California: 83,000 *NEW* QHP selections added as of 12/07

As I noted a few weeks ago, Covered California has an annoying policy (they did this last year as well) of not publicizing how many current QHP enrollees have renewed their policies (or switched to a different exchange-based one) until well after the December deadline has passed.

Unfortunately, this means that today's enrollment report figure is very misleading, as it only includes NEW enrollees added:

As of Monday, Dec. 7, more than 83,000 Californians had selected plans through Covered California since open enrollment began on Nov. 1.

“Thousands of people are signing up every day for Covered California, and we’re off to a good start to meet our forecasted enrollment of 295,000 to 450,000 new enrollees during this third open-enrollment period,” Lee said.

Covered California estimates that 750,000 people in the state are eligible for help paying for their health insurance but remain uninsured, with 204,000 of them living in Los Angeles County. An additional 1.4 million people statewide are believed to qualify for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal, with 389,000 of them living in Los Angeles County.

Covered California developed the map by combining estimates of eligibility for coverage under the Affordable Care Act from a model of California insurance markets that was developed by the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research and the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education, known as the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (or CalSIM) and from U.S. Census data from the American Community Survey.

The model accounts for individuals who are eligible for other sources of coverage (Medi-Cal, Medicare or job-based coverage), as well as those who are undocumented.

The estimates also incorporate Covered California’s currently enrolled consumers (as of July 2015).

OK, so that's:

  • 34K in 17 days (2,000/day)
  • 49K in 20 days (2,450/day)

Not much of a ramping up, I admit, but again, without the renewal numbers, it's difficult to get a fix here. I suppose I could compare it against the "new only" numbers, but without Week 5 it's not helpful, and that won't be released until tomorrow.

CA is projecting about 1.7 - 1.9 million total 2016 QHP selections, of which they expect 295K - 450K to be new. They had 1.4 million effectuated enrollees in June, which suggests that they likely won't have more than around 1.2 million renewals at most. Their total 2016 range would then be 1.5 - 1.65 million QHP selections, which is lower than I had figured they were projecting in their June financial report.

Anyway, in order to hit 450K new enrollees, CA will have to average 4,900/day during the full 92-day open enrollment period. Put another way, they'll have to average 6,700 from today through January 31st, which is a pretty tall order. In order to hit my projection of 1.8 million (and assuming 1.2 million renewals), they'll have to average 9,400/day. Yeeks.

So...83K new enrollees it is for CA.