G'mar Hatimah Tovah. Yes, I know I shouldn't be posting this on Yom Kippur Eve, but this seemingly minor news item means volumes to me personally.
I've spent 5 solid months pain-stakingly piecing together the best projection I could for off-season exchange QHP enrollments, using bits and pieces of data from a dozen or so states...mainly Minnesota, Oregon, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington State. In the absence of official updates from Healthcare.Gov (36 states) or the 2 largest state-run exchanges (California and New York), however, I was never completely sure about how close I was to the actual number, since the data I did have only covered perhaps 8% of the population.
Still, I eventually gave up hope that either NY or CA would bring their numbers up to date, foraging ahead with my overall estimate of roughly 9,000 additional QHP enrollments being added daily during the off-season, 90% of those paying for their first month's premium, and roughly an equal number dropping their coverage sometime later...meaning that at any given time during the off-season, roughly 90% of the April 19th "official" number would be likely to still be enrolled and paying up.
Nationally, that should mean around 7.22 million people (based on the original 8.02 million) should currently be enrolled...and the announcement a couple of weeks ago that the number was actually even higher (7.3 million as of August 15th) was a pleasant bonus.
In California specifically, which enrolled 1,405,102 people in private plans via the CoveredCA exchange as of April 19th, the numbers above should mean around 1.28 million people should still be enrolled as of now.
Well, guess what was finally just announced today??
Before the debut of the Covered California healthcare marketplace last year, Alameda County had about 150,000 uninsured adults. Excluding those deemed ineligible due to immigration status, there were still 110,000 adults who were qualified but uncovered. Today 60,000 of them – or nearly 55 percent – are newly insured, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said.
...“We’ve made the biggest difference of any state in the nation, going from 22 percent to 11 percent uninsured. That is a huge accomplishment,” Chan said.
Lee said his goal for Covered California in the coming year is to boost enrollment to 1.7 million people from the current 1.3 million by the end of the next open enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.
That's right. At long last, without any official press release or fuss made, Covered California director Peter Lee announced that the current QHP enrollment for CoveredCA is...1.3 million. They don't provide the gross total, meaning I technically can't use this figure to update the projection chart...but the irony is that after tracking the off-exchange numbers in the other smaller states for this long, I don't even need to, because I have enough evidence now to reverse-engineer that figure anyway:
Assuming California's daily rate has been around 23% that of the on-season period (based on appx. 9K/day vs. 40K/day nationally during the enrollment period), they should be adding around 1,600 per day.
Which, after all my beating my head against a wall throughout the summer, seems oddly anticlimactic at this point. (sigh...)
In any event, since the previous official "How many have PAID???" figure given by Lee (way back in late April) was 85%, this means that the number of CoveredCA enrollees currently paying their premiums (1.3 million) is actually 8% higher than the 1.2 million from last spring.