Florida: For the record, ~28.1% isn't "nearly a third", and ~17.6% DEFINITELY isn't.


OK, I know this may seem a bit petty, but take a look at this story from yesterday's Miami Herald:

Florida accounts for nearly one-third of the country’s new Obamacare sign-ups

Florida leads the country in new Obamacare sign-ups during an ongoing six-month special enrollment period announced by President Joe Biden shortly after he took office.

The state saw 264,088 new people enroll in the healthcare.gov marketplace between Feb. 15 and April 30, higher than the number of new enrollees during the shorter enrollment periods of 2020 and 2019 combined, the White House told McClatchy on Tuesday. Florida accounts for nearly a third of all new enrollees so far this year in the entire country.

Most of the article is just a general overview of how the ongoing COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period is doing, but there's two major problems with it.

First of all, the total number of SEP enrollments from 2/15 - 4/30 via HealthCare.Gov is 939,575, which means that Florida only makes up 28.1% of the total, not "nearly a third." That may sound like I'm quibbling over semantics, but it's just not accurate. 31 or 32% is "nearly a third." 28% is "more than a quarter."

I know that reporters usually don't pick the headlines, editors do...but the reporters included the "nearly a third" in the story itself, so yeah, this is on them.

The larger problem, however, is the "...in the entire country" part...because as the article itself clearly states in the previous sentence, the 940K figure doesn't include the entire country, or even close to it. It only includes 36 states...and among the 14 (+DC) which aren't included are some rather large ones like California, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In fact, states representing around 38% of the population of the United States (OK, 37.4% if you include PR, GU, USVI & NMI...but they don't even have ACA exchanges anyway) aren't included in that figure. By my best estimates, when you include them, the total is likely over 1.5 million nationally.

Having said that, if my national estimate does prove accurate, that would mean that Florida, which has around 6.5% of the U.S. population, would have enrolled 17.6% of all ACA SEP enrollments "so far this year in the entire country," which is still pretty damned impressive. Of course much of that is because they haven't expanded Medicaid, but still.

I expect Covered California to announce their SEP enrollment numbers sometime this week. If it comes in at around 160,000 from 2/15 - 4/30, give or take, my national estimate is probably pretty close.

Just saying.