Hawaii: Holy Smokes: 23K QHPs for 2015 (and announces "wait in line" extension)
The enrollment data from Hawaii has been sporatic and a bit squirrelly, with the few numbers being thrown around sometimes including the cumulative plan selections including 2014 enrollees whether they renewed for 2015 or not. When I posted my last Hawaii update, I was suspicious (at 16.1K, it was nearly twice last year's tally), but the article seemed pretty confident about the numbers, so I went with it.
This evening, I was immediately concerned when I saw the lede...
The Hawaii Health Connector said about 13,356 residents signed up for Obamacare coverage in the three-month enrollment period that ended Sunday.
...and even when I saw the closing line, I worried that this included people who selected a plan in 2014 but either didn't pay up, dropped out over the course of the year or just didn't bother renewing for 2015 (ie, nationally, total plan selections as of April 19 were 8.02 million, but only 6.7 million were still enrolled as of October and only 6.3 million renewed for 2015):
The Connector's total enrollment since launching in October 2013 is approximately 23,000.
I wanted to be certain, so I contacted the reporter and after some back-and-forth, she double-checked with the head of the HI exchange, who said...
@charles_gaba Exec. director says there are currently 23k who selected plans for 2015.
— Kristen Consillio (@kconsillio) February 17, 2015
...which is fantastic. That's a 2.7x increase over Hawaii's 2014 number (8,592). The only other state in that range is Massachusetts (at least 4x over 2014), and they had special circumstances.
But wait, it gets better:
Kissel added that an estimated 3,000 applications in process were delayed due to glitches with the Internal Revenue Service and other federal data hubs the Connector uses to verify income. In addition, there are still some paper applications yet to be processed.
...which means, wait for it...
"Because they were experiencing congestion we had some delay, but our system functioned the whole time," he said. "As long as they got in process before midnight (Sunday), we're not going to turn them away before they complete the process. Our objective is to get everybody enrolled who wants to be enrolled."
Yup, there you have it: Hawaii becomes the 48th state (along with DC) to issue an official #ACAOvertime extension period (no hard end date in their case).