Merry Christmas: 2015 vs. 2014, Updated
A week or so ago I overlaid the 2015 Graph on top of the 2014 Graph, adjusting the time scale of last year's open enrollment period to account for the fact that this year it's less than half as long (93 days vs. 197 days). The results were pretty striking, but there were still a lot of unknowns regarding the autorenewal factor, among other things.
This Christmas Eve (I'm Jewish, so basically, you know, "Wednesday night" for me), I decided to run an updated version of the comparison, this time including the autorenewals along with other updated data. As a bonus, the dates even match up: December 23rd is 42% of the way through the 2015 OE period (39 days out of 93 total); December 23rd last year also happened to be 42% of the way through the 2014 OE period (84 days out of 197 total), so it seemed like a good point to run the comparison again.
And with that, here's my Christmas present to you: As of right now, the ACA exchanges as a whole have enrolled or re-enrolled 4.7x as many people as they had at the same point last year. Obviously this won't hold--I'm still expecting around 12.5 million by Feb. 15th, which would be about a 56% increase over last year--but symbolically, it's still a BFD, as Joe Biden would say.
Oh, one more thing: Some will rightly point out that the main reason for this is all of the renewals of existing enrollees (either actively or automatically). Setting aside the fact that those are still people enrolled/paying for ACA exchange policies regardless of their status, what happens if we remove them?
Well, as I noted earlier this week, I've confirmed over 5 million renewals total, and am confident of another 1.3 million more (mostly from CA & NY). Even if you subtract those from the total, you're still left with 2.35 million new enrollees for 2015...or 30% more than at this point last year.