Charles Gaba's blog

Covered California Logo

via Covered California:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With Californians facing the compounding impact of three respiratory illnesses this winter, Covered California is urging the uninsured to sign up for health care coverage before the upcoming Dec. 31 deadline. Coverage provides access to quality care and protection from unforeseen medical costs, and Covered California is where people can get financial help to lower the cost of their health insurance. Californians need to sign up before the end of the year in order to have their coverage be effective on Jan. 1.

“Everyone deserves the protection and peace of mind that come with having high-quality, affordable health insurance, and Covered California is urging everyone who needs coverage to check out their options and sign up before the end of the year,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “Once again — whether it is COVID, the flu, RSV or other illnesses — access to health care coverage is essential for every Californian to stay healthy and safe.”

Maryland Health Connection

via Maryland Health Connection:

BALTIMORE (Dec. 28, 2022) – Marylanders have until Dec. 31 to get a health plan beginning Jan. 1 on Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace and the only place to get financial help with coverage. To be covered at the start of the new year, Marylanders must enroll by Dec. 31, 2022. If you enroll in January, your coverage will not start until Feb. 1, 2023. This open enrollment period is for private plans only. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.

Cover ME Logo

via CoverME.gov, Maine's new state-based ACA exchange:

Plan Selection Snapshot

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) will release biweekly updates on plan selections through CoverME.gov, Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace.  

Plan selections provide a snapshot of activity by new and returning consumers who have selected a plan for 2023. “Plan selections” become “enrollments” once consumers have paid their first monthly premium to begin insurance. These numbers are subject to change as consumers may modify or cancel plans after their initial selection.   

The deadline to select a plan for coverage beginning January 1, 2023 is December 15, 2022. Consumers who select a plan after that date will have coverage beginning February 1, 2023. 

CoverME.gov Activity Through December 24th, 2022 

  • 62,494 Mainers have selected plans for affordable health coverage in 2023
  • This includes 7,449 new consumers and 55,045 returning consumers.
  • 95,352 users have visited CoverME.gov.

Get Covered NJ Logo

via the New Jersey Dept. of Banking & Insurance (via email; no link yet):

NJDOBI Announces Nearly 300K Have Signed Up for Health Insurance through Get Covered New Jersey 

NJ residents must enroll by Dec. 31 for coverage starting Jan. 1  

9 in 10 People Who Enroll Qualify for Savings; Many Pay $10 a Month or Less for Health Coverage 

TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride today announced that nearly 300,000 New Jersey residents signed up for a 2023 health insurance plan through the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, in the first five weeks of the Open Enrollment Period that started on November 1, 2022. Total signups have increased compared to the same timeframe last year, as residents continue to take advantage of record levels of financial help available from the State of New Jersey and the federal government.

Open Enrollment for 2023 health insurance ends January 31st, 2023, but residents must enroll in a plan by December 31st, 2022 for coverage to take effect on January 1st, 2023.

Breaking, via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

HealthCare.gov Sign Ups Outpace Previous Years At Key Milestone

The Biden-Harris Administration announced today that Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace enrollment continues to outpace previous years, with nearly 11.5 million people selecting a health plan nationwide as of December 15, 2022 – a key milestone marking the deadline for coverage starting January 1, 2023. About 1.8 million more people have signed up for health insurance, or an 18% increase, from this time last year. 

NOTE: See below for important clarification.

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.: 37,056

Access Health CT Logo

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

Stats as of December 23, 2022

Qualified Health Plans (QHP):

  • QHP Enrollment In 2023 Coverage: 102,558
  • 2022 OE Acquisition Summary: 14,811

Medicaid:

  • Completed applications/ redeterminations processed through the integrated eligibility system: 18,248

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.

Yesterday I noted that the big year-end federal omnibus spending bill includes provisions which allow states to start kicking people off of Medicaid who are only eligible thanks to the COVID-19 public health emergency bills passed in 2020 & 2021..but it at least does so in a fairly responsible way by phasing out the extra federal matching funds gradually over a 9-month period, to prevent states from dumping everyone all at once.

The omnibus bill also includes other important positive Medicaid provisions such as letting children who are eligible for the program stay on it for at least 12 months regardless of  household income changes, and letting states offer 12 months of postpartum Medicaid/CHIP coverage to newborn children & their mothers on a permanent basis instead of the current 5-year limit.

Florida

A week and a half ago, on a Saturday Night, my friend Jenny Chumbley Hogue, a Texas-based health insurance broker, gave me a heads up about a rather concerning and suspiciously-timed notice regarding Oscar Health of Florida:

BREAKING from Florida. @LouiseNorris @charles_gaba @jgmcglamery

Hello agent, please view the below information in reference to Oscar. We have received this information from Oscar and are passing it along to you.

Beginning at midnight Monday, 12/12/2022, (00:00 am Tuesday morning), Oscar in Florida will cease all new sales for IFP. All previously enrolled members and auto-enrolled members can keep their current plan by paying for January coverage. If members need to make a plan change, they need to do so by this time, midnight Monday.

As I (and many others) have been noting for over a year now, the official end of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE), whenever it happens, will presumably bring with it reason to celebrate...but will also likely create a new disaster at the same time:

What goes up usually goes back down eventually, and that's likely to be the case with Medicaid enrollment as soon as the public health crisis formally ends...whenever that may be.

Well, yesterday Ryan Levi and Dan Gorenstein of of the Tradeoffs healthcare policy podcast posted a new episode which attempts to dig into just when that might be, how many people could be kicked off of the program once that time comes and how to mitigate the fallout (I should note that they actually reference my own estimate in the program notes):

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