via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

The Department, through CMS, will launch a new effort to support patients, hospitals, and providers to help ensure access to emergency health care

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that, together with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it will launch a series of actions to educate the public about their rights to emergency medical care and to help support efforts of hospitals to meet their obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). As part of this comprehensive plan, the Department will:

It was just 53 days ago that North Carolina became the 40th state (plus DC & the U.S. territories) to fully expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. At the time, around 600,000 lower-income North Carolinians were estimated to be eligible for the public healthcare program.

So where do things stand now? Well, the NC government has posted a handy Medicaid enrollment dashboard which is tracking the data as once a month; the most recent update was on January 12th:

NC Medicaid Expansion Enrollment as of January 12th, 2024: 314,101

The dashboard has some nifty interactive tools letting. you filter enrollees out by plan, age bracket, gender, ethnicity, urban/rural status and county, along with enrollment trends.

With all the fuss & bother over student loan debt over the past few years, this story out of the Aloha State caught my eye:

To say the topic of student loan program debt forgiveness has gotten a lot of attention in recent years would certainly be an understatement. Plenty of debate has been completed on both sides of the issue, with no real resolution anywhere in sight. In Hawaii, however, some action has been taken with the goal of both helping healthcare workers and also strengthening the healthcare system for residents of the 50th state.

In order to provide the funds needed to help healthcare workers pay off student loan debt that was incurred, this program is going to use a blend of state and private funding. As a starting point, $30 million will be provided by the state and an additional $5 million is going to be contributed by the CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff.

As I noted a month ago, as of January 1st, 2024, California extended Medicaid (Medi-Cal) eligibility to around 700,000 more undocumented residents:

On Jan. 1, immigrants may qualify for Medi-Cal regardless of legal status

...Milagro and her husband are among the more than 700,000 immigrants ages 26-49 expected to newly qualify for full health insurance come Jan. 1. That’s when California takes the final step in opening up Medi-Cal, the state’s health care program for low-income residents, to everyone who meets eligibility requirements, regardless of their immigration status.

Because of this, I admit to scratching my head at first when I read this article from the Redwood City Pulse:

This is about as minor of an enrollment update as it gets, but for what it's worth, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority posted this update a couple of weeks ago:

As of January 4th, 2024

Current Enrollment: 14,248
Enrollment 1 Year Ago: 13,941
CHANGE: +307

Current Enrollment: 5,267 groups, 86,639 covered lives
Enrollment 1 Year Ago: 5,381 groups, 87,033 covered lives
CHANGE: -114 groups, -394 covered lives

The year over year individual enrollment total is up 2.2%.

Last year's final enrollment tally as of January 31st was 14,768, so DC is still running 520 or 3.5% behind last year.

SHOP (small business exchange) enrollment is down about 0.4%.


In my last 2024 ACA Open Enrollment Period projection on January 4th, I concluded that:

...we could now be looking at anywhere from 21.4 - 22.7 million QHPs, for a grand total of somewhere between 22.7 - 24.0M QHPs+BHPs combined by the time the dust settles in every state on January 1st. I'll stick with 23M for the moment just in case...

A week later, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted their final pre-deadline Open Enrollment Snapshot Report, which confirmed that over 20.3 million people had selected Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) through December 23rd.

via, Maine's state-based ACA exchange:

Plan Selection Snapshot

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) will release biweekly updates on plan selections through, Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace.  

Plan selections provide a snapshot of activity by new and returning consumers who have selected a plan for 2024. “Plan selections” become “enrollments” once consumers have paid their first monthly premium to begin insurance. These numbers are subject to change as consumers may modify or cancel plans after their initial selection.   

The deadline to select a plan for coverage beginning January 1, 2024 is December 15, 2023. Consumers who select a plan between December 16, 2023 and January 16, 2024 will have coverage beginning February 1, 2024. Activity Through January 9, 2024

Washington HealthPlan Finder

via the Washington HealthPlan Finder:

  • More than 273,000 Washingtonians signed up for health insurance coverage

Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) ended 2024 open enrollment (Nov. 1, 2023 – Jan. 15, 2024) with a record 273,000 Washingtonians signed up for health insurance coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder the state’s online health insurance marketplace. This historic high represents an increase of more than 18% over 2023.

About 52,000 new customers gained coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder, a 40% increase over last year, and another record high. New customers include those who transitioned from Apple Health coverage, and those, for the first time ever, who are eligible regardless of immigration status. More customers than ever (86,000) also signed up for dental coverage.

via Maryland Health Connection:

Enrollment grew more than 17% since last year to an all-time high in 11th year of state-based marketplace

BALTIMORE (Jan. 18, 2024) – More people than ever before enrolled in health coverage during the recent open enrollment through Maryland Health Connection.

Open enrollment began Nov. 1, 2023, and ended Jan. 15. During the 90-day enrollment period, 213,895 enrolled – a 17% increase from the 182,166 Marylanders who enrolled a year ago. It was the largest increase and the largest total ever on Maryland’s health insurance marketplace.

“Health care is a basic right that every Marylander deserves. Today, we are one step closer to building a healthier state where everyone can receive the care they need," Governor Wes Moore said. “We will continue to move in partnership to ensure that in Maryland, health care is affordable and accessible to all. It's an integral part of our pledge to leave no one behind."