Maryland wraps up OE4 w/157.6K QHPs (slightly below 2016)

After New York and Washington State, Maryland is the 3rd state to release their final official OE4 enrollment numbers:



BALTIMORE (Feb. 1, 2017) – A total of 157,637 Marylanders enrolled in private health coverage plans for 2017 by yesterday’s deadline for open enrollment, capped by the largest single-day call volume ever for Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace.

Including Medicaid enrollments, more than a half-million Marylanders have newly enrolled or renewed in health coverage for 2017 through the state marketplace since Nov. 1 when open enrollment began. Maryland Health Connection now covers 1.1 million in all — one of every six people in Maryland.

Hmmm...I'm honestly not sure what this last number (1.1 million covered by the exchange) refers to...they just said it was 158K QHPs + 343K in Medicaid = 501K total.

UPDATE: OK, it was explained to me that the bulk of non-expansion Medicaid enrollees are also handled via MD's exchange as well; they're including those enrollees in the "1.1 million" statement above.

Last year the MD exchange broke 162,000 QHP selections, so this actually represents about a 2.8% reduction year over year. This is also well short of the 178K I was originally projecting last fall.

So far, New York is down 10.7% (but way up on BHPs) and Washington State is up nearly 13%. Add Maryland into the mix and it's starting to look like national enrollment might end up being almost exactly flat year over year (~12.7 million), give or take a bit. Again, that's not a great thing but it's also not so bad under the circumstances.

Yesterday was the largest volume for calls to Maryland Health Connection with more than 20,500, eclipsing a 19,000-call volume day Dec. 15 on the deadline for Jan. 1, 2017 coverage. Coverage for people who enrolled yesterday begins March 1, 2017.

Traffic on also peaked yesterday for this open enrollment, with more than 117,000 page views and 56,000 visits. The largest group online, 30 percent, was between the ages of 25 and 34. The next highest group, with 22 percent, was between 35 and 44 years old.

“We were gratified by the strong turnout on the final day of open enrollment and the solid response throughout the past 90 days,” said Jonathan Kromm, acting executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE). “We very much thank the more than 1,000 consumer assistance workers and brokers, our participating carriers and hundreds of civic and corporate outreach partners for helping to ensure better health coverage and better health outcomes for Marylanders and their families.”

MHBE operates the state’s health insurance marketplace, working with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), Department of Human Resources (DHR) and stakeholders statewide.

Other highlights of Maryland’s just concluded open enrollment:

  • Since Nov. 1, Medicaid enrollment through Maryland Health Connection totaled 343,542. People who are eligible for Medicaid can enroll year-round. The current Medicaid population in Maryland is 1.3 million. The expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act currently covers 274,159 individuals in Maryland.

This is an important item to keep in mind: Some people who enroll in Medicaid via the exchanges would qualify regardless of whether they're part of the expansion population itself. In Maryland's case, around 20% fit that description.

  • The 157,637 private plan enrollments and 274,159 Medicaid expansion enrollments total 431,796 Marylanders, more than half the estimated 745,000 population lacking health insurance prior to 2010.
  • For 2017, 51,218 individuals enrolled in dental plans, either standalone or as part of their medical coverage. That was up 69 percent from 30,313 dental enrollments a year ago for 2016, the first year the state marketplace offered dental coverage.
  • By age group, 30 percent of 2017 enrollees were in the 18-34 year-old population; 18 percent were 35-44; 20 percent were 45-54; 24 percent were 55-64; 3 percent were 65 and older, and 5 percent were under 18.

30% millennials isn't fantastic but it's better than the 28% national average.

  • Of the total enrollments, 62,979, or 40 percent, were new customers and 94,658, or 60 percent, were returning enrollees. After open enrollment ends, people can enroll only if they have had a qualifying “life event,” such as marriage, birth of a child or loss of coverage. Details are available at