EXCLUSIVE(ish): @CoveredCA (sort of) releases final 2021 Open Enrollment report: +6% y/y

OK, Covered California hasn't actually released an official press release or Open Enrollment Report, but I have acquired a single slide which was delivered at a university presentation by Covered CA head Peter Lee the other day. It doesn't provide tons of detail but give the most important toplines (the way the graph breaks out the numbers is a little confusing but I figured it out:

  • Total QHP selections from 11/01/20 - 1/31/21: 1.63 million, a record high for the state

This is a 5.9% increase year over year from the 2020 OEP's 1.54 million (it says 1.57 million on the graph but the official CMS tally is 1,538,819).

  • Of those, 1.38 million (around 85%) were existing CoveredCA enrollees who renewed their policies (including 376,000 who had enrolled via Special Enrollment Periods)
  • The other 249,000 (15%) are new enrollees

While "truly" new enrollment is down 41% from last year, that's misleading...since SEP enrollment was up 72%. Most of that was obviously due to last year's COVID-19 SEP enrollment in California. The main point is that the vast majority of "new" 2021 enrollees actually enrolled a good 6 - 8 months earlier than they normally would have...and then mostly stuck around for 2021 as well.

The combination of "SEP New" and "True New" enrollees ended up being nearly the same: 625K vs. 634K...while "Official" renewals (of people who had enrolled during the 2020 OEP and renewed for another year) increased by 10.2%, from 911,000 to just over 1 million.

Obviously "normal" SEP enrollment varies from year to year anyway, but it remained pretty constant for the 5 previous years, averaging around 235,000/year. Based on that, CoveredCA saw a 60% increase for the full period from 2/01/20 - 10/31/20...around 141,000 more than you'd normally expect.

I assume an official report/press release will be showing up in the near future with a bunch more details/graphs, but this will have to do for the moment: