END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (41 states)

Time: D H M S

Oregon

Cover Oregon just posted an unexpected update (wasn't expecting this until tomorrow). They've added a couple of very interesting new features this week: First, they've started including dental policies, which has been pretty much ignored by everyone (including myself). I think Kentucky is the only other state that I've seen call any attention to the dental plans.

Of more interest to me for this site, however, is the fact that they've added net enrollments, explaining that these are the final number after people have "cancelled or terminated" their accounts. They don't specify the reasons for these terminations/cancellations (is it by the customer due to a change in status? is it by the exchange or insurance company for nonpayment?), but it's still a good thing overall as it helps give a truer picture of the situation.

A couple of weeks ago I pointed out that at least two states, Massachusetts and Oregon, may end up extending their enrollment period beyond the official March 31st "deadline" due to their exchange websites still being partially or completely hosed.

In Massachusetts' case, there's about 219,000 people currently stuck in coverage limbo; the HHS Dept. has granted an extension of some sort to as far out as June 30th to get these people squared away, although I'm pretty sure the extension only applies to those folks, not anyone who's just trying to enroll now...but that's still a hell of a lot of people.

Contributor Maurice H. provides a bit of Off-Exchange data from Oregon. He contacted Oregon's Health CO-OP and while they didn't provide exact numbers, they were willing to provide their on-exchange/off-exchange ratios:

Oregon’s Health CO-OP is not sharing specific enrollment numbers, but is happy to give you the percentages of on and off Exchange:

On – 42%  /  Off—58%

Hope that helps.

Fortunately, an article in the Oregonian by the authority on all things Cover Oregon-related, Nick Budnick, provides the other piece of the puzzle:

Policies as of March 6th / Oregon's Health CO-OP: 212

Hmmm. Well, if 212 is 42% of the co-op's total enrollments, that makes off-exchange enrollments...505 people.

OK, not exactly a huge number, but an enrollment is an enrollment...noting it...

Considering that their exchange website is still a complete mess, Oregon is actually doing a pretty good job of processing enrollments (not sure how many of these are newly added or reducing the backlog of older ones, not that it matters). Private QHPs are up almost 2,800 over last week, and Medicaid enrollees are up over 8,700.

In fact, so far, Oregon's March QHP enrollment rate (526/day) is actually nearly triple what it was in February (179/day). If every state were to pull this off, the total would actually surpass 7 million after all, though that doesn't seem likely at the moment.

Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon

Total: 145,941 
Private insurance: 45,119
Oregon Health Plan: 100,822

OK, as noted a little earlier, I underestimated the February HHS Report for Exchange-based Private QHP enrollment by about 4.2%:

  • My Projection: 902,800 (4.202 million total)
  • Actual Enrollments: 942,833 (4.242 million total)

I'm perfectly happy to have underestimated. As for where the extra 40,000 enrollments came from, my initial guess would be that California, in particular, started ramping up their big March blitz a bit earlier and more successfully than I figured, which, again, I'm absolutely fine with. Update: Nope, actually, California's numbers plummetted in the 2nd half of Feb due to that ugly technical outage; see below for details.

I'm busily plugging the new enrollment numbers into the spreadsheet even as I type this, and will be updating with various notes and observations, so keep checking in.

OK, I've entered the QHP data; a couple of things to note:

UPDATE: On the down side, I was off by 4% this time around.

On the up side, I UNDERESTIMATED:

Actual Feb. enrollments: 942,833, for a total of 4,242,325 thru 3/01/14.

Sarah Kliff at Vox just announced that the February HHS report is expected to be released today at around 4:00pm. A few items in anticipation of that:

  • As I've noted several times, I'm projecting the report to total around 902,000 exchange-based private QHP enrollments for the month of February (technically 2/02 - 3/01)
  • If accurate, this would bring the cumulative total of exchange-based private QHP enrollments to 4.202 million (from 10/1/13 - 3/01/14)
  • From the data I have, the average daily enrollment rate in February was almost identical to that of January, which had about 1.146 million QHP enrollments. HOWEVER, the January report included five weeks of data (12/28 - 2/01), while the February report will only include four weeks (2/02 - 3/01). Therefore, even at the same daily average, it'll be about 20% lower no matter what.
  • Don't be surprised if Peter Lee of CoveredCA decides to steal some thunder by announcing that California has enrolled 1,000,000 QHPs all by itself either today or tomorrow. However, that would include the past 10 days, while the HHS number will only run thru 3/01.
  • If you want to get REALLY specific, call it 902,800 and 4,202,292.
  • I've been dead-on target 6 times in a row without hyping up my projections beforehand. This time I am hyping myself up beforehand, so I'll probably be way off...but as long as I've UNDERestimated the tally, I'll be perfectly fine with that...
  • The report will be released in about 5 minutes, but my kid gets home from school in about 10, so it'll be a good 20 minutes before I can really post anything. Feel free to follow Sarah Kliff of Vox in the meantime!

Well, Oregon's website may still be a complete disaster, but their manual enrollment process seems to be chugging along fairly well. Private QHPs are up 3,500 from 38,806 a week earlier, while Medicaid enrollments are up another 7,100 from 84,991.

