Connecticut: 96.6K effectuated QHPs, *up* 4.8% from June!

I'm cheating a bit here; CT Mirror reporter extraordinaire Arielle Levin Becker has posted the key points from the AccessHealthCT monthly board meeting via Twitter:

Census estimates: CT uninsured rate down to 6.9% in 2014

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 16, 2015

Current exchange enrollment in private insurance plans: 96,621; down from 110k at end of open enrollment period

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Now, this is very interesting to me. Yes, the 2/22/15 QHP selection totally was around 110K, but compare 96,621 as of (I assume) mid-September against the HHS Dept's Q1 and Q2 reports:

  • 3/31/15: 98,269 effectuated enrollees
  • 6/30/15: 92,213 effectuated enrollees
  • 9/17/15: 96,621 effectuated enrollees

Hmmm...AccessHealthCT had a net loss of 6.6% from Q1 to Q2...but it looks like they've regained 4.8% of them in Q3!

I'm very hesitant to jump to any larger conclusions about this. I was burned on the national effectuated enrollment number a couple of weeks ago due to not accounting for several hundred thousand people kicked off their policies for legal residency verification issues, and a single state may not be representative of others. Plus, sometimes the state exchanges have a slightly different definition of "effectuated" than the HHS's ASPE reports.

Now, if this does prove to be representative of other states, it would extrapolate out to a net increase of a whopping 480,000 people nationally, bringing the effectuated total back up to around 10.4 million...which is what I had been estimating prior to the June report coming out...but I'll need a lot more evidence of that before coming to that conclusion. Even so, this is worth keeping an eye on.

Exchange has tried to reach ~1,200 people losing Medicaid bc of state budget cut, but didn't have phone # for all. Made >2k calls

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Of 1,200 who lost Medicaid, close to 500 qualified for continued Medicaid. 157 signed up for private insurance.

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Most of the 157 who lost Medicaid and signed up for private insurance picked silver plans, but 14 picked higher-cost gold

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Pert Group did a survey of Access Health customers and those who gave up coverage. Of 2015 enrollees, half didn't have insurance before

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Note: This is pretty close to the Commonwealth Fund survey earlier this summer which found that nationally, about 53% of exchange enrollees are newly insured this year.

AHCT survey shows many customers were uninsured, but insurance dept data show size of CT's individual market didn't grow from '14 to '15

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

This is kind of interesting to me. Nationally, the limited data I have so far suggests roughly a 20% increase in the total individual market, but if Connecticut is representative of some other states, I might have to revisit that assumption.

56% insurance purchasers extremely or very satisifed w Access Health; 70% among Medicaid clients

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Here's a link to the Access Health/Pert Group survey of exchange customers and ex-customers:

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Among 13% of exchange customers who said they're unlikely to re-enroll, biggest reason is cost. 2nd biggest: plan to get job w coverage

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Federal reinsurance program is ending after this year. Expected to translate to $25-$30 increase in monthly premiums in 2017, Lombardo says

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

This is an important early look at what we might find on the 2017 rates might look like, after 2 of the "3 R's" drop off. Unfortunately, Becker doesn't have the current policy premiums boiled down to a single dollar figure (although she has a bunch of typical examples here), but I think I can get a pretty good bead on it:

  • According to the official CMS report from June, 78% of Connecticut's exchange enrollees are receiving an average of $359 in federal tax credits
  • According to the official ASPE report from March, the average amount which the tax credits reduced premiums across the 37 states is 72% (unfortunately I don't have this figure for Connecticut, since it's a state-based exchange).
  • Assuming the credits cover 72% of CT's premiums, that means the full-price average premium in CT is around $500/month
  • Tack 3.5% on top of that in 2016 and you're at roughly $518/month

If that's the case, then the $25-$30 added in 2017 would represent roughly a 5-6% one-time hike caused specifically by the "R's" being removed.

Again, this is just rough, back-of-the-envelope math, but it's handy for future reference next year.

A difference btwn CT & some other states: All individual, small-group plans are ACA-compliant, Lombardo says. (Except grandfathered)

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015