UPDATE: On the down side, I was off by 4% this time around.
On the up side, I UNDERESTIMATED:
Actual Feb. enrollments: 942,833, for a total of 4,242,325 thru 3/01/14.
Sarah Kliff at Vox just announced that the February HHS report is expected to be released today at around 4:00pm. A few items in anticipation of that:
As I've noted several times, I'm projecting the report to total around 902,000 exchange-based private QHP enrollments for the month of February (technically 2/02 - 3/01)
If accurate, this would bring the cumulative total of exchange-based private QHP enrollments to 4.202 million (from 10/1/13 - 3/01/14)
From the data I have, the average daily enrollment rate in February was almost identical to that of January, which had about 1.146 million QHP enrollments. HOWEVER, the January report included five weeks of data (12/28 - 2/01), while the February report will only include four weeks (2/02 - 3/01). Therefore, even at the same daily average, it'll be about 20% lower no matter what.
If you want to get REALLY specific, call it 902,800 and 4,202,292.
I've been dead-on target 6 times in a row without hyping up my projections beforehand. This time I am hyping myself up beforehand, so I'll probably be way off...but as long as I've UNDERestimated the tally, I'll be perfectly fine with that...
The report will be released in about 5 minutes, but my kid gets home from school in about 10, so it'll be a good 20 minutes before I can really post anything. Feel free to follow Sarah Kliff of Vox in the meantime!
For the most part this is just a standard update for Connecticut, which continues to be one of the most successful ACA exchanges with little drama; private QHPs are up another 2,065 from 58,469 on March 5th to 60,534 as of yesterday, while new Medicaid enrollments have gone up from 82,764 to 92,027, an increase of 9,263. Connecticut recently gave a "Paid QHP" percentage as 91%; assuming this still holds, I have them at 55K paid / 5,534 unpaid.
However, in a nice surprise, the latest update also separates the Medicaid numbers out into "strict expansion" (69,692) and "woodworkers" (22,335). This makes CT among only a handful of states to pinpoint the Medicaid enrollees in this way; hopefully the other expansion states will follow.
According to Access Health CT, 60,534 people have signed up for plans with Anthem, Healthy CT, and ConnectiCare. The rest, or 92,027 individuals, have signed up for Medicaid plans that are funded by the federal government.
Nevada just updated their QHP enrollments for the first week of March: 20,930 paid (up from 19,840 on 3/01) and 9,085 unpaid (up from 8,695 on 3/01). The combined tally is an increase of 1,480, from 28,535 to 30,015.
Update as of 3/8: 30,015 individuals have confirmed Qualified Health Plan selections with Nevada Health Link, 20,930 have paid.
There's a lot of buzz today about a new Gallup poll which states that the total uninsured rate has fall by about 1.2% since the end of last year:
The percentage of Americans without health insurance continues to fall, measuring 15.9% so far in 2014 compared with 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. With only a few weeks remaining in the first quarter, the uninsured rate is on track to be the lowest quarterly level that Gallup and Healthways have measured since 2008.
And another "mini-update" out of Minnesota...up another 2,000 total in 3 days to 115,001+. Still assuming a 30/70 QHP/Medicaid split until they release detailed numbers, based on existing data, which brings MN up to 34,600 QHPs / 80,401 Medicaid.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — MNsure announced today an addition to their television campaign that highlights the March 31 deadline to enroll in a qualified health plan. More than 115,000 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure to find comprehensive, affordable coverage, and with only 21 days left of the open enrollment period, MNsure is reminding Minnesotans to take action so they do not incur a penalty.
While it's great to see an official press release instead of just the number on the website, and it's also great to see that the new number is 32,000 higher than 5 days ago, it's rather irritating and strange that nowhere in the press release do they break out the QHP/Medicaid numbers.
ALBANY (March 10, 2014) – NY State of Health (NYSOH), the State’s official health plan marketplace, reported that as of 9 a.m. today, 908,595 New Yorkers have completed their applications and 590,639 have enrolled for coverage since the launch of the Marketplace on October 1, 2013. More than 70 percent of those who have enrolled to date were uninsured at the time of application. Over the last week alone, enrollment has increased by more than 55,000.
I discussed the "Paid/Unpaid" issue in the California update a few moments ago, but the topic needed a separate entry as well. According to the San Jose Mercury News, CA-exchange-based QHP enrollees who enrolled by January 31st are up to an 85% payment rate, from 80% as of 2/19:
The numbers of nonpayers varied only slightly among the largest insurers on the exchange: Kaiser Permanente reported that 13 percent of its enrollees didn't pay. Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield and Health Net said it was closer to 15 percent.
Federal officials say they've noticed the same trend nationwide.
As I've pointed out repeatedly, it's not enough to know how many haven't paid, it's also important to know when the unpaid policies actually start as well as why they haven't paid yet.
This article is both very helpful but also has 2 frustrating data points missing. The key numbers: While CA was averaging around 7,200 QHP enrollments per day in the first half of February, that rate is apparently up to 8,000/day now. This is excellent, but I don't know whether that 8K/day rate is only for the past week or if it includes the full 2nd half of February (I would guess that it's risen steadily since then.
On the other hand, CoveredCA also suffered from a 3-day outage, which could skew the daily average...they had 3 days of no enrollments, followed, presumably, by the 22K people who tried on those days possibly joining another 22K over the subsequent week or so. Either way, it's looking pretty good, though California will have to end up averaging around 20,000/day in March to do their part in hitting 7M total by 3/31, or 13,000/day to hit 6M.
The other big news here (the main point of the article) is that payment rate for enrollees through 1/31 has gone up from 80% as of 2/19 to 85% as of a couple of days ago:
Greetings, all...just a few little site enhancements that I've added going into the Home Stretch:
As you may have noticed, I've started adding simple State Icon graphics to the entries. The site is pretty bland...nothing but dry text...so I decided to spruce it up a bit. In keeping with my Dour, Strictly Business style, however, the icons are still gray :)
For a long time I've kept the commenting system on a very short leash, to avoid spammers and wingnuts from pissing all over the threads. As such, I've limited commenting to only those who contribute either a donation or new data points. I've decided to experiment by replacing the comment system (which hasn't really had that much activity so far) with the more open-ended Disqus system; people will still have to log in with an account, but at least it should be attached to something solid (Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+). We'll see how it goes...if the comments go to hell, I'll reverse myself and go back to the previous version (existing comments are all still there, though they don't appear on the Disqus system).
I know this is really cheesy, but I couldn't help myself: I've added a QHP Enrollment Deadline Countdown Clock on the home page. I've also posted my official QHP Projections for February (902,000) and Cumulative through 3/01 (4,202,000). (OK, never mind...the countdown clock was messing up the layout on smartphones, and it was pretty cheesy-looking. Plus, as someone pointed out, there's at least 2 states (Oregon & Massachusetts) for whom 3/31 may not end up being the deadline anyway...