Spitball Estimate: Over 1.0 million new #ACA SEP enrollees nationally thru 4/14?
A couple of weeks ago, I used the COVID Special Enrollment Period (SEP) data I had for HealthCare.Gov through the end of March, combined with limited SEP data from some state-based ACA exchanges, to extrapolate out a rough estimate of how many new Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections may have happened since the new "Spring 2021 Special Enrollment Period" was launched on February 15th, 2021.
At the time, I estimated that perhaps 15,800 people per day on average had newly enrolled in ACA exchange policies as of the end of March, or roughly 710,000 nationally. This included the 528,000 confirmed enrollees via HealthCare.Gov, plus another 183,000 or so via the 15 state-based exchanges.
There's been an important change since 3/31, however: On April 1st, HealthCare.Gov (which hosts ACA enrollment for 36 states) formally launched the newly-expanded subsidies via the American Rescue Plan (ARP), along with a new marketing/education campaign to get the word out. Some of the state-based exchanges also brought the ARP subsidies live in early April, including DC, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, New York. Other states such as Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Nevada just came online this week. It'll be awhile longer for a few states.
Since I posted my last estimate, I've culled together bits & pieces of data from some trusted sources and am thinking that the QHP selection pace for new enrollees has increased by perhaps 60% since the end of March. If so, that would mean somewhere around 25,000 new ACA exchange enrollees per day since 3/31, or perhaps 350,000 in the first half of April. If you add that to the 710,000 I estimated from 2/15 - 3/31, that would make a total of around 1.06 million new QHP selections nationally during the COVID SEP.
Keep in mind that perhaps 5,700 people would normally be enrolling each day during the off-season during traditional SEPs anyway; that would mean around 723,000 more exchange enrollees nationally than you'd normally expect during the same time period.
Note that these are new enrollees. Current on-exchange enrollees are also actively logging into their HealthCare.Gov accounts (as well as via some of the state-based exchange sites) to actively update their accounts in order to start receiving the enhanced subsidies. Some are keeping their existing plans, while others are switching to a more affordable plan, which is allowed in most (but not all) states. I'd imagine perhaps 2 million or so current enrollees have done this, though in a few state exchanges the new subsidies are supposed to be applied automatically for current enrollees.
All of this is pure speculation, of course. I have no idea how much enrollment has ramped up since the end of March, but it'll be fascinating to find out.