New York, Kentucky: FINALLY, clarity on the "Previously Uninsured" numbers!

Hat Tip To: 

Thank you to new contributor JTP for this CNBC article, which finally brings some clarity to the "how many already had insurance?" question.

Until now, the only hard numbers available were from New York and Kentucky, which were reporting 70% and 75% of all enrollees as not already having insurance respectively. However, these numbers included both exchange QHPs and Medicaid enrollees, which made it difficult to parse what percent of QHP enrollees only didn't have insurance prior to their enrollment.

This article is more specific: The number for NY QHPs is 59% of QHP enrollees (vs. 90% of Medicaid), and in KY is, surprisingly higher, at 75% for each!

If getting health coverage for the uninsured is the primary goal of Obamacare, then New York and Kentucky seem to be doing more than their fair share of that work.

In Kentucky, 75 percent of the nearly 65,000 people who enrolled in private Obamacare insurance sold on the state-run exchange were uninsured at the time they enrolled, according to questionnaires they filled out when they applied. And 75 percent of people who enrolled in Medicaid via the exchange likewise had been uninsured.

In New York, 59 percent of the nearly 343,000 private Obamacare plan enrollees reported being uninsured when they picked their plans. And 90 percent of the Medicaid enrollments via the state's exchange reported having been uninsured.

Kentucky's QHP number is surprising because everyone has been telling me over and over that New York has a "special situation" due to their private insurance market being insanely expensive prior to the ACA subsidies kicking in; supposedly whatever their "previously uninsured" number was, it would be much higher than other states.

Well, according to CNBC (not exactly a left-leaning source), Kentucky's QHPs come in 16% higher than New York.

Between the two, we can start to get a picture of what the rest of the country might be (I know, it's only 2 states, but NY is the 3rd largest state and KY is demographically and geographically very different, so this may be representative after all):

  • NY: 342,895 QHPS x .59 = 202,308
  • KY: 64,455 QHPs x .75 = 48,341
  • TOTAL: 250,649 / 407,350 = 62%

So, between these two states, we start to get an idea of what the national "previously uninsured" level is: 62%.

ASSUMING this holds true nationally (and I'm not saying that it does), but if it does, that would mean that of the appx. 5.6 million people who should be enrolled in QHPs by now, around 3.5M of them did NOT already have insurance. If my final projection (currently at 6.2M, but this could change) holds true, then around 3.84M would be newly insured.

So, what about the remaining 2.36 million people? Well, most of those would indeed come out of the "OMG!! 5M CANCELLED POLICY!!" number. Another 1.3M kept their noncompliant policies via the grandfathering extension, and the remaining 1.34 million or so presumably went off-exchange.

You know, like I've been saying all along.