Charles Gaba's blog

CMS Logo

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2021-2030 National Health Expenditure (NHE) report, prepared by the CMS Office of the Actuary, that presents health spending and enrollment projections for the coming decade. The report notably shows that despite the increased demand for patient care in 2021, the growth in national health spending is estimated to have slowed to 4.2%, from 9.7% in 2020, as supplemental funding for public health activity and other federal programs, specifically those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, declined significantly.

COVID-19 Vaccine

NOTE: Given how much the national pace of vaccination shots has slowed down recently (the 7-day average is down to around ~330,000/day), this is now a MONTHLY update unless the pace picks up again significantly.

Methodology reminders:

  • I go by county residents who have received the 2nd COVID-19 shot only (or 1st in the case of the J&J vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population via the 2020 U.S. Census as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old (or even over 4 years old).

Back in early September I wrote about something which had been bothering me for awhile:

As you might expect, there's a clear drop-off in new COVID cases per capita as the vaccination rate of the counties goes up. There seems to bea slight drop-off starting around 50% fully vaccinated, followed by a steep drop-off starting around 65% vaxxed.

There's a third drop-off at around 75%, but there's literally only a handful of counties which have achieved that high a vaccination rate so far anyway.

HOWEVER, there's one major outlier over the 65% threshold...Miami-Dade County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Miami-Dade has fully vaccinated 68% of their entire population (1.84 million out of 2.72 million residents). I use the slightly lower official 2020 U.S. Census popualtion count for Miami-Dade County (2,701,767), which makes the vaccination rate slightly higher still: 68.24%.


For months I've posted weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the point at which every U.S. adult could theoretically have received 2 COVID vaccination doses, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan).

For a long time I used July 1st, 2021 as my start point, but more recently I decided to back this up to May 1st, 2021 instead. Pinning down an exact date for this is a bit tricky since a) different populations were made eligible at different points in 2021, and b) it takes 3-4 weeks after getting your first vaccination dose before you can get the second one, but May 1st is what I've finally settled on. As it happens, this didn't change things that much since June 2021 in particular was the nadir of the pandemic's death rate since it began.

As always, here's my methodology:

Washington HealthPlan Finder

via the Washington HealthPlan Finder:

Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange), today announced that she will be stepping down from guiding the state’s health insurance marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder, an organization she has served for nearly 10 years.  She has held the role of CEO for more than six years.

The move will be effective as of June and the Exchange Board will be appointing an interim CEO in the coming weeks.

“It has been the capstone of my career to serve the people of Washington as CEO of the Exchange,” said MacEwan.  “What we have been able to accomplish in my time at the Exchange has been nothing short of remarkable. Given the strength of our organization, I feel that now is the right time. The Exchange has emerged as an innovative leader in health care and is poised to continue to break new ground in bringing access to health to all Washingtonians.”

Access Health CT Logo

via Access Health CT:


HARTFORD, Conn. (March 25, 2022) — Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced that it was honored by the Hartford Business Journal (HBJ) and Best Companies Group as one of the “Best Places to Work in Connecticut.” This is the third, consecutive year AHCT has been named as a top workplace by the HBJ. The honorees were recognized at a ceremony at Farmington Gardens last night. The annual program was created by the Hartford Business Journal and the third-party research firm, Best Companies Group.

“Everything we do at Access Health CT supports our mission and is guided by our company values,” said Access Health CT Chief Executive Officer, James Michel. “Our values — authenticity, integrity, excellence, ownership, one team and passion — were created by our staff and are the driving force behind our strong company culture.”

As noted yesterday, it's the12th Anniversary of President Obama signing the ACA into law. To mark the occasion, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the final, official 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) report, which I've broken into multiple entries.

In this entry, I'm looking at the metal level breakout of the plans selected by ACA exchange enrollees. As a reminder, ACA policies fall into four categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, plus a special fifth "Catastrophic" category.

The 4 metal level categories represent policies which cover roughly 60%, 70%, 80% or 90% of the average enrollee's in-network healthcare expenses over the cours of the year. This doesn't mean that a Silver (70%) plan, for instance, will cover 70% of your specific medical expenses; it's an aggregate average.

As noted yesterday, it's the12th Anniversary of President Obama signing the ACA into law. To mark the occasion, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the final, official 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) report, which I've broken into multiple entries.

In this entry, I'm looking at enrollment from the angle of various demographic factors, including Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity and Rural status.

There's a ton of data in the big table below (click the image for a high-res version), so I've also included percentage summaries at the bottom:

Covered California Logo

via Covered California:

  • On the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, Covered California reminds consumers that eligible Californians can sign up through special enrollment if they have a qualifying life event.
  • Californians who have recently lost their health insurance, got married, had a baby, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, or paid a penalty for not having coverage are among those eligible for special enrollment.
  • Coverage is more affordable than ever thanks to the increased financial help available through the American Rescue Plan, and consumers can benefit from lower premiums throughout 2022.

La versión en español de este Comunicado puede ser descargada en este enlace

MNsure Logo

via MNsure:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—March 23 marks the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which enacted patient protections that make health coverage fairer and easier to understand, and the financial help that makes it more affordable. With the help of the ACA and MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, Minnesota’s uninsured rate has gone from above 9% in 2010 to 4% today.

While the ACA helped thousands of Minnesotans access comprehensive health coverage, the 2021 federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) COVID Relief package made the most significant improvements to the law since its inception. In Minnesota, the ARP lowered costs for tens of thousands, and expanded access to subsidies to those who had previously been ineligible. The cost savings made available through the ARP drove the highest enrollment on record for MNsure. Over 134,000 Minnesotans -- a 10% increase from last year -- signed up for coverage for 2022.