#OE2 Day One: Over 100K Applications Submitted @ HC.gov!
There were more than a half million successful log-ins Saturday to HealthCare.Gov, 100,000+ people submitting applications.
— HealthCare.gov (@HealthCareGov) November 16, 2014
OK, I'm as geeked as any ACA supporter, but some context and clarification is important here. Last year there was a lot of confusion about the distinction between someone:
- creating an account
- submitting an application
- selecting/committing to a plan, and
- paying their first month's premium.
The 8.02 million figure through April 19th touted by the administration last spring represented 3) Selecting a plan.
Of that, the actual number who followed through and 4) paid their first premium (thus activating--or "effectuating" to use the industry lingo--their policy) ended up being roughly 88%, or around 7.1 million.
Therefore, while more than 100K people 2) submitting applications on the first day is a very good sign, that isn't the same as 100K people being added to the spreadsheet as actually enrolling, whether paid or not.
HOWEVER, here's the other good news: A single application doesn't necessarily mean a single person!
One of the other data points which confused a lot of people in the early days last fall was the distinction between "policies" (households) and "lives covered" (people). My wife and I have one child. If we submit one application, the policy that we eventually select will actually count as three people enrolled.
In other words, assuming all 100K+ of those first-day applications actually go on to select a policy, that's likely to mean 180K - 250K people...and remember, that's just from the federal exchange at Healthcare.Gov. Assuming a similar 75/25 split between HC.gov and the state exchanges, that should mean upwards of 240K - 330K potential enrollees already.
The other point of confusion is that I don't know yet whether this refers to applications from people who aren't already enrolled or if it also includes people who are part of the 7M+ already enrolled who are switching policies (or are setting up a 2nd account due to confusion or life changes--for instance, what if a couple is getting divorced? They may both be enrolled for 2014, but for 2015 one of the spouses needs to set up their own separate account/application, and so forth).
All that being said, this bodes very well for the 2015 numbers as well as being a testament to the night-and-day improvements at HC.gov (which, you'll recall, enrolled a whopping total of 6 people on Day One last year).