Charles Gaba's blog

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

Biden-Harris Administration Releases New Medicaid and CHIP Renewal Data Showing the Role State Policy Choices Play in Keeping Kids Covered

  • Sec. Becerra Calls on Nine States with the Highest Child Disenrollments to Immediately Take Up Proven Federal Flexibilities to Protect Children and Families; Biden-Harris Administration Extends Federal Flexibilities to States Until End of 2024

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new data on state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment changes among children and youth since full eligibility renewals for these programs restarted earlier this year. The data released today make it clear that state policy choices have real consequences for children and families during Medicaid and CHIP renewals. States that take up proven flexibilities and strategies from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are better able to protect kids’ coverage – especially when the state has also expanded Medicaid.

Washington HealthPlan Finder

via the Washington HealthPlan Finder:

Washingtonians can still enroll in or change their plan for a Feb. 1, 2024, effective date.

Dec. 15, was the last day to buy a 2024 health plan for it to begin on Jan. 1, 2024, for all Washingtonians regardless of citizenship status. However, it’s not too late for customers to enroll in, or change, their 2024 plan at Washington Healthplanfinder. If enrollment or a change in a plan happens by Jan. 15, coverage can start on Feb. 1.

Mark Farrah Associates is an electronic publisher of business information and analytics for the U.S. healthcare industry; they aggregate industry data and market metrics for their own database products that they sell on a subscription basis.

They typically release state-level breakout estimates of the total U.S. individual market once or twice a year. They last did so in July 2023, although they only included a national total at the time, pegging it at around 19.5 million as of the end of March.

Via MNsure:

More Than 132k Minnesotans Will Have a Full Year of Quality, Comprehensive Health Insurance in 2024

A new early sign-up record as MNsure celebrates its ten-year anniversary

ST. PAUL, Minn.—MNsure is pleased to report that 132,789 Minnesotans signed up for 2024 health insurance through Minnesota’s official health insurance marketplace between November 1 and December 15, 2023.

“Over 132,000 Minnesotans will welcome the new year with the peace of mind and security of a full year of high-quality, comprehensive coverage through MNsure,” said MNsure CEO Libby Caulum.

This incredible start to MNsure’s annual enrollment period sets a new early enrollment record for the marketplace. Private health plan sign-ups have increased by 11% compared to the same time last year. With enhanced federal tax credits available only through MNsure, eligible families will save $6,750 in 2024, on average, and spend 5% less on private health plan premiums than they did this year.

Back on November 5th, just a few days into the 2024 Open Enrollment Period, I did some back-of-the-math number crunching and concluded that the odds were pretty good that total 2024 OEP ACA enrollment (including both exchange-based Qualified Health Plans, or QHPs, as well as enrollment in Basic Health Plans (BHPs) in New York & Minnesota only) would break 19 million people for the first time in the ACA's history.

This was based on some simple assumptions:

via, Maine's 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, Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace.  

Plan selections provide a snapshot of activity by new and returning consumers who have selected a plan for 2024. “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, 2024 is December 15, 2023. Consumers who select a plan between December 16, 2023 and January 16, 2024 will have coverage beginning February 1, 2024. Activity Through December 12, 2023

Good grief. I have no idea how I missed this legislation. I had read about and even written about it several times over the past several years, but I sort of lost track of it since the COVID pandemic hit.

Back in 2016, California passed a bill which extened eligibility for Medi-Cal (California's brand name for Medicaid) to around 170,000 undocumented children statewide...although this ultimately ended up resulting in around 250,000 children being added to the roles.

Then, in 2019, California's expansion of Medicaid to undocumented residents moved to the next phase: Around 100,000 more young undocumented adults aged 19 - 25 years old.

Mississippi, Nebraska

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been a bit odd when it comes to announcing new states joining the 12-month postpartum Medicaid coverage approval. Sometimes they issue a fully-detailed press release, as they did with Missouri a month ago; other times, like today, they just sort of throw a quick mention into a larger "roundup" post:

CMS Approves Postpartum Coverage Extensions for Nebraska & Mississippi

Via the Augusta Free Press:

Friday is the last day for Virginia residents to apply for health care coverage that starts on January 1, 2024.

Any healthcare coveragesecured after December 15 and before Open Enrollment ends on January 15 will begin on February 1, 2024.

The Virginia Insurance Marketplace reminds Virginians to apply now for 2024. 

After the Open Enrollment period ends January 15, Virginians experiencing a Qualifying Life Event such as having a baby or losing health insurance coverage may be eligible to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period. 

Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace replaced for all Virginians and launched on November 1, 2023. Marketplace provides a wealth of resources for residents to find affordable health care coverage. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians have accessed the Marketplace this Open Enrollment Period to find coverage that meets their needs.  

BeWell NM

BeWell NM, New Mexico's state-based ACA exchange, has launched a very handy new Enrollment Data portal which includes plenty of info for a data hound like myself to pore over. The initial 2024 Open Enrollment Period numbers are impressive...but also a bit misleading if you don't know how the exchange enters data.

First, the top line numbers (as of 12/14/23):

  • Number of enrolled consumers: 50,442
  • Consumers enrolled in Medical coverage: 49,765
  • Consumers enrolled in Dental coverage: 12,321

While dental coverage is also important, standalone dental plans aren't considered Qualified Health Plans (QHPs); it's the "Medical Coverage" which is the key number here.

Also, the total number above may look confusing, but most of the Medical & Dental coverage enrollees overlap:

  • Medical Only: 38,121
  • Dental Only: 677
  • Medical + Dental: 11,644

For comparison, last year BeWell NM reported enrolling just 37,056 peple (including auto-renewals) through December 17th.

This breaks out to: