Hmmm...I'm hoping that either this weeks or last weeks press release from the Washington exchange contains a clerical error, because if both are accurate, it means that private QHP enrollments in Washington State all but dried up in the last week of February. They're showing an increase of paid enrollments from 101,857 (as of 2/20) to 106,281 (as of 2/27), which isn't bad (about 4,400 more)...but a decrease of unpaid enrollments from 82,249 to 78,041. This means that the total number of enrollees only went up by 216 during that week; the rest were all conversions of unpaid to paid. The good news is that this improves WA's paid percentage from 55% to 58%.

Meanwhile, WA's Medicaid expansion increased at a more reasonable rate, from 202,168 expansion-only + 102,238 woodworkers (304,406 total) to 212,633 expansion + 108,886 woodworkers (321,519 total), or by about 17,000 people.

Another way of looking at it: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, prior to the ACA, WA had a total of around 959,000 uninsured residents, of which around 449,000 are supposedly eligible for Medicaid.

*(when each is corrected for certain for explanation)

A month ago, Avalere Health released an analysis of the Medicaid/CHIP data released by the HHS and CMS for the first 3 months of the ACA enrollment period, October through December. At the time, they estimated that the number of new Medicaid/CHIP enrollments due to ACA expansion as being somewhere between 1.1 million - 1.8 million. I questioned some of their methodology (counting households instead of individuals for some states, not clarifying whether the figures included "woodworkers" or not, not accounting for seasonal variations in enrollment patterns, and not including any January data at all). They acknowledged some of these points, but also pointed out a few valid flaws in my own methodology (primarily forgetting to correct for "baseline churn").

Originally, our respective Medicaid tallies at the time came in at:

For months I've been talking about the "holy grail" of missing ACA data: Direct, or Off-Exchange enrollments: People buying ACA-compliant health insurance policies directly via the insurance companies without bothering to do so via the Federal or State exchanges. I've documented nearly a half-million of these already from just a handful of companies (and 1 state, Washington), and over the weekend launched a new effort to try and crowdsource the missing data.

Until I have that information, however, the question is just how many of these are there out there? I know that around 4.2 million have enrolled via the exchanges, and I already know of at least 456,000 off-exchange enrollments, or around 4.7 million total. Even if every single exchange-based enrollee already had insurance (and that's absolutely not the case), there should still be several million people out there who have either switched from one private plan to another (directly) or enrolled in a policy for the first time (directly).

Oregon continues to slowly drag their still-crippled exchange along, adding another 2,859 private QHPs and 22,564 Medicaid/CHIP enrollees (17,474 + 5,090 via the "Fast Track" program) over the past few weeks.

March 1, 2014 Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon and Oregon Health Authority

Total: 123,797 
Private insurance: 38,806
Oregon Health Plan: 84,991
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”
Oregon Health Plan: 128,434

Since October, dozens of you have been assisting with the ACA Signups project by providing press releases, reports and news items containing data about exchange-based enrollments in both private and publicly-funded healthcare plans. Once in awhile, you've also provided stories about interesting related topics, and I'm eternally grateful for all of it. Now I'm going to ask for help in tackling the Holy Grail of ACA enrollment data.

(I posted a version of this a week ago, but figured I should repost it now that we're actually into the final month)

This morning I posted my final projection for February enrollments of 902K Private QHPs, for a total of 4.2 million as of March 1st.

Along with this, the enrollment projection model also gives a range of possible final QHP tallies through the end of March, ranging from 5 to 7 million depending on a variety of factors:

As you can see, the possibilities are pretty clean:

Using my new projection model, which accurately called both the announcement (a week or more earlier) of both the "close to 4 million" announcement on 2/20 and 4 million even on 2/25, I'm confident enough to make my official call for the actual February HHS Enrollment Report, which probably will be released on or around March 13, give or take:

  • 902,000 Total Exchange-Based Private QHP Enrollments between 2/02/14 - 3/01/14
  • 4,202,000 Total Exchange-Based Private QHP Enrollments between 10/1/13 - 3/01/14

You'll notice that I'm being very careful about how I word this, for several reasons.

Yeesh! Another crazy day...a third update today, this time for Maryland. The numbers aren't anything exciting (QHPs up about 2,400, Medicaid up a more impressive 10.7K), but every bit helps. The more noteworthy bit of news, however, is shown below--Maryland is finally jumping on the "How many are PAID???" bandwagon and joining 6 other states in breaking out their payment numbers.

While the percentage doesn't look good on the surface (only 54% of the total), the press release is careful to make the same point that I've been making for weeks now: If a big chunk of the unpaid enrollments aren't even due yet, it's rather silly to wring your hands about people not having paid their premiums yet.

No sooner had the January CMS report come out then wham, a new update from Kentucky...unfortunately it's actually a drop in QHP enrollments, since the prior 59K estimate was based on a very general statement by KY Gov. Beshear. As a result, QHPs drop about 5K (from 59K to 54,369) while Medicaid/CHIP enrollments go way up (from 185K to 210,545).

Under @kynectky so far, 210,545 have qualified for Medicaid coverage and 54,369 have purchased private insurance. #ACA

— Joe Sonka (@joesonka) February 28, 2014

OK, to repeat: The January CMS Medicaid/CHIP Report has finally been released:

According to a new CMS report released today, between October and January, more than 8.9 million individuals were determined eligible for Medicaid or CHIP through state agencies and through state-based Marketplaces. More than 2 million people were informed in January that they are eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); more of those individuals are in states that have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage to more of their residents.