Possible Big News (?) This Afternoon...which I won't be able to write up until this evening.

There's some sort of press conference call this afternoon with official updates on the 2016 Open Enrollment Period. Unfortunately, I have a field trip to attend with my kid all afternoon, and a client call after that, so I won't be able to get in on the call, nor will I be able to write anything up about whatever's discussed (or any press releases which come out after the call) until several hours later.

Since enrollments over the past two weeks have been virtually dead due to a) the January coverage deadline having passed for all states; b) Christmas week and c) New Year's week, my guess is that the major reasons for today's call will include:

  • The first official, detailed ASPE Report of the 2016 Open Enrollment Period. I'm not talking about the Weekly Snapshot reports, which just give the basic QHP selection numbers (and even then, only for the 38 states covered by the federal exchange); I'm talking about the big, heavily-detailed, 30-40 page behemoths like this one from last December, which should include detaled enrollment data for every state (plus DC), not just the HC.gov ones.
  • Assuming that they do release the first ASPE report, it's important to remember two things:
    First, this report will likely only run through the end of November, which means it will likely claim the total number of QHP selections nationally as being only around 2.9 million, give or take, as opposed to the 9.7 million I've confirmed as of yesterday or the 11.3 million I have estimated as of January 2nd.
  • Second: My guess is that regardless of the thru-date in the report, it will still only include the new enrollee data for California, and will likely include no data at all from New York, Kentucky, DC or Vermont. I'll be happy to be proven wrong about this, since these four states have refused to publicly post any data at all to date.
  • Aside from the (expected) ASPE report, my guess is that the rest of the call will mostly focus on pushing the remaining 24 days of Open Enrollment, hard: The deadline for February 1st coverage is January 15th in most states, while the deadline for March 1st coverage is January 31st in all states.
  • They may also answer the question of whether there will or won't be any sort of "Overtime Period" tacked onto the end of January for those who were "waiting in line" (ie, started the enrollment process) by midnight on January 31st.
    • In 2014 they allowed 15 extra days due to the lingering tech problems and massive backload; this garnered around 900,000 QHP selections.
    • In 2015, with the backlog much lower and most of the technical issues resolved, they allowed 7 extra days (which added around 300,000 more QHPs).
    • This year, I'd say there's a 50/50 chance of CMS allowing any sort of "overtime" period. They may not do so at all, and even if they do, my guess is it would only be for 2-3 days at most (similar to the 2 extra days they tacked onto the December deadline).

Of course, all of the above is just speculation, but those are the most likely major topics. There'll probably be a bunch of other stuff as well.

Anyway, I'll be back later this afternoon to see what I missed.

UPDATE: Yup, I was right;
The ASPE report was indeed released, and includes all enrollment data through 12/26!!