HHS Sec. Burwell confirms 11.7 QHPs nationally as of 2/22 (likely 11.8M+ thru today)
Not a particularly huge development, but it's nice to receive official confirmation:
Nearly 11.7 million people were enrolled in an Obamacare plan through Feb. 22, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Monday.
That number will continue to increase due to extended enrollment periods through April for those who learn of the penalties for not having healthcare while they are doing their taxes. But as of now, Burwell said more than half of those who signed up were new customers.
Yes, that's about 30K lower than my current confirmed total, and about 110K lower than my current estimated total. The main reason, of course, is that the 11.7M figure only runs through 2/22. Today is 3/09. Several state exchanges had longer extension/overtime periods than HC.gov, plus there's also the "Tax Season" special enrollment period (which has already started in 6 states), plus there's the normal "Qualifying Life Event" enrollments which are year-round (getting married, divorced, having a kid, losing your job, etc etc).
For comparison, last year roughly 9,000 people were still enrolling every day even during the off-season (between April 16th - November 15th) due to qualfying life events...that'd be around 125K from 2/23 - 3/08, so I'm actually erring on the side of caution at the moment. It's actually possible that the total as of today is as high as 11.9 million, assuming you throw in the 90,000 people who renewed from 2014 but were kicked off due to having ongoing legal residency verification issues. They've been "pre-purged" from the official numbers, but in my opinion should be included in the official "QHP selection" total but subtracted as part of the "attrition" number. That's more of an accounting/semantic distinction, I suppose.
UPDATE: Here's the relevant parts of Burwell's remarks:
Because of the hard work of each and every one of you, nearly 11.7 million Americans signed up or were re-enrolled through the Marketplace through February 22nd. While we know that number will change as the year continues, we are pleased with the results to date.
It was wise to throw in the "that number will change" bit, since of course a good 1.4 million or so (out of 11.8 million total to date) likely won't pay their first premium, plus additions due to the tax enrollment period/qualifying life events, minus subtractions due to other life changes/etc.
There was also a reiteration of the "87% receiving tax credits" bit, specifically via the federal exchange only (an important distinction when discussing King v. Burwell, since the state-based exchanges may have higher/lower ratios:
Nearly 7.7 million individuals—or 87 percent—who selected a plan through HealthCare.gov qualified for an average tax credit of $263 per month. And with that financial assistance, more than half paid $100 or less per month after tax credits, and 8 in 10 had such an option to do that.
Assuming my spitball estimate of perhaps 1 million additional enrollments during the #ACATaxTime SEP (roughly 3/15 - 4/30) prove accurate, we should be talking about an average monthly enrollment of around 10 million people for the full 2015 calendar year. For the 2nd half of 2015 (assuming SCOTUS cuts off subsidies starting in July), it'll be even higher...around 10.6 million/month on average. Of those, around 76% should be via HC.gov, or around 8.0 million people (or around 7.9 million if NV, OR & NM are "in the clear" legally). And of those, around 87% will have their tax credits cut off...or around 7 million people on average per month for the 2nd half of the year.
What does this mean? It means that if the Supreme Court sides with the Republican Party on King v. Burwell:
7 million working/middle-class people will be hit with a $1,600 tax hike for 2015 alone, and more than twice that that going forward.
In addition, of course, another 7 million or so will be hit with a 35% - 47% premium hike if they want to stay in the individual insurance market.
Proportionately, it'll be even higher in some states. For instance,
We now know, for example, that almost 1.5 million Floridians— that’s 93 percent of all plan selections—qualified for an average tax credit of $294. More than a million Texans qualified for an average tax credit of $239 per month. And more than 500,000 residents of North Carolina qualified for an average tax credit of $315.
Yup, in Florida, 1.5 million residents will be hit with a Republican-backed tax hike of nearly $1,800 this year alone, and double that or more in 2016 and beyond.