Vermont: Slight QHP/Medicaid corrections; 92% of Jan-March QHPs PAID

GAH!! OK, earlier today I read two conflicting stories about the Vermont enrollment situation. My conclusion was that the correct numbers were:

  • 18,507 Private QHPs (Paid) / 11,656 Private QHPs (Unpaid)
  • 20,312 Medicaid (Manual enrollment) / 33,549 Medicaid (Auto-Transfers)

However, I've had a chance to look at the actual VT exchange presentation, and it looks like I was partially correct. The actual numbers are as follows (bold-faced are corrected):

  • 18,507 Private QHPs (Paid) / 10,443 Private QHPs (Unpaid)
  • 21,525 Medicaid (Manual enrollment) / 33,549 Medicaid (Auto-Transfers from VHAP/Catamount)

You can see this in the chart below; it's the first and second columns which are relevant. The third column appears to refer to some glitches in the system which aren't the fault of the customers, who have paid their premiums to the insurance companies. It looks like Vermont has 1,973 people who are owed a heck of an explanation (not so much the April starters, but the Jan/Feb/March starters, anyway), but 18.5K have finished the process and paid their premiums as required.

The main impact on this update is to slightly increase the Medicaid number...and to slightly lower the Unpaid QHP number, changing Vermont's "Paid" percentage from 61% to 64% but lowering their total enrollment figure by about 1,200).

However, this also gives an updated look of exactly my point when it comes to the larger "But how many have PAID???" brouhaha.

Take a look at the chart above.

Out of 12,677 January-start policies, 11,915 of the enrollees have paid their premiums. That's 94% of them.

Out of 1,989 February-start policies, 1,842 have paid. That's 93%.

Out of 3,268 March-start policies, 2,689 have paid. That's 82%.

Out of 9,865 April-start policies (you know, the month that hasn't started yet), 1,878 have paid...or just 19%.

And finally, out of 1,151 May-start policies (still almost 6 weeks away), 183 have paid...or just 16%.

In other words, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Since more than 1/3 of the total QHP enrollments won't even start coverage until April or May, why is anyone freaking out about the "unpaid" number already? The April and May policies are completely dragging down the overall total, when they don't even start yet!

The only ones which can truly be judged for their paid/unpaid status so far are January, February and March start policies, since those months are either over with or already started...and in Vermont, at least, those 3 months combined add up to 16,446 paid out of 17,934...or 92% PAID.

Compare this to the 90% "final payment" ratio that I've been assuming...which is now looking pretty conservative (pun intended) by comparison, no?