Rhode Island: Be Careful What You Ask For Edition (UPDATED)

Hat Tip To: 
Dara Chadwick

Yesterday I put out an open call for off-season QHP data from California, New York and Rhode Island, none of whom have released this info since 4/19 (Connecticut hasn't either...they gave me their combined total for QHPs + Medicaid, but I can't use that for a proper projection until I know the actual breakout between the two).

Today, thanks to Dara Chadwick of HealthSourceRI, I can cross Rhode Island off the list:

We had 25,767 total paid QHP enrollments during the open enrollment period, including all individuals who enrolled by March 31 and paid by April 23. 

As of August 2, 2014, 26,686 Rhode Islanders are enrolled in QHPs. Of those, 25,892 have paid.

OK, I'll have to reverse engineer things slightly here, since the paid number is given for both August 2nd and March 31st, but the total number is only given for August 2nd. Looking back at my last entry for Rhode Island, the 3/31 total was 27,968.

This tells us that they have an impressive 92% payment rate for enrollees through 3/31. It also tells us that 1,282 people either failed to make their first payment or have dropped their coverage since then (ie, in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th month etc.) In any event, this leaves RI with 25,892 paid out of 26,686, or a whopping 97% payment rate. That's the highest of any state outside of Washington or Massachusetts (both of which require you to pay as part of the enrollment process anyway, guaranteeing a 100% payment rate).

In any event, these moving-target numbers don't do much to change the enrollment spreadsheet...since the attrition rate seems to have cancelled out the paid enrollment additions.

Without knowing the total number who added themselves to the QHP ranks it's difficult to know how to plug this into the projection spreadsheet; instead I'll have to stick with the paid numbers only, which come in at 

25,879 as of 4/30 and 25,892 as of 8/02...or a net gain of just 13 in the past 3 months. Again, this is almost certainly connected to the attrition rate since April, but without being sure I'd rather err on the side of caution.

UPDATE: OK, I've confirmed with Ms. Chadwick that the confusion here is indeed mainly due to the current numbers including cancelled policies as people move on to Medicaid, Medicare, ESIs and so forth:

  • Total Enrolled as of 4/19: 28,485
  • Total Enrolled as of 8/02: 26,686
  • NET Change from 4/20 - 8/02: (-1,799)
  • Total Paid as of 4/30: 25,879
  • Total Paid as of 8/02: 25,892
  • NET Change from 4/30 - 8/02: +13

So...if I'm reading this correctly, it looks like new enrollments being added to the total are just barely outpacing the number of people dropping their policies in Rhode Island...which suggests that the total enrollments as of 8/02 equalled: 28,485 + 1,812 = 30,297. Of those, appx. 92% paid their first month's premium (27,873) and another 1,981 have since dropped their coverage (around 7.1% of the paid enrollees, or about 2.4% per month).

At least, I think that's what happened here. Gah!!