Massachusetts: 125.6K QHPs, 241K Medicaid, DEADLINE EXTENDED DUE TO SNOWSTORMS

OK, first, the official data updates: The MA Health Connector issued their weekly report, confirming 125,651 QHP selections to date, of which 82.2% have paid their first premium. The payment rate has gone down as expected, since the denominator (March 1st enrollments) has started shooting up while the numerator (payments made) has gone up more slowly...since those payments aren't even due until the 23rd anyway.

Compared to the past 2 weeks, you can see the final surge has definitely kicked in:

In order to hit the 170K target, MA would have to enroll a whopping 11,000 people per day for 4 days straight. This is likely absurd, but bear in mind that there's still another 98,000 people in the hopper who have been determined eligible for QHP enrollments (223,814 - 125,651 = 98,163), of which 6,347 already had placed a policy in their cart as of 2/11. This is in additon to any new enrollees who are starting the process over these final few days (see below).

HOWEVER, there's also another major development today: Due to being slammed with not one, not two, but three major snowstorms in the past few weeks (with a 4th one on the way, I believe), MA has just announced:

BOSTON – February 13, 2015 – The Massachusetts Health Connector and MassHealth announced today they are extending the deadline to complete an application and pick a plan to Feb. 23, acknowledging the toll a series of snowstorms in Massachusetts – including another one forecast for this weekend – has taken on operations and the ability for people to sign up for insurance.

The deadline was Feb. 15, but the extreme weather has led to a number of days this month with the call center short-staffed, leading to long wait times for consumers looking for assistance. The extension gives applicants an additional week to complete an application, find out if they qualify for MassHealth or Health Connector coverage, select a plan and make a payment as necessary. The Feb. 23 deadline for making a payment stays in place.

OK, that helps things out tremendously. They say "an additional week" but 2/16 - 2/23 = 8 more days by my count. That gives 12 days to potentially enroll 44,349 people, or 3,700/day. While that may still sound steep (a 3.7x spike over the past week's rate), it's doable if the demand is there.

Meanwhile, Medicaid (MassHealth) enrollments have broken 240K.