I NEED YOUR HELP tracking ACA Applications/Enrollments
NOTE: This was originally posted over at Daily Kos. I've since ported it over here for archival purposes.
Things have stabilized a bit at ObamacareSignups.net, as some of the early speculative numbers are starting to settle down into actual, real-world figures.
As a result, as of today, the tally for people who are now covered by by health insurance who weren't prior to the launch of the Exchanges is only a bit higher than it was a few days ago (639,102 to be precise).
It's important to understand that sources and methodology for this sort of tracking is going to vary widely, depending on what exactly it is that you're trying to track (as well as the source, of course). In my case, yes, I'm including Medicaid expansion signups, because ultimately, what matters is people actually getting decent medical care at an affordable price (and certainly Medicaid is affordable for that person).
As a result, you're going to see a VERY wide range of estimates--one very strict tracking source lists the number as only 33,000, while you could also argue the number to be as high as 950,000 (the 700,000 applications that the HHS Dept. itself has released, plus another 250,000 or so Medicaid expansion recipients).
Of course, there's other factors to consider--someone creating an account (4.2 million, as ericlewis0 noted today) is not the same as someone starting an application, which is not the same as someone completing an application, which is different from having their application approved, which is not the same as signing up for an actual policy, which is not the same as actually paying for their policy.
I should also clear up a bit of confusion about a few states:
--Illinois uses their own website as a gateway to the exchange, as well as for Medicaid signups, but once you answer the 6 questions on their site, you'll be taken to the HC.gov site to actually sign up for individual/family policies.
--Similarly, New Mexico and Utah use their own site for small businesses to signup for employee coverage, but kick over to the federal site for individual/family policies.
--Finally, Idaho's site appears to serve purely as an information/gateway which kicks over to the federal site for actual signups.