Minnesota: No hard enrollment numbers yet but other encouraging data...

Press release from MNsure, Minnesota's ACA exchange:

MNsure update on first week of open enrollment

ST. PAUL—MNsure CEO, Allison O’Toole, issued the following statement recapping the first full week of open enrollment:

“The first seven days of this year’s open enrollment period have gone smoothly. We are off to a strong start and doing a steady business of enrolling Minnesotans in health care coverage. Market disruptions last year— including a large jump in premiums, a major carrier pulling out of the market, the first year of enrollment caps as well as other factors—drove large numbers of consumers to our doors in the first few days of last year’s enrollment period. This year, we are seeing a much steadier flow of traffic to the website that is more in line with what we would expect. Call wait times have been consistently low throughout this first week.”

This year, MNsure renewed more people into coverage than ever before. Open enrollment figures will be released next Wednesday at MNsure’s public board meeting.

By the numbers (as of noon today):

  • MNsure.org visits: 200,578
  • Plan comparison shopping sessions: 33,411
  • Calls: 10,684

Here's what she's referring to (Nov. 6, 2016):

Minnesota's ACA exchange, MNsure, continues to absolutely obliterate last year's open enrollment numbers during the first week:

  • The numbers as of Friday morning:
  • 13,040 people completed enrollment for health coverage
  • 187,683 visits to the MNsure website
  • 43,298 sessions or visits on the comparison shopping tool
  • 4,027 page views on the Assisters page
  • 12,121 accounts created
  • 13,701 applications completed

As noted in today's press release, Minnesota is one state where comparing the early numbers this year to last doesn't really mean much, because...

As a unique workaround to tide the precarious individual market over this year, MN is instituting a special rule: They're placing enrollment caps on 4 of the 5 participating insurance carriers. That means that it's a first-come, first-serve situation; anyone who misses the cut-off numbers for HealthPartners, Medica or Ucare will only have BluePlus to choose from (which has no cap...they're the HMO branch of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota).

This led to an absolutely insane early enrollment surge in Minnesota last year which bore little resemblance to the rest of the country (although they did still rack up over 30% more enrollees vs. 2016 in the end).

Unfortunately, they aren't giving out the main number I'm interested in for 2018: How many people actually completed enrollments. A follow-up press release a few days later put the 2017 number at 15,422 in 6 days and 253,355 visits to MNsure.org. Assuming the enrollment/site traffic ratios are representative, that would translate into perhaps a 20% drop-off year over year, or around 12,200 enrollees in the first 6 days...but again, that's too speculative to plug into my spreadsheet or graph.

I guess I'll have to wait until next week (sigh)...