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:

New Jersey

via the New Jersey Dept. of Banking & Insurance:

NJ DOBI Announces Grant Opportunity for Navigators to Assist New Jerseyans With Health Insurance Enrollment

  • Open Enrollment Period at Get Covered New Jersey Begins November 1, 2021

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance today announced it is now accepting applications for community organizations to serve as Navigators to assist residents with health insurance enrollment for the upcoming Open Enrollment Period and during 2022. The department is making available a total of $4 million in grant funding for Navigators, in an effort to ensure enrollment assistance is available in the community for residents seeking coverage through Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, during the Open Enrollment Period that starts November 1, 2021 and through the year.


I'm gonna be posting mea culpas for a few days for missing important ACA-related announcements over the past few weeks.

Michigan's preliminary 2022 rate filings actually came out a solid month ago, but as noted above I'm way behind on my rate filing project this year:

Highlighting Michigan’s increasingly competitive health insurance market, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has reported that consumers will have more health plan options from an increased number of insurers on the Health Insurance Marketplace for the upcoming open enrollment period.

“As we look toward the end of the pandemic and beyond, it is critical that Michiganders are able to get the affordable, high quality health coverage they need for themselves and their families,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Consumers will have more options to choose from when shopping for health insurance coverage on the Marketplace during open enrollment later this year.”

COVID-19 Vaccine

This week brings a major change...which actually doesn't change things that much, at least for the big picture.

With the U.S. Census Bureau finally releasing the official county-level results of the 2020 Census, I've updated the graph to include the official April 2020 populations for every county, parish borough and census area in the 50 United States + the District of Columbia (along with the U.S. territories), as opposed to the Census Bureau's July 2019 estimated populations which I had been using until now.

For most counties/etc. this only makes a minor difference one way or the other; in 2,656 out of 3,114 (over 85% of them), the difference is less than 5% higher or lower.

However, there's 153 counties where the official 2020 population is at least 5% higher than what I had. In fact there's 26 counties where the Census Bureau has the population down as more than 10% higher. There's even 4 counties where it's 25% higher or more.

The biggest discrepancy in this direction is Harding County, NM, where the actual population (657) is a whopping 49% higher than the 2019 estimate (441).

New Jersey

I'm gonna be posting mea culpas for a few days for missing important ACA-related announcements over the past few weeks.

This press release from the New Jersey Dept. of Banking & Insurance came out a few days ago but it's still relevant since NJ is one of a handful of states which have extended their 2021 "No Excuse Needed" Special Enrollment Period out beyond August 15th:

Murphy Administration Officials Encourage Residents Without Health Insurance, Who Received Unemployment Benefits in 2021, to Get Covered

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!

COVID-19 Vaccine

As regular readers know, I've become a bit obsessive over tracking COVID-19 vaccination rates at both the state and county levels over the past month or so. I post the daily rate levels daily on Twitter, and once a week I've been updating the county-level vaxx rates here at ACA Signups.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders:

  • For my county-level vaccination rate graphs, I go by FULLY vaccinated only (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.
HealthCare.Gov Logo

The previous CMS Special Enrollment Period report put the total at 1.52 million via as of the end of June. In addition, the press release and Sec. Becerra's comments noted that there were at least 600,000 additional SEP enrollments via the 15 state-based ACA exchanges (SBMs), for a total of at least 2.1 million nationally as of the end of June.

Last week I gave a rough estimate of perhaps another 340K more new enrollees via for the month of June along with another ~135K via the 15 SBMs, which would bring the grand total up to around 2.57 million nationally.

As I noted this morning, CMS has confirmed almost exactly this total as of the end of July: Over 1.8 million via plus another 723,000 via the SBMs, or over 2.5 million total. In fact, when you read the exact figures in the report, it's even closer than that:

ACA Signups

Five days ago I noted that, based on an offhand comment I heard during a White House webinar about the ongoing ACA Special Enrollment Period, it sounds like HealthCare.Gov quietly added over 100,000 new enrollees during the final week of July.

Based on this and the existing data I have from HealthCare.Gov and the 15 state-based ACA exchanges, I concluded that:

Also, as always, remember that everything above refers to the federal exchange only; the 15 states which operate their own ACA exchanges comprise roughly 29% of the 2.1 million QHP selections nationally as of the end of June. A couple of state-based exchanges have already terminated their own SEPs (Idaho, Minnesota and Massachusetts), but the rest are still chugging along, so assuming a similar ratio for July, that would put the monthly total at around 475,000 nationally, for a grand total of roughly 2.57 million or so as of July 31st.