Connecticut ends OE4 w/111.5K QHPs (3.9% drop)

Access Health CT, the Connecticut ACA exchange, just announced their final OE4 enrollment numbers; they're down about 3.9% year over year:

111,524 Residents Enrolled Through Access Health CT; 13,791 are New to the Exchange

(HARTFORD, Conn.) – Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Chair of the Board of Access Health CT (AHCT), and AHCT CEO Jim Wadleigh today announced that the state’s health insurance exchange enrolled 111,524 residents during the 2017 Open Enrollment Period, which ended at midnight on January 31, 2017.  Of those enrollees, 13,791 consumers are brand new to the exchange. In addition, 5,000 people came through AHCT seeking dental coverage and 1,467 enrolled in health coverage through the Small Business Program.

“These numbers represent a fairly stable enrollment cycle and demonstrate the importance of the state’s marketplace in getting residents covered,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “In the past year, the United Health Foundation survey found that Connecticut is the third healthiest state in the nation and the Annie E. Casey 2016 Kids Count Survey ranked us among the top five healthiest states for children. Affordable, accessible healthcare builds a stronger Connecticut. Among its many benefits, the Affordable Care Act is also credited with cutting Connecticut’s uninsured rate almost in half to 3.8 percent—among the lowest in the nation. There is still work to do, but this is good progress.”

“The success story here is that, through the tireless efforts of the AHCT team, we were able to reach, enroll and re-enroll tens of thousands of customers—despite uncertainty about the ACA—and a significant number of these people are new members,” said Mr. Wadleigh. “Our team responded to tens of thousands of phone calls and did a great job of reaching out to customers, answering their questions and getting them enrolled.  As of today, 111,524 Connecticut residents now have the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance.”

Customer service representatives answered more than 18,000 phone calls and the enrollment centers helped over 200 customers during the final 24 hours of Open Enrollment. The 2017 Open Enrollment numbers are about 4,500 below the 2016 Open Enrollment numbers. It is unclear if this represents an increase in residents insured through other types of healthcare coverage or off-exchange, or an increase in uninsured residents. Connecticut expects to conduct a survey later this year to determine the state’s overall uninsured rate.

Ironically, even though CT's final tally is nearly 4% below last year, it actually supports my contention that the ads being killed hurt enrollment, because it still increases the SBM total to 1.9% higher than last year.