UPDATE 3/15/23: The agreed-to Medicaid expansion deal has passed the NC State Senate! It now just needs to pass the state House one final time and then it's on to Gov. Cooper's desk to be signed into law!
A decade ago, when conservatives were attacking President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act as government encroachment in health care, they worked to amend state constitutions around the country to affirm a broad right for people to control their own medical decisions.
“Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions,” reads section 38(a) of the Wyoming constitution’s Declaration of Rights, under the header “Right of healthcare access.” The provision was placed on Wyoming’s ballot by state lawmakers and approved by voters in 2012; voters saw ballot language that described the measure as preserving this right “from undue governmental infringement.”
Now these anti-ACA provisions—and their broad affirmations of a right to decide—have turned into an unlikely weapon in progressives’ fight against restrictions on abortion.
This is, of course, extremely important since household income is one of the most critical factors in calculating how much financial assistance enrollees receive, as well as whether or not they're eligible for Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC).
If you've ever wondered why healthcare wonks (myself included) almost never even bring up the ACA's Catastrophic Level plans and why the only time I ever discuss Platinum Plans is in the context of high-CSR enrollees being eligible for "Secret Platinum" plans (labeled as Silver), this table should explain why.
Next up: Age brackets, gender, racial/ethnic groups and urban/rural communities. I'm also throwing in the stand-alone Dental Plan table for the heck of it since I don't know where else to include it.
I don't have a ton to say about any of these, really. It's always interesting to me to see that nearly 2% of ACA exchange enrollees are 65 or older. Not sure why they aren't on Medicare but I'm sure there are logical reasons.
Now it's time to move on to the actual demographic breakout of the 2023 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) Qualified Health Plan (QHP) enrollees.
First up is breaking out new enrollees vs. existing enrollees who either actively re-enroll in an exchange plan for another year or who passively allow themselves to be automatically renewed into their current plan (or to be "mapped" to a similar plan if the current one is no longer available).
Now that the official press release is out of the way, it's time to dig into the actual final, official state-level data. The table below has the final, official 2023 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) numbers for both Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in all 50 states + DC as well as Basic Health Plan (BHP) enrollment in Minnesota and New York only, compared to the 2022 OEP.
According to the essential Louise Norris, there are currently just six states where being pregnant in and of itself makes someone eligible for a Special Enrollment Period outside of the official Open Enrollment Period:
In most states, pregnancy does not trigger a special enrollment period. HHS considered this, but clarified in 2015 that they had decided not to include pregnancy as a qualifying event. This means that in most states, the special enrollment period tied to having a baby does not begin until the baby is born.
But state-run exchanges (there are 18 of them as of 2022) can set their own rules for qualifying events and special enrollment periods. Some of them do allow a special enrollment period triggered by pregnancy. This gives a pregnant person access to health coverage during the pregnancy, rather than having to wait until the baby is born to obtain coverage. As of 2022, pregnancy is a qualifying event in the following state-run exchanges: