North Dakota: 94% of QHPs PAID (alternately, total QHPs up 460 since 4/19)

Hat Tip To: 
Paul Mullen

Thanks to Paul Mullen for this find: A rare update out of North Dakota. Lots of useful data, but kind of frustrating because of the apples/oranges comparisons:

As of July 6, 9,953 North Dakota residents were covered by private insurance plans obtained through the federal marketplace, up from 8,374 reported at the committee’s last meeting May 14, according to Insurance Department figures.

That’s still lower than the 10,597 enrollment figure cited by the Obama administration in April, in part because the state counts only those who have actually paid their first month’s premium. Either way, enrollment fell short of the administration’s projection that 11,000 North Dakotans would enroll in private plans through the marketplace during its first six months.

OK, the official 4/19 total for ND was 10,597. 8,374 paid enrollments out of that is only 79%. However, that was the paid percentage as of May 1st, 2014 (the meeting was May 14, but the report cited at that meeting gives the 8,374 number as "as of 5/01/14"). As I've proven more times than I can count, eventually around 90% of all QHP enrollees seem to pay their first month's premium...which seems to be borne out by the 9,953 paid figure as of 7/06 (94%).

What makes this tricky is that, of course, a bunch of additional people enrolled between 4/20 - 7/06...but we don't know how many. Assuming that the paid percentage is actually around 90%, that suggests that about 460 more people had done so (9,953 = 90% of around 11,059 total).

Of course, it's also possible that the paid percentage was "stuck" at 79%, in which case the total number is even higher (12,600). In the end, what matters is how many have paid up, not the percentage, and that was just shy of 10K as of 3 weeks ago.

The numbers actually get even messier still when you remember that only those who enrolled by 4/15 were technically "covered" as of 5/01 (not 4/19), and only those who were enrolled by 6/15 were "covered" as of 7/01 (6/16 - 7/06 won't start until August 1st). However, the numbers at play here are so small that it's not really worth moving heaven & earth to find out what definition the insurance companies were using for those terms.

There's also another tidbit in this article which caused me to raise my eyebrow:

The next enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Feb. 15.

Hmmm...unless I missed the memo, I'm pretty sure that the 2nd open enrollment period starts on November 15, not October 15, though it does run thorugh February 15.

Finally, there's an updated number on ND's Medicaid expansion program (they're one of the few Red states to take it on originally, though several others have joined in since then). This is a nice touch, since until now I really didn't have any solid numbers for ND's expansion:

Meanwhile, enrollment in Medicaid expansion continues to climb steadily, said Julie Schwab, director of medical services for the North Dakota Department of Human Services. About 10,600 individuals had enrolled as of July 1, up from about 7,900 as of May 6.