Charles Gaba's blog

Washington HealthPlan Finder

via Washington HealthPlanFinder:

There is still time left to shop, switch and enroll in the best health plan for you in 2023 by Jan. 15

With just two weeks left in open enrollment, more than 222,000 Washingtonians have enrolled in their 2023 individual health plan through Washington Healthplanfinder. Driven by the availability of Cascade Care Savings, a new state premium subsidy, more than 60% of customers are enrolled in a Cascade Care plan for 2023 —double the number of enrollees in these plans in 2022.

via Pam Belluck of the New York Times:

For the first time, retail pharmacies, from corner drugstores to major chains like CVS and Walgreens, will be allowed to offer abortion pills in the United States under a regulatory change made Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration. The action could significantly expand access to abortion through medication.

Until now, mifepristone — the first pill used in the two-drug medication abortion regimen — could be dispensed only by a few mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors or clinics. Under the new F.D.A. rules, patients will still need a prescription from a certified health care provider, but any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions and abide by certain other criteria can dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order.

This would be a pretty big deal anyway, but given the Supreme Court's recent repeal of Roe vs. Wade, it obviously takes on even more significance.

CMS Logo

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

As part of Biden-Harris Administration efforts to strengthen Medicaid, new guidance will help states expand access to health care services and tackle unmet social needs

Today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is releasing guidance on an innovative opportunity for states to address health-related social needs for people with Medicaid coverage through the use of “in lieu of services and settings” in Medicaid managed care. This option will help states offer alternative benefits that take aim at a range of unmet health-related social needs, such as housing instability and food insecurity, to help enrollees maintain their coverage and to improve their health outcomes. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting and strengthening Medicaid. Today’s action is CMS’ latest step to drive innovation in the Medicaid program, strengthen access to care, improve population health, and reduce health disparities.

CMS Logo

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), by email:

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the latest enrollment figures for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs serve as key connectors to care for more millions of Americans.

Medicare

As of September 2022, 65,103,807 people are enrolled in Medicare. This is an increase of 160,823  since the last report.

  • 34,984,295 are enrolled in Original Medicare.

    30,119,512 are enrolled in Medicare Advantage or other health plans. This includes enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans with and without prescription drug coverage. 

    50,574,579 are enrolled in Medicare Part D. This includes enrollment in stand-alone prescription drug plans as well as Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage. 

Connect for Health Colorado Logo

via Connect for Health Colorado:

  • Enrollment Season for Health Insurance Continues Through January 15th
  • Coloradans Can Still Enroll in 2023 Coverage 

DENVER— As of January 4th, more than 188,000 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, during the annual Open Enrollment period. This is approximately 2,300 enrollments ahead of the same day last year. 75 percent of customers applying are qualifying for financial help to reduce the cost of their insurance.

But there is still time to enroll. With the enrollment deadline approaching on January 15, 2023, Coloradans have less than two weeks left to choose a plan for coverage that will start on February 1, 2023.

Access Health CT Logo

Via Access Health CT:

Deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan for 2023 is January 15

HARTFORD, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2023) — Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced it will host six enrollment fairs in January to help Connecticut residents shop, compare and enroll or renew their health coverage during the current Open Enrollment period, which ends on Jan. 15, 2023. Enrollment fairs offer free, in-person help from enrollment specialists and will take place in Bloomfield, Haddam, Hamden, Stamford, Vernon and Willimantic. 

Open Enrollment began Nov. 1, 2022 and runs through Jan. 15, 2023. Customers who enroll between Dec. 16, 2022 and Jan. 15, 2023 will have coverage starting Feb. 1, 2023.

Connecticut residents who are interested in attending these events can book an appointment online. To book an appointment, visit AccessHealthCT.com/enrollment-events. Walk-in appointments are welcome.

The enrollment fairs will take place at the following locations and times:

COVID-19

As noted in November:

The graph below shows the partisan COVID death rate gap for every month since the pandemic began in earnest in March 2020. Specifically, it looks at the reddest 20% and bluest 20% of the total U.S. population based on the 2020 Presidential election results at the county level.

The reddest quintile includes roughly 65.1 million people living in counties where Donald Trump received 62.4% or more of the vote in 2020; the bluest quintile includes around 66.8 million living in counties where Trump received less than 31.6%. While the raw numbers aren't quite equal, both have been adjusted for actual population.

The initial COVID wave in March - May 2020, of course, devastated Blue America, primarily densely populated (and heavily Democratic) New York and New Jersey, while leaving Red America (mostly sparsely populated, rural Republican counties) relatively unscathed.

New Jersey

via the NJ Dept. of Banking & Insurance:

TRENTON — Following votes by the boards of both the Individual Health Coverage Program and the Small Employer Health Benefits Program, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance today announced that requirements for comprehensive abortion coverage among insurers in the individual and small employer markets will take effect for the start of the 2023 plan year on January 1, 2023. 

The department issued a study last month that found a need for regulatory action to require coverage for abortion services without exceptions under health benefits plans regulated by the department. The study was performed as part of the implementation of the historic Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act signed by Governor Phil Murphy earlier this year.  

At the department’s request, the Individual Health Coverage Program and the Small Employer Health Benefits Program boards began the process last month to implement coverage changes and the boards voted unanimously yesterday to formally accept the changes. 

Access Health CT Logo

Via Access Health CT's News/Press Releases page:

Stats as of December 30, 2022

Qualified Health Plans (QHP):

  • QHP Enrollment In 2023 Coverage: 103,380
  • 2022 OE Acquisition Summary: 15,561

Medicaid:

  • Completed applications/ redeterminations processed through the integrated eligibility system: 19,614

I've never been entirely sure what the "Acquisition Summary" figure refers to, but I've confirmed that it's already included in the larger number.

NOTE: According to Ted Doolittle, official Connecticut Healthcare Advocate:

Not 100% sure, but I think "acquisition" means entirely new folks, who haven't had an AccessHealth plan in the past 2-3 years.

BeWellNM Logo

via BeWell NM, New Mexico's ACA exchange:

2023 Open Enrollment Report

This report provides a summary of information for week one of the beWellnm health insurance individual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period for plan year 2023 (OEP 2023). The report contains data from the beWellnm eligibility and enrollment platform for OEP 2023, and includes an overview of the following:

  • plan selections
  • new enrollees
  • enrollees renewing coverage
  • Customer Engagement Center call volumes
  • website traffic

Enrollment

This section contains enrollment data through December 20, 2022.

1. Total Plan Selections (net): Count of unique individuals who have selected a Plan Year (PY) 2023 Marketplace medical plan. Count includes all new and re-enrolling consumers (defined in Indicators 2 and 3), regardless of whether the consumer has paid the first month premium. Count does not include plans that were canceled or terminated.: 37,892

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