COVID-19

Back on March 23rd, I noted that while every other state-based ACA exchange has launched an official COVID-19-specific Special Enrollment Period, there are two ACA exchanges which have refused to do so. One of them is the mothership, HealthCare.Gov, which is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and which hosts a whopping 38 states. The other one is Your Health Idaho:

I contacted the exchange last week to see what the deal was re. a COVID-19 SEP and they kicked the ball over to the state Insurance Dept:

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is not currently considered grounds for a Special Enrollment Period in Idaho. Questions around the potential offering of an SEP would be best answered by the Idaho Department of Insurance. This really falls within their regulatory authority. YHI will follow their guidance and support whatever decision is made.

I did indeed contact the Idaho DOI, but I didn't hear back from them until today. Here's what they had to say:

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

via HealthSource RI:

Health Coverage Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Extended through April 30, 2020

  •  Special Enrollment Period has been extended through April 30th, 2020

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 13, 2020) — HealthSource RI has extended the limited-time Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that was established following Governor Raimondo’s State of Emergency declaration in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This SEP provides an opportunity for uninsured Rhode Islanders to purchase coverage through April 30, 2020. Coverage will begin on the first of the month following the application.

Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. When completing the online enrollment form, Rhode Islanders should select the “other” SEP event and indicate COVID-19 or coronavirus as the explanation. Once approved, customers will need to choose a plan and pay for their first month of coverage.

As I expected, the Nevada Health Link board just extended their existing #COVID19 Special Enrollment Period deadline out until May 15th:

The @NVHealthLink Board of Directors just approved of an extension to our Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period through May 15, 2020. If you or anyone you know needs insurance NOW is the time to get connected - https://t.co/7szDKShOd7 or call us at 1-800-547-2927 pic.twitter.com/Jlbpm2QXEw

— Heather K. (@HKORB) April 13, 2020

Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Extends Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period on Nevada Health Link

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

I also include the partisan lean of every state, which may sound cynical or tasteless...unless you've been paying attention to the news of late. That's exactly how Donald Trump sees it; he's literally giving red states whatever resources they ask for (or more) while deliberately starving the blue states (or even some purple states if their governors aren't "nice" enough to him) or giving them scraps.

Just how deadly is COVID-19? The answer might seem obvious on the surface--divide the number of victims who die by the total number infected--but it's actually a lot more complicated than that. This isn't a particularly profound insight, but it's worth laying out the basics for the record.

As of this writing, according to Worldometers.Info (one of the most reliable, accurate sources of COVID-19 data), around 560,000 Americans have tested positive for the virus, of which around 22,000 have died. Officially, that's a mortality rate of 3.94%.

There's a lot of problems with both the numerator and denominator here, however. First, let's look at the numerator:

The official tally of COVID-19 victims who've died could be too high...or too low for any number of reasons:

Lately pretty much everything I'm analyzing and writing about is the ongoing horror of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

Lately pretty much everything I'm analyzing and writing about is the ongoing horror of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

via a press release from the Michigan Dept. of Insurance & Financial Services:

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that the state has received agreements from nearly all of the state’s health insurance companies to waive cost-sharing, including copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and treatments. The Whitmer Administration and DIFS had worked with insurers to waive these costs.

“Michiganders that are fighting for their lives should not have the extra burden of fighting with their health insurer to cover the costs of their care,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am thankful that health insurers agreed to cover Michiganders’ coinsurance, deductibles, and copays as we fight this virus. It’s going to take all of us doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will get through this together” 

Consumers with these individual and group health plans will not be charged cost-sharing for coronavirus-related medical treatment, such as primary care visits, laboratory testing, emergency room visits, ambulance services, and FDA-approved medications and vaccines for COVID-19 when they become available. 

Lately pretty much everything I'm analyzing and writing about is the ongoing horror of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet. I've added a big yellow banner at the top of the site which links to it.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

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