COVID19

Get Covered 2021!

As of midnight on August 15th, the Big Deadline for the 2021 "No Excuse Needed" ACA Special Enrollment Period has come and gone in most states.

HOWEVER, you can still #GetCovered for the rest of 2021 in a few states (including two of the largest ones), and there are still millions of uninsured Americans nationally who are eligible for ACA-compliant coverage for the rest of this year via other options. Let's review!

2021 ACA Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you live in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York or Vermont, the deadline for the "no questions asked" SEP goes beyond 8/15. In CA, DC & NY it actually runs through the end of the year!

HealthCare.Gov Logo

 

I've received an important reminder from the folks at HealthCare.Gov:

Continued Enrollment Opportunity for Consumers with Unemployment Compensation

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides additional savings to help consumers access affordable, quality health coverage options, including expanded opportunities for those who received or are approved to receive unemployment compensation in 2021.

Starting July 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added a new function to HealthCare.gov to allow consumers who receive or are approved to receive unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021 to access new savings on health insurance coverage, if they qualify.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders, including some important updates:

  • I go by FULLY vaccinated residents only (defined as 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population, as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old.
  • The 5 major U.S. territories don't vote for President in the general election, preventing me from displaying them in the main graph, but I have them listed down the right side.
  • NEW: Until now I've been using 2016 election data for Alaska; starting today, thanks to an updated analysis by RRH Elections, I'm finally able to use 2020 election results for Alaska (all other states +DC have been using 2020 county-level election data all along).
COVID-19 Vaccine

Back in late July, I posted an analysis which looked at the COVID-19 vaccination rate across all 3,144 U.S. counties, parishes & boroughs by two additional criteria: Population Density and Urban/Rural Status.

As I noted at the time, it's reasonable to assume there might be a strong correlation by these criteria, since it's presumably a lot more difficult to get vaccinated if you live out in the middle of the boonies where the nearest hospital, clinic or pharmacy is 50 miles away or whatever...not to mention that if you're the only one for miles around, you might be less likely to see getting vaccinated as a high-priority task regardless of your ideology.

Therefore, the reasoning goes, instead of looking at the partisan lean of each county, it would make much more sense to see how much correlation there is based on population density or whether it's a more urban or rural region, right?

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders, including some important updates:

  • I go by FULLY vaccinated residents only (defined as 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population, as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old.
  • The 5 major U.S. territories don't vote for President in the general election, preventing me from displaying them in the main graph, but I have them listed down the right side.
COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders, including some important updates:

  • I go by FULLY vaccinated residents only (defined as 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population, as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old.
  • NEW: I discovered that there's several additional states where the state health department dashboard data seems to be more comprehensive and accurate than the CDC data, including Illinois, Minnesota and North Carolina. I've switched to these states health department reports starting today.
  • The 5 major U.S. territories don't vote for President in the general election, preventing me from displaying them in the main graph, but I have them listed down the right side.
Connecticut

via the Connecticut Insurance Dept:

The Connecticut Insurance Department has posted the initial proposed health insurance rate filings for the 2022 individual and small group markets. There are 15 filings made by 11 health insurers for plans that currently cover approximately 222,700 people.

Anthem and ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. (CBI) have filed rates for both individual and small group plans that will be marketed through Access Health CT, the state-sponsored health insurance exchange. ConnectiCare Insurance Company, Inc. will begin participating on the exchange in the individual market effective 1/1/2022.

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company began participating in the small group market 7/1/2021.

The 2022 rate proposals for the individual and small group market are on average higher than last year:

The proposed average individual rate request is an 8.6 percent increase, compared to 6.3 percent in 2021 and ranges from 5.1 percent to 12.3 percent.

Maryland Health Connection

via Maryland Health Connection:

200,000 MARYLANDERS GAINED HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL ENROLLMENT

  • Special enrollment in response to pandemic ran from March 2020 to August 2021

(BALTIMORE) — A total of 201,141 Marylanders enrolled through the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment on Maryland Health Connection from March 16, 2020 to its conclusion on Aug. 15, 2021.

The numbers here are certainly good news and pretty impressive, but it's really, really important to keep that start date in mind when looking at them.

The 17-month special enrollment in response to the pandemic was one of the longest of any state in the country. It was extended several times in 2020 and 2021 as the emergency continued. In all:

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders:

  • I go by FULLY vaccinated residents only (defined as 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population, as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old.
  • The 5 major U.S. territories don't vote for President in the general election, preventing me from displaying them in the main graph, but I have them listed down the right side.
COVID-19 Vaccine

Exactly a month ago I posted an in-depth analysis in which I broke out all 3,114 counties, parishes, boroughs & census areas throughout the 50 United States (+DC) into a 3x3 grid as follows:

  • Blue Counties: Low-Vaxx
  • Blue Counties: Moderate-Vaxx
  • Blue Counties: High-Vaxx
  • Swing Counties: Low-Vaxx
  • Swing Counties: Moderate-Vaxx
  • Swing Counties: High-Vaxx
  • Red Counties: Low-Vaxx
  • Red Counties: Moderate-Vaxx
  • Red Counties: High-Vaxx.

...or, put more visually:

At the time I was mostly interested in looking at the outlier counties--the poorly-vaccinated solidly blue counties and the highly-vaccinated solid red counties.

I also noted that, to no great surprise, the makeup of those 146 "Blue Low-Vaxx" counties is pretty telling:

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