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.
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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.

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Note: I'm waiting for confirmation of what I thought I heard yesterday.

On Wednesday evening, I joined a webinar hosted by the White House's Office of Public Engagement highlighting yesterday's announcement by CMS that the enhanced ACA subsidies provided by the American Rescue Plan have helped over 2.5 million current ACA exchange enrollees via HealthCare.Gov reduce their net premiums by 40% on average.

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This just in from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new data that shows returning consumers can save, on average, 40% off of their monthly premiums because of enhanced tax credits in the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which  President Biden has proposed to extend as part of his Build Back Better Agenda. Since the implementation of the tax credits on April 1, 2021, 34% of new and returning consumers have found coverage for $10 or less per month on A state-by-state breakdown of savings is available here.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Last night I posted my weekly look at the county-level vaccination rates nationally by partisan lean, based on what percent of the vote was won by Donald Trump in the 2020 election. I closed it out by noting that:

...Blue Counties (ones where Donald Trump received less than 45% of the vote last November) have increased their collective vaccination rate by 10% more per capita than the Red Counties (where Trump received more than 55% of the vote) since July 21st. This is the first time that I've compared how the relative rates have changed over time, so I have no idea if this gap represents an increase or decrease from earlier this spring or summer.

COVID-19 Vaccine

As a reminder:

  • 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.
COVID-19 Vaccine

Regular readers have no doubt noticed that something like 80% of the new posts here at ACA Signups over the past 2-3 weeks have been obsessively tracking COVID-19 vaccination rates via various metrics (partisanship, income, geographic region, education level, etc). While COVID and the vaccination program are obviously heavily healthcare policy-related, they're also obviously not right at the core of what this site is normally about.

This week I'm finally easing off on the vaccination tracking stuff (I'll only be posting about them here weekly going forward--on Wednesdays--with rare exceptions), I wanted to explain why I've been so obsessive about this. A Twitter thread by nurse Julia Pulver (an old friend of mine here in Michigan) explains it better than I could. I've converted her thread into a more blog-friendly format with her permission:

One of the most traumatic experiences I ever had in an ICU was performing end of life care for a 34yr mother of 3. She had advanced breast cancer & there was nothing more that could be done-she was in multi-system organ failure.

COVID-19 Vaccine

NOTE: The original version of this post included a serious, bone-headed data error on my part, requiring me to pull the post and revamp it just minutes after it went live. After the main post I'll explain how I screwed up and how I've resolved the issue. The bottom line is that my premise may still be correct, but if so it won't be nearly as dramatically as I had originally thought.

As I noted a week ago, something very interesting has changed on the GOP side of the political and media punditry aisle:

Generally speaking, however, it sure sounds to me like someone in the GOP now believes that their 6-month anti-vaxx propaganda campaign is starting to kill off their own voter base, because everyone from Sean Hannity to Florida Governor Ron "Don't Fauci my Florida" DeSantis seem to have finally gotten the memo.