nov. 15-Dec. 14
  • On Healthcare.gov 40,581
  • Outside of Healthcare.gov 26,799
  • Total 67,380​

About the data: Enrolled means a person has selected a plan. Consumers must pay the first month's premium for their coverage to become effective. These numbers do not identify whether the first month's premium has been paid. These numbers do not include Oregonians enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).

This updated from Oregon doesn't increase the total on the spreadsheet or graph, because it's already included in the HC.gov reports, but it's important for other reasons, including:

Special thanks to Nick Budnick for providing a direct link to Oregon's ACA exchange enrollment update page, which, as a bonus, also tracks off-exchange QHPs as well (which I really wish every state would include as a separate line item):

​The Insurance Division will collect enrollment information from carriers each week throughout 2015 open enrollment. Updated numbers will be posted each week on this web page.

Members enrolled, Nov. 15-Dec. 7
On Healthcare.gov 26,933
Outside of Healthcare.gov 17,923
Total 44,856

About the data: Enrolled means a person has selected a plan. Consumers must pay the first month's premium for their coverage to become effective. These numbers do not identify whether the first month's premium has been paid. These numbers do not include Oregonians enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).

These preliminary numbers are subject to change week to week based on people changing or canceling plans or having a change in status such as a new job or marriage.

Updated: Dec. 12, 2014

OK, the headline and lede paragraph are pretty lame since they make it sound like Oregon's OE2 enrollment is down 90% from last year. This is pretty stupid, of course, since it only covers the first 2 weeks of a 93-day enrollment period, and since there will obviously be a huge spike in enrollments late next week and then again in mid-February.

Still, this is the first hard 2015 enrollment data I've seen for Oregon, and it's especially interesting given a) Oregon's disastrous 2014 exchange experience and b) the subsequent move to Healthcare.Gov this time around (I have yet to see a similar story about Nevada, but will be on the lookout for it):

Cover Oregon officials say just 7,200 Oregonians had selected a private health insurance plan through the federal portal by the end of November.

The article also gives a current update on the 2014 off-season/attrition situation:

About 77,000 Oregonians were enrolled through Cover Oregon in 2014. A total of 105,000 actually enrolled but some dropped off due to cancellations and terminations.

As a bonus, this is also pretty much the first hard off-exchange data I have this year:

Like the Illinois item, this is only a very partial number because it only relates to the first 2 days for a single insurance provider, but it's better than nothing:

Dr. Ralph Prows, CEO of Oregon's Health CO-OP, said his plan tallied about 500 enrollments during the opening weekend and has not experienced any problems with the back-end process for receiving enrollment data from the exchange.

Oregon and Nevada's data numbers should be interesting to watch since they both dumped their own exchange sites in favor of the federal one at HC.gov, of course...

I've ranted several times before about the importance of current Obamacare private policy enrollees making sure to actually visit the exchange website, shop aroundlog into your account and manually re-enroll for 2015, even if nothing has changed at your end (ie, no changes in income, dependents, residence etc).

There are many reasons NOT to auto-renew, most of which are financial in nature. The short version is, you could easily end up paying more than you thought next year by not switching (in addition to premium changes, your tax credit might drop even if your income hasn't changed due to how it's calculated), and you could pay substantially less next year if you do switch to another policy (premiums are actually dropping in many markets).

OK, that was unexpected. After a solid month without any updates, last week CoverOregon, being dismantled even as we speak as the state makes the move to HC.gov for #OE2 (Open Enrollment Period 2) suddenly issued a new update. I figured it was their last hurrah before going silent, but it seems they've decided to put out one (or possibly 2?) more updates before going to the Great Beyond:

November 3, 2014
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon

Medical enrollments through Cover Oregon: 420,450
Total private medical insurance enrollments through Cover Oregon: 105,661

Oregon Health Plan enrollments through Cover Oregon: 314,789
 

Dental enrollments 
Total private dental insurance enrollments through CoverOregon 1: 20,893

Net enrollments 
Net private medical: 77,288
Net private dental: 13,782

Compared to last week, that's another 606 total QHPs added, plus an additional 3,788 added to the Medicaid tally.

In spite of their ugly technical problems, Cover Oregon was surprisingly consistent and reliable with their off-season enrollment updates, issuing them about once a week throughout the entire spring and summer. This came to a halt on September 29th, however; they didn't issue any updates at all throughout all of October. I assumed that this was because they were too busy shutting down the state exchange and moving everything over to Healthcare.Gov for the 2nd Open Enrollment period, and I'm sure they are. However, tonight I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have issued one more update after all, taking things all the way through...today:

October 28, 2014
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon

Medical enrollments through Cover Oregon: 416,056
Total private medical insurance enrollments through Cover Oregon: 105,055

Oregon Health Plan enrollments through Cover Oregon: 311,001
 

VERMONT: Federal Law Raises Questions About Who Can Bid For IT Projects That Support The Exchange

A provision of the Affordable Care Act precluding health insurers or companies in the “same controlled group of corporations” as a health insurer from holding exchange contracts raises questions about Optum working on Vermont Health Connect.

Concerns regarding Optum were raised at the federal level by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking members of the Finance and Judiciary committees respectively.

IDAHO: Your Health Idaho to launch sign-up system

Basically just an overview of the new Idaho ACA exchange; ID is the only state moving from HC.gov to their own website for the 2nd year, giving them a unique perspective. Most interesting to me is that they're spinning the "autonomy/states-rights" angle, which was the whole reason for pushing states to set up their own exchanges in the first place:

An Open Letter to Mitch McConnell:

McConnell says that he supports Kynect because it is just a website.... #kysen

— Joe Sonka (@joesonka) October 14, 2014

Dear Senator McConnell:

In addition to running ACASignups.net, I also happen to be a website developer by trade. I founded my website development company 15 years ago, which makes me an old man in the industry.

Given both of these capacities, I think I'm in a pretty good position to judge what's "just a website" and what isn't.

The kynect "just a website" wouldn't exist without Barack "Yeah, He's Black And He's The President Of The United States, It's Been 5 1/2 Years So Get Over It Already" Obama and the Democratic Party.

Oregon: Most ACA exchange enrollees previously uninsured, most consider themselves healthy:

Those are two of the findings of a survey released today by the Center for Outcomes Research & Education at Providence Health Services. The goals were to understand who enrolled, assess their connection to care before and after enrollment and to understand their health. At the time of the study, 76,569 Oregonians had signed up through open enrollment.

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