STATE BY STATE: 21 states running ahead of projections; 15 running behind

I launched the "State by State" chart feature towards the end of the 2015 Open Enrollment period last time around, and it proved to be pretty popular, so I've brought it back this year, starting today.

I couldn't start doing this earlier because this is the first week that CMS has broken out the HealthCare.Gov QHP numbers by state. Now that they've started doing so, I have cumulative numbers for enough states for a chart like this to make sense.

It's important to note that I'm still missing data from some state exchanges; I have bupkis from DC, Idaho, Kentucky, New York, Vermont and Washington. I also only have partial data from others (California includes new enrollees only, while several other states only have data for the first couple of weeks).

In addition, there are two states (Connecticut and Rhode Island) where I have the opposite situation--they've jumped the gun and front-loaded their autorenewals of current enrollees, with the understanding that those folks can still drop their coverage or switch to a different policy between now and December 15th (CT) or December 23rd (RI).

With all those caveats out of the way, here's where things stand. Just like last year, the BLUE LINES represent the percentage of QHP selections each state had achieved as of 11/28 compared to my best guess at their reasonable proportion of the 12.6 million people the HHS Dept. expects to select plans nationally. In some cases (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota and Vermont), I've used the official target number for that state, according to the exchange itself. For other states, I took a proportionate number based on the HHS Dept's 12.6 million total.

The GREEN LINES, meanwhile, represent MY projection of how many people I expect to select QHPs during open enrollment this year. Again, with the exception of CA, CO, CT, ID, MD, MN & VT,  none of these targets are official.

Finally, I've included a vertical RED LINE. This represents the point I think each state should have been as of November 28th (around 2.65 million, or 18% of the 14.7 million total I'm projecting nationally by January 31st).

Obviously some are higher, others lower. Again, Connecticut and Rhode Island are misleading on the high end due to front-loading, while CA, DC, ID, KY, MA, MN, NY, VT and WA are all misleading on the low end due to having missing data or none whatsoever yet.

Got all that? OK, see below.

As you can see, 4 weeks in, 21 states are running ahead of my projections:

  • Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming

As noted above, Connecticut and Rhode Island can't really be compared properly until after their respective January enrollment deadlines pass and autorenewals are "locked in".

The following 4 states are running dead even with my expectations so far:

  • Alaska, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia

Meanwhile, 15 states are running behind projections so far:

  • Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas

The other 9 states are either missing data completely or the data is too incomplete to be measured fairly yet.

(click the chart to load a full-sized version in a new browser window)