Minnesota: Off-Season QHPs ramping back UP; 8% *more* QHP effectuations in March than February?

During the official Open Enrollment Period, MNsure enrolled 85,390 Minnesotans in Qualified Health Plans. Unlike most of the state exchanges (and HC.gov itself), MNsure has been dutifully continuing to update their data every month or so during the off season, providing an interesting glimpse into how the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is going:

  • 11/01/15 - 1/31/16: 85,390 QHPs Cumulative since 11/01/15 (or 928/day); 33,333 MNcare; 73,173 Medicaid
  • 2/01/16 - 2/14/16: 85,690 QHPs Cumulative since 11/01/15 (+300, or 21/day); 39,887 MNcare; 90,234 Medicaid
  • 2/15/16 - 3/06/16: 86,856 QHPs Cumulative since 11/01/15 (+1,166 QHPs, or 55/day); 45,621 MNcare; 111,449 Medicaid

,,,and in the latest update:

  • 3/07/16 - 4/17/16: 90,696 QHPs Cumulative since 11/01/15 (+3,840, or 91/day); 55,357 MNcare; 156,983 Medicaid

Didja notice that? While the private QHP enrollment rate obviously dropped off tremendously after open enrollment closed (duh!), the SEP enrollment rate has dramatically increased since then, from 21/day in early February, to 55/day in late Feb/early March, to 91 per day over the past month. While it's still just 10% of the Open Enrollment rate, over 4x as many people are signing up for QHPs via MNsure now as were at the start of the off season.

Here's a whole mess of slides with demographic data. The second one is a new one for MNsure: Effectuated enrollment!

This is the first time I can recall MNsure posting their monthly effectuated QHP enrollment numbers. Everything below 60,000 is cut off, so the visual chart is kind of misleading, and the average premium being paid really hasn't changed that much (it's gone down a few bucks per month)...but the actual effectuated numbers for February and March are very interesting to me.

By all rights, you would expect the effectuated number to drop from February through March. Remember, last year the national effectuation number dropped a whopping 13% over just 5 weeks, from 11.7 million QHP selections as of 2/22/15 to just 10.2 million as of 3/31/15. In Minnesota in particular, the QHP number dropped from 59,704 to 52,169.

Yet in Minnesota this year, yet for some reason it was actually 8.3% higher a month later. Huh.

Does this mean anything for the country at large? Probably not; Minnesota has some unusual circumstances (especially via their BHP program "MinnesotaCare"). Still worth keeping an eye on, however.

UPDATE: As I noted last night, while Minnesota's effectuated number is up from February, compared against the number of QHP selections during open enrollment (85,390), it's actually down about 10.5%.