UPDATE: Minnesota wraps up OE4 w/114.6K QHPs (up 37% over 2016) (or possibly 34%?)

NOTE: I have to attend a field trip with my kid this morning so won't be able to post about the Minnesota results until around noon, but here's an overview:

There are only 2 states which still haven't announced their final 2017 Open Enrollment Period totals: Vermont and Minnesota. Vermont isn't likely to have anything too noteworthy to say (I've confirmed ~29K QHPs...they'll probably top out at ~30K), but Minnesota has a very special situation.

Minnesota confirmed ~106,000 QHP selections as of January 10th, so they probably tacked on another 5K - 10K during the last 3 weeks of open enrollment, for a total of perhaps 115,000. This would be impressive already, since they only enrolled 83.5K people last year.

However, they're also wrapping up (even as I type this) an 8-day Special Enrollment Period piggybacked onto the end of January, and those who enroll during this SEP could receive a 25% discount on their premiums depending on their income. Here's the backstory.

The bottom line is that it's conceivable that MNsure could end up doubling their total enrollment tally to as many as 200,000 people. This isn't likely, but it's possible.

In any event, they just announced that they're actually holding a special press conference to discuss it tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Enrollment press conferences are common for HealthCare.Gov and Covered California, but I don't remember any of the other state exchanges holding one in the past, so obviously something's up here:


Advisory: MNsure to Hold Press Conference Thursday Announcing 2017 Enrollment Numbers

ST. PAUL, Minn.— MNsure will hold a press conference on Thursday, February 9, at 11 a.m. to announce enrollment numbers for the 2017 open enrollment period,  

CEO Allison O’Toole will be joined by navigators and brokers who assisted Minnesotans in the enrollment process, as well as both a MNsure consumer and navigator who will talk about their MNsure experience.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE 12/30pm: Hmmmm...no press release yet, but here's the details from local reporter David Montgomery:

.@MNsure announces total 2017 enrollment: 117,654. Last year’s enrollment: 85,690. Was 103,578 on Jan. 9.

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

QHPs including SHOP. They didn’t break out SHOP in the handout. https://t.co/5pKDa3zz5t

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

@Corkadelia 3,009 on SHOP.

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

47% of these enrollees are new to @MNsure this year. https://t.co/SZuJOzqdpA

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

.@MNsure estimates that around 41,000 MNsure enrollees will get the state 25% discount. Plus more who bought directly from plans. https://t.co/SZuJOzqdpA

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

As many as 100,000 Minnesotans who lost their old plan last year can still purchase insurance through the end of the month. https://t.co/SZuJOzqdpA

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

Around 1,500 people bought health insurance in the one-week enrollment extension @MNsure announced. https://t.co/SZuJOzqdpA

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

.@MNsure says the 41,000 enrollees getting state rebate are getting an average of $1,500/year from the 25% discount.

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

More than half of the @MNsure enrollees, 64,440, bought Bronze-level plans. 37K bought Silver, 11.6K Gold, 1,671 Catastrophic.

— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) February 9, 2017

OK, that means that without the SEP, MNsure's 1/31 total was about 113.1K, which is still an impressive 36% increase. I'm actually a bit surprised that the "25% Discount SEP" didn't garner more enrollees, although the fact that 36% of the total enrollees are receiving the discount (ie, those who aren't getting APTC) suggests that a lot of them were already baked into the enrollment numbers before the end of January anyway.

Anyway, after subtracting SHOP enrollees, that's a grand total of 114,645 QHP selections for Minnesotans. Montgomery claims 85,690 last year, but the official ASPE Report lists it as 83,507, which means MNsure outpaced last year by 37.3%.

UPDATE: (sigh) OK, here's where minor data discrepancies give me a headache. Here's the official press release:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Today, Minnesota set a new enrollment record, with a total of 117,654 enrollments in the individual marketplace during the 2017 open enrollment period and proceeding one-week special enrollment period. Approximately 47 percent of MNsure’s private plan enrollees are new to the exchange for 2017.

About 64 percent of MNsure enrollees are receiving tax credits, which averages about $621 per month, or $7,457 per year.

“We are enrolling people at historically high levels,” said MNsure CEO Allison O’Toole. "When more Minnesotans are covered, our state is healthier and our economy is stronger."

Additionally, Minnesota also set a record for public program enrollments during open enrollment with 33,369 Minnesotans newly enrolled in MinnesotaCare and 114,511 newly enrolled in Medical Assistance.

Special Enrollment Period + Premium Relief Bill

At the end of January, Minnesota lawmakers pass a premium relief bill that provides an automatic 25 percent reduction in health insurance premiums for the more than 125,000 Minnesotans who faced significant premium increases in the individual market. In response, MNsure announced a one-week special enrollment period to give Minnesotans more time to enroll into coverage.

"Minnesota has the highest rate of health coverage in state history, said O'Toole. "We have one of the best rates in the nation—with 96% of Minnesotans are protected from crushing medical bills and ailments. Let's not take Minnesotans backwards."

By the Numbers:

  • Private health plan enrollments—117,654
  • Public program enrollments—147,880
  • Total enrollments—265,534
  • Percentage receiving tax credits—64%
  • Average monthly tax credit—$621
  • Average yearly tax credit—$7,457
  • Projected amount Minnesotans will save through tax credits in 2017—$372,343,933.08

...however, according to a reliable source, the MNsure exchange claims these are the official numbers for 2016 and 2017:

  • 2016: w/ SHOP = 87,586, w/o SHOP = 85,690
  • 2017: w/ SHOP =117,654, w/o SHOP = 114,810

...which indicate a 34% increase instead of a 37% increase.

Note that neither of the "no-SHOP" numbers above quite match any of the numbers I have listed above; they're a couple hundred higher or lower for both last year and this year. Not sure what accounts for the discrepancies, but it's still an impressive increase regardless.