2022 OEP Week 2 HC.gov Snapshot Report: 1.62M enrollees total w/287K new
Week 2, November 7 - November 13, 2021
In week two of the 2022 Open Enrollment Period, approximately 851,000 people selected individual market plans through the 33 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform. During the Open Enrollment Period, to date, more than 1,624,000 people have selected individual market plans on HealthCare.gov. As in past years, enrollment weeks are measured Sunday through Saturday.
The final number of plan selections associated with enrollment activity during a reporting period may change due to plan modifications or cancellations. In addition, the weekly snapshot only reports new plan selections and active plan renewals and does not report the number of consumers who have paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment.
Nearly 2.8 million people newly gained access to affordable health care coverage during the 2021 Special Enrollment Period (SEP); 2.1 million who enrolled in the HealthCare.gov states for 2021, and 738,000 who enrolled in 2021 State-based Marketplaces ahead of the 2022 Open Enrollment Period.
For 2022 three states, Kentucky, Maine and New Mexico, transitioned to State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) for the 2022 Open Enrollment Period. These factors should be considered in any year-over-year HealthCare.gov enrollment comparisons. As in past years, the final Open Enrollment numbers, including SBM numbers, will be provided after Open Enrollment ends in all state.
At first glance this may seem disappointing compared to last year's nearly-identical Week Two tally of 1,622,106 enrollees.
HOWEVER, there's two vitally important things to keep in mind:
First, last year's Week Two total included fourteen days...whereas this year's only includes thirteen (the Snapshot Reports run from Sunday - Saturday; last year November 1st happened to fall on a Sunday, this year it was on a Monday).
On a per-day basis, 2022 enrollment is actually up 7.8% over last year:
- OEP 2022: 124,950/day
- OEP 2021: 115,865/day
Secondly, as noted above, this year three states split off from HC.gov onto their own exchanges (Kentucky, Maine and New Mexico). Last year, 30,942 of the 1,622,106 HC.gov enrollees in the first 2 weeks were from those three states, or 1.9% of them. When you remove those, the other 33 states on HC.gov only had 1,591,164 enrollees.
When you correct for that, 2022 Week One HC.gov enrollment is actually up 9.9% vs. last year:
- OEP 2022: 124,950/day
- OEP 2021: 113,655/day
Also noteworthy is the number of new enrollees in the first week: 286,905 so far this year vs. 343,628 last year. This is 16.5% lower...except that again, when you account for the missing day it's actually only 10.1% lower, and if you assume 1.9% of last year's new enrollees were from KY/ME/NM, it's only 8.3% lower year over year.
When you consider that many of the 2.03 million people who enrolled over the spring/summer via the COVID Special Enrollment Period in the 33 states now hosted via HealthCare.Gov likely would have been new enrollees had they not already done so, this is pretty remarkable.
It's also worth noting that active renewals (again, when adjusted for the missing day & states) are up 14.8% vs. last year:
- OEP 2022: 102,880/day
- OEP 2021: 89,585/day
This stat doesn't necessarily mean all that much (it could simply be people actively renewing sooner rather than later), but it does suggest that more people are beginning to understand the importance of actively re-enrolling instead of letting themselves be passively auto-renewed, which often means losing out on far better values and/or thousands of dollars in additional savings.
There's one more factor as well: Both Oklahoma and Missouri expanded Medicaid earlier this year (Oklahoma started in July; Missouri's state goverment was dragged into it kicking & screaming in October).
While most of the 275,000 Missouri residents & 190,000 Oklahomans who are eligible for Medicaid via ACA expansion weren't eligible for ACA exchange plans, a portion of them were (those earning between 100 - 138% of the Federal Poverty Level). I don't know exactly how many of those were actually enrolled in ACA plans prior to being shifted over to Medicaid, but according to the final 2021 OEP Public Use File report, nearly 150,000 of those who enrolled during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period earned between 100 - 150% FPL. Assuming an even spread across that income range, this suggests perhaps 113,000 who earned between 100 - 138% FPL.
On the one hand, that doesn't take into account net attrition over the course of the year; on the other hand, it also doesn't include any of the 89,402 MO/OK residents who enrolled during the COVID SEP either (remember, while Oklahoma started their expansion program on schedule in July, which was halfway through the SEP, Missouri residents had no clue whether Medicaid would be expanded at all or not until after the SEP ended in mid-August). Assuming a similar ratio of all SEP enrollees were in the 100 - 150% FPL income bracket to the Open Enrollment Period, that means something like 26,000 additional 100 - 138% FPL enrollees will be shifted over to Medicaid as well.
Around 20% of all 2021 OEP HC.gov enrollments happened in the first week last year. If you assume a proportionate number of the 100 - 138% crowd signed up the first week, that's another ~22,000 who need who need to be discounted for an apples to apples comparison, which would mean 2022's first week is actually running 11.5% higher on a per-day basis!
- OEP 2022: 124,950/day
- OEP 2021: 112,083/day
Unfortunately, this first Weekly Snapshot doesn't include a state-by-state breakout, but that should be coming by Week Three based on prior experience. Stay tuned...