Insurance Carriers see strong ACA enrollment & MCO reenrollment from #MedicaidUnwinding population, thanks CMS

Last week I reported that at least 593,000 of the "Medicaid Unwinding" population (Americans who had their Medicaid or CHIP coverage terminated since the end of the COVID public health emergency's "Continuous Coverage" provision ended at the end of March) had shifted over to an ACA exchange plan as of the end of July (plus another 88K who enrolled in BHP plans).

As I noted at the time, perhaps 11% or so of the Unwinding population might move to ACA exchange policies instead when the dust settles on the ongoing unwinding process (12% or so if you include BHP enrollees).

Today, Amy Lotven of Inside Health Policy reports some additional data which indirectly supports this:

Key insurers that offer Medicaid managed care plans and qualified health plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges say they’re gaining new exchange membership due to the ongoing Medicaid redetermination process...The insurers also report that around 20% to 30% of the Medicaid beneficiaries who were disenrolled are returning to their plans -- thanks to CMS’ recent actions.

They say they generally remain confident in their predictions about redeterminations although Molina now believes it will retain about 320,000 of the 800,000 lives gained during the pandemic, down from the 400,00 it previously projected.

...“Medicaid disenrollment figures would be higher if the Biden administration hadn't required 30 states to pause eligibility checks,” he points out, referring to CMS’ actions taken in September after discovering a glitch that resulted in eligible beneficiaries losing coverage.

Lotven also reports some other numbers/estimates:

  • Centene thinks 200K - 300K will shift from Medicaid to ACA plans in the end, and that another 25% of those who lost coverage via unwinding are re-joining Medicaid shortly thereafter
  • Elevance (previously Anthem) says ACA enrollments are have been 3x higher than usual for the off season, although they also say that fewer have moved from Medicaid to employer coverage than expected
  • Molina says off-season ACA exchange enrollment is running 33% - 50% higher than usual

Again, these numbers are all piecemeal and scattershot, but they add up to support for a solid chunk of the unwinding population moving to other comprehensive, affordable healthcare coverage.