(Sigh) See, this is why, when I said "I'm not gonna do the prediction thing this time" I should have stuck with that.
Dan Pfeiffer's statement about "200K this week" on Meet the Press yesterday (which was down about 1/3 from what I was figuring) got me thinking about the contrast between his statement and Peter Lee's (head of CoverCA) statement about CA having around 250K potential QHP enrollees in the queue.
It just occurred to me this morning that while my assumption about the number of applications is probably correct, my assumption about the number of individuals covered by those applications could be way too high...because that assumes that each application includes my standard 1.8x multiplier for spouses & kids in the household.
This is more of an updated/simplified version of my post from a couple of days ago. As I said, I'm not going to set up an elaborate spreadsheet and try to micromanage the projection data for the next 10 days the way I did during the regular enrollment period. Instead, I'm just going with a lazier, more general estimate: Based partly on the California data given by Peter Lee (500K partly done applications in under the 3/31 wire, half of which are likely Medicaid-bound), I'm figuring that total exchange QHP enrollments gonna end up somewhere around 900K total, for a nice round 8M by the end of April 15th. Perhaps a little higher (1M even?).*
As always, I'll be more than happy to be proven wrong, as long as I've undershot the mark :)
This breaks down to around 60K per day x 15 days, which is what I'll be tacking onto the Spreadsheet & Graph until the actual total comes out.
Oh for heaven's sake. Having grudgingly given up on the general "But how many have PAID????" argument (answer: around 85%, plus another 8% or so who will pay by the time they actually receive the bill or shortly after it's, you know, actually due), and having conceded some ground on the "But how many were UNINSURED???" argument (answer: At least 33% of the first 6 million, more likely a good 40% or more when the additional 1.1M+ are added in, and possibly even as high as 49% by some right-winger's own admission...see below), at least one Forbes writer openly opposed to the ACA is now moving onto the next tactic: Combining the remnants of these two arguments, Voltron-like, into a new talking point:
"OK, most people have paid, and a high percentage of the total may be newly insured after all...but how many of those who are newly insured have paid???"
That's right, this is where they're trying to move the goal posts.
Hmmmmm...not sure what to make of this update out of KUNM in New Mexico. NM only had 18,691 exchange QHPs as of 3/15, so 51.4K would be absolutely insane (a 2.75x increase). It looks like they've mixed the SHOP enrollees into the mix, which means it's not quite that crazy--take those out and the QHPs are down to 37,400, or a "mere" doubling of the existing total. So...I guess that makes sense.
HOWEVER, this causes bigger questions, because the only data I've had for New Mexico's SHOP exchange was a mere 524 as of March 18th. How the hell did they manage to enroll 28 times as many people in the next 13 days???
First, skip to Pages 12-16, where you can see the grand total for February (which, unlike the HHS reports, covers February 1-28 itself, none of this "Saturday closest to the end of the month" business):
Expansion States Subtotal: 1,303,676
Non-Expansion States Subtotal: 945,444
Hmmm...that looks like a lot less than 3 million to me. The main reason for the missing 750K is because some of the new enrollments ran through the ACA exchanges (HC.gov/etc) while others went through traditional means (walking in the door of a state Medicaid agency office, etc). Furthermore, some of the states overlap--they're reported on both reports, which means I have to be careful not to double-count:
Unfortunately I don't have a link to the actual report yet; Politico just did one of their "Breaking News" things for now. Apparnetly it's slightly below 3M Medicaid/CHIP enrollments in February, for a total of 11.7M since October 1st. HOWEVER, not all of these are new (some are renewals), and others may be part of the "baseline churn" so it's not a simple matter of tacking on 3M to the total.
Watch this post for updates once I actually hunt down the PDF of the report itself...
Remember, this is for February, not March. The March CMS report probably won't be out until the first week of May, and possibly even later (I'm assuming it'll be even more of a PITA to compile, given the craziness at the end of March...)
Meanwhile, the HHS report for March, which is the one which will confirm/clarify the big 7.1M exchange QHP figure (along with the other half of the Medicaid data) should be out sometime next week...although again, it might be delayed due to the March rush.
Sean Parnell sent me a clarification of the 64.6M Medicaid number out of Rhode Island from the OHHS in Rhode Island (which did seem a bit high to me, but surge and all...)
New Medicaid enrollment figures through March 31, 2014
Medicaid enrollment: 64,590 (through HealthSource RI from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014)
Of that number, 42,320, or 65.5 percent, represent adults in Medicaid’s new eligibility group, adults 19-64 without dependent children who were not previously eligible for Medicaid but became eligible on January 1, 2014. The new eligibility group is authorized under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and is financed with 100 percent federal dollars for its first three years, 2014-2017.
The other roughly one-third represents those enrolling who were eligible for Medicaid under previously existing rules.
Unfortunately they don't specify how many of the remaining 22.5K are renewals vs. "woodworkers". I'm going to go with about half (11K, or around 17% of the 65K total) unless I receive further clarification one way or the other. This reduces the current "woodworker" estimate of 16.6K by about 5,600.
OK, this one is actually semi-legitimate, depending on your perspective.
According to Glenn Kessler of the WaPo, when the CBO crunches the numbers next year to see how many 2014 ACA Exchange QHPs actually did qualify as being counted towards their 7M (then 6M) projection, they're actually going to have to slice up every single person enrolled into 12ths.
That is to say, if your policy started coverage in January and was paid for straight through until the end of the year, you'll be counted as one "CBO person", but if it didn't start coverage until, say, April 1st, you'd only be counted for 9 months, making you 3/4 of a "person" in CBO terms.
Needless to say, not only does this complicate matters considerably, it also means that when the CBO releases their full-year 2014 report next year (January? February?), it may look something like the following: