California: Enrollment Update Live Blog (UPDATE: 217K *new*, STILL no renewal data???)

As I noted the other day, CoveredCA will be releasing (hopefully) completely updated ACA enrollment data, right up through Sunday night (1/11) in about a half an hour. So far they've only said that 144K new QHP enrollees have been added, and even that only includes 11/15 - 12/15. They haven't released any data on renewals of the 1.12 million 2014 enrollees yet, nor have they issued any further updates on new additions since Dec. 15th, 4 full weeks ago.

I've noted several times that I'm expecting them to announce roughly 960K renewals (active + automatic) from California, or around 85% of current enrollees to be renewed/re-enrolled. If that proves accurate, that would bring their 12/15 total up to around 1.1 million. That just leaves the new enrollments since 12/15.

Obviously the real unknown here is the renewal/autorenewal number. If it's fairly close to 85%, I should be pretty close on my total.

Watch this page for live updates (probably with a bunch of typos).

--Three main points:

1. New Enrollment Figures from 12/15/14 - 1/11/15

2. Enrollment Deadline 1/15/15 for February 1st coverage

3. Tax Penalties - CoveredCA dramatically increasing awareness campaign re. non-coverage penalties

  • 1st main point: as of 1/11, "more than 1 million" determined eligibility for EITHER private QHPs
  • 217,146 NEW QHPs total
  • 304K determined eligible for coverage but haven't picked a plan
  • 73K more people have enrolled in QHPs since 12/15
  • 466K enrolled in Medi-Cal
  • 110K determined eligible for Medi-Cal
  • "100's of thousands" still eligible who still have to take action
  • 2nd main point: January 15th deadline coming up for Feb. 1st coverage
  • 3rd main point: Tax consequences for not enrolling

Hmmm...I way overestimated the number of additional new enrollees to date (73K vs. 170K)...but he still hasn't said anything about renewals from 2014 enrollees, which is a much bigger deal.

  • Still talking about increased tax penalties for non-coverage for 2015 (from 1% of taxable income or $95/adult to 2% or $325 per adult)
  • CoveredCA board meeting on Thursday will go into demographic info
  • Tuesday 1/20 to discuss 1095-A forms (re. tax credits for enrollees/etc)


  • 1st Q: RENEWALS (of course...)
  • ANSWER: 12/15 was deadline for active renewals or autorenewals.
  • "We're seeing what we can do"???? WTF???
  • They're waiting until they know how many have paid?? OK, fine, but they should still release the total number!!
  • They may not have renewal data until FEBRUARY????
  • It sounds like they're not gonna give out data until they know effectuated (paid) numbers, which is certainly important but they should still give the total plans selected as well.

Q2: Are they on track for 1.7M total? 

  • A: Can't speak to renewals yet, but re. 500K new enrollees, yes, they're on target so far given 217K so far

Q3: How is awareness of tax penalties so far?

  • Reiterating advertising/outreach/etc. efforts

Q4: Seeing a lot of people switching plans or mostly staying with same plan?

  • Some changing plans but not huge numbers; fairly low rate increases overall, not surprised

Q5: Specialty handling copayments/co-insurance?

  • (missed answer)

Q6: Income change during renewal (some found themselves in Medi-Cal/etc by mistake)

  • Fixing issues, but need to verify income (missed some of this)

Q7: Will you be providing any data re. regional enrollment?

  • yes, soon.

Q8: How about legal status (immigration/citizenship status etc)...any updates on verification/notification this year?

  • doing everything we can to verify their status; if they can't, they contact directly to say you have 90 days to validate before enrollment is cut off. 1/3 of total enrollees are going thorugh verification process much more promptly this year; hope to have it all resolved within 90 days this time instead of waiting 9 months.

Q9: Any idea how many CA residents they think will end up having to pay the tax penalty?

  • Some estimates say perhaps 1 million in CA, but getting word out re. getting enrolled and that some people might be exempt from penalty depending on circumstances.

Q10: Tax Penalty: What about those who pay for 1 or more month and then drop off later in the year?

  • Penalty is pro-rated by month (no penalty if you're uninsured for less than 3 consecutive months). If more than 3 months, penalty is pro-rated for 1/12ths of a year (4 months = 1/3 of a year, 6 months = 1/2 a year, etc); working with tax software companies (turbotax, etc)

That's it.