BREAKING: 462K QHPs on alone in 1st week! (est. 610K nationally)

Hat Tip To: 

Well, now, that's more like it:

The Obama administration says that nearly a half-million people selected insurance plans during the first week of Obamacare open enrollment, in mid-October. Nearly half (48 percent) were new customers who had not previously purchased coverage last year, suggesting that the law could widen its reach to more uninsured Americans in year two of coverage expansion.

The new numbers, released by Health and Human Services Wednesday, show a faster start to open enrollment this year than in 2013. Last year, during's botched launch, only 106,185 consumers selected health insurance plans during the entire first month of enrollment.

...These figures do not include those consumers using the 14 state-based exchanges, in places like California and New York, where the federal government does not run the insurance marketplace.

And they also do not necessary show total enrollment: those who selected a plan still need to send a first month's premium to their insurance plan in order for their coverage to kick in on January 1.

The administration also specified that these numbers do not include the dental plan sign-ups that were wrongly counted in previous enrollment figures.

This is fantastic. Regular readers may recall that I had given a cautious estimate of around 410,000 QHP enrollments as of 11/21 last week, and I'm thrilled to have underestimated the actual number by around 12%.

HOWEVER, it's actually more than that--because the 462K figure from HHS only includes the 37 states on, not any of the state-run exchanges.

Those exchanges should be making up around 25% of the national total...which suggests that the actual First Week QHP enrollment figure is closer to 610,000 people.

I'll have much more to say in a little bit, but my Uverse modem was down for about 20 minutes so I'm scrambling to catch up with the news...

UPDATE: Very quickly, there are two additional very important points given out today:

  • First, the new-vs-renewal ratio is roughly 50/50 (48/52, to be precise), which is...well, I'm not really sure if that's "good" or "bad" news. I've been assuming that most renewals would be done en masse closer to December 15th (either automatically or via people scrambling to do so manually in time for January 1st coverage), which would amount to a good 5-6 million people or so having about a couple hundred thousand renewals in the first week doesn't really tell us whether that's going to be the pattern or not yet.
  • Second, and more important to me personally, is this tidbit from Dan Mangan of CNBC:

Well, Hallelujah.

UPDATE x2: OK, based on this, I'm now projecting that the national QHP total has likely reached around 890,000 as of today.