Note that they've finally stopped including the "Fast Track" Medicaid numbers, presumably because they've already enrolled everyone they could find via that route:

March 7, 2014
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon

Total: 134,412 
Private insurance: 42,325
Oregon Health Plan: 92,087

Update: Something else very interesting about Oregon's situation. Take a look at their QHP enrollment history:

  • 12/28: 18,337
  • 02/01: 33,808 (15,471 in 35 days, or 442 per day)
  • 02/28: 38,806 (4,998 in 27 days, or just 185 per day...a 58% drop per day, ouch!)

However, today they announced the number, as of (I presume) yesterday, the 6th, as:

Last month there was news out of Massachusetts of some sort of extension being granted to "bring the state’s health care system in line" with ACA regulations. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it, thinking that it only related to administrative procedures or somesuch.

However, it turns out that there's actually 154,000 people who are currently enrolled in a sort of healthcare batter's box, being placed on hold until MA's screwed-up exchange is able to absorb them into the system via proper ACA-compliant QHPs (or Medicaid/CHIP...not sure about that yet):

Unable to immediately enroll applicants in new, private plans under the Affordable Care Act, state officials extended existing state coverage for about 124,000 individuals, and granted temporary state coverage to about 30,000 new applicants. Those individuals were supposed to move onto new plans by March. 31; the federal waiver gives officials another three months to do that.

So why am I bringing this up today, 3 weeks after that story broke? Because a contributor called my attention to this story out of Oregon:

Oregon continues to slowly drag their still-crippled exchange along, adding another 2,859 private QHPs and 22,564 Medicaid/CHIP enrollees (17,474 + 5,090 via the "Fast Track" program) over the past few weeks.

March 1, 2014 Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon and Oregon Health Authority

Total: 123,797 
Private insurance: 38,806
Oregon Health Plan: 84,991
 
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”
Oregon Health Plan: 128,434

Well I'll be damned! Oregon has finally managed to enroll a small number of people through their website! (Until today, all 35,247 private QHP enrollments in OR have been processed manually...literally, paper forms filled out by hand and then manually entered into the system). With only 6 weeks to go, this may seem a bit underwhelming, but it's still something...

A Cover Oregon official says insurance agents and community groups have been able to enroll about 700 people in health coverage entirely online.

Chief Information Officer Aaron Karjala revealed the number to a state legislative committee on Friday.

Cover Oregon launched its website for a limited group of experts earlier this week, more than four months after it was originally scheduled to be operational.

There's still no date for when the system will launch to the general public. Karjala says developers are regularly testing and fixing elements of the system.

Individuals working without an agent or certified expert can continue to apply, but Cover Oregon staff will have to process a portion of their application by hand.

Whew! Lots of updates today, although most of them have been fairly small. Today we see that Oregon continues to make steady progress in spite of their exchange website still being a mess. They've increased their Private QHP tally by another 11% (from 31,664 to 35,247) and their Medicaid/CHIP tally by 16.7% (from 57,858 to 67,517) via the exchange, plus another  475 added via their "fast track" program.

As noted in the previous Oregon update, there's already 120,155 "fast track" enrollees included in the December CMS report, so I'm only adding the difference since then (3,189) to the actual spreadsheet.

Private insurance: 35,247
Oregon Health Plan: 67,517
 
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”
Oregon Health Plan: 123,344

Some minor updates out of Oregon today: Private QHP enrollments are up to 31,664 from 30,157 a week ago; exchange-based Medicaid enrollments have gone up to 57,858 from 53,018, and Medicaid "Fast Track" direct enrollments are up to 122,869 from 121,190. As noted last week, only the difference in Fast Track enrollments since 12/28 are being listed on the spreadsheet, since the other 120K or so are already included in the CMS report numbers.

Cover Oregon: Private insurance: 31,664 / Oregon Health Plan: 57,858 
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”: Oregon Health Plan: 122,869

A very nice bump in Oregon's numbers today, especially given their ongoing technical issues. Private QHP enrollments are up from 23,800 as of Jan. 15 to 30,157 as of Jan. 24. However, since yesterday's HHS Dept. announcement of appx. 3 million total enrollments was "as of this week", this doesn't impact the overall total; it simply subtracts about 6,000 from the "Unspecified" number. Expect a lot of this over the next week or two until the enrollment updates "clear" the Week 16 point.

Very slight number bumps; 800 private QHPs and about 1,300 more Medicaid, but an update is an update.

To date, [acting Cover Oregon directory Bruce] Goldberg said, 65,932 people have enrolled in health insurance through the marketplace. About 23,800 of those are enrolled in commercial health plans. There are almost 30,000 people who have been approved to select their plan but have chosen not to move on in the process, Goldberg said.

Two quick 'n simple updates: Oregon's "direct" Medicaid enrollments are up another 3,000, while the 86,000 total enrollments in Connecticut now have precise numbers (instead of ones based on percentages the other day). This knocks their private tally down by 880 while increasing the Medicaid number by the same amount.

More than three months after it was supposed to launch, Cover Oregon's website still can't enroll anyone from start to finish. Using a backup process that requires workers to process applications by hand, the state has managed to enroll 65,000 people in health coverage, about 23,000 of them in private insurance and the rest in the Oregon Health Plan, the state's version of Medicaid.

Another 118,000 have enrolled in Medicaid through a separate process that bypasses the exchange.

Access Health CT has signed up more than 86,001 customers by the end of Wednesday, which includes 43,840 people in private plans and 42,161 who learned they are income eligible for government-funded Medicaid.

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