Connecticut: 100,800 QHPs enrolled for Jan. coverage; 1,100 to lose credits due to Form 8962

Yesterday I noted that while Connecticut hasn't posted any enrollment updates since 11/17, a recent news article was very promising.

Today, Access Health CT did indeed post an official update, and while the numbers are quite good, they also have to be pulled apart a bit:


Over 34,000 New Customers Sign Up Through AHCT Hartford, Conn.

(December 22, 2015) – Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Chair of the Board of Access Health CT (AHCT) and Access Health CT CEO Jim Wadleigh today announced that over 34,000 new Connecticut customers have enrolled in quality, affordable coverage since November 1, 2015.

...The new enrollment number is on par with last year at this time and represents 11,000 QHP members and 23,000 Medicaid members. As of December 15, 2015, AHCT had almost 109,000 total members. However, approximately 8,200 of those members have not given AHCT permission to auto-renew their coverage and will lose coverage starting January 1, 2016. In addition, AHCT learned from the IRS yesterday that approximately 1,100 people who did not file their 2014 tax returns will lose their tax credits in 2016.

Consumers receiving premium tax credits are required to a file a federal income tax return with the IRS to reconcile their advanced premium tax credits. If you received premium tax credits in 2014, but did not file your federal income tax return for 2014 or did not include “Form 8962” with your 2014 federal income tax return, you are ineligible for tax credits for 2016. Please file your 2014 federal tax return with Form 8962 as soon as possible to help avoid a gap in receiving premium tax credits for 2016.

I'll get to the tax return/form 8962 issue in a moment.

Again, unlike and most state-based exchanges, Connecticut (along with Massachusetts and Rhode Island) "front-loaded" their auto-renewals for 2016. That means that they took everyone who was still enrolled in 2015 exchange policies and "pre-renewed" them into 2016 policies, meaning that instead of waiting until the deadline and then auto-renewing whoever hadn't bothered actively re-enrolling, Connecticut had already done so en masse...meaning that you have to actaully subtract a certain number from the total (that is, people who didn't want to be auto-renewed).

As such, here's how CT's numbers have played out so far:

  • Renewals (either active or automatic): 98,000
  • ADD 11,000 new QHP enrollees thru 12/15
  • SUBTRACT 8,200 current QHP enrollees who didn't give the OK to auto-renew (and presumably also didn't actively choose a policy either)

= Final total of 100,800 CT residents enrolled in exchange policies for January 1st coverage.

Of course, there's still another 6 weeks to go before the January 31st deadline, but this also gives some idea of the attrition rate we could be looking at for 2015 enrollment.

Remember, as of 6/30/15, the national total was 9.95 million. Connecticut in particular was at 92,213 people, but this actually increased to 95,601 as of 9/30/15.

As far as I can tell, it looks like CT's number actually continued to increase slightly through December, to roughly 98,000 (taking it right back up to the March level of 98,269)...but 8,200 of those folks are dropping their policies at the end of December anyway. While they'll technically still be countaed "as of 12/31/15", they won't be carried over into January.

Of course, CT isn't necessarily representative nationally, so I can't make too much out of it.

In any event, Connecticut is now at 92% of their own official target of 110K, and 81% of my CT target of 125K for 2016's open enrollment period.

As for the Form 8962 issue, while it's not good that 1,100 people will end up losing their tax credits due to one stupid tax form, this is half as many as the 2,200 who were at risk of losing credits in Connecticut just a week ago.

CT had roughly 1% of the national exchange enrollments this year. Assuming that ratio is still true, it suggests that the number of people nationally who are likely to lose their credits due to the Form 8962 issue is around 110,000 (let's call it 125K to be safe).

If so, while that's still a huge number of people, it's far fewer than the 1.5 million who I feared were at risk of losing credits nationally back in October.