IMPORTANT UPDATE: It turns out I had Alaska's "boroughs" and "census areas" (not counties) completely botched in several ways. On top of having some names/populations wrong, it also turns out that one of the "census areas" doesn't even exist anymore...it was abolished and split into two new census areas.
The entire post and graphs below have been updated/corrected to reflect this.
UPDATE 6/03/21: I've updated the graphs and table below and am not using fully-vaccinated residents only in order to make Alaska consistent with every other state.
It's also worth noting that the CDC says around 2.9% of all fully vaccinated AK residents (7,900 people) have an unknown home borough/area.
Now that I've developed a standardized format/layout & methodology for tracking both state- and county-level COVID vaccination levels by partisan lean (which can also be easily applied to other variables like education level, median income, population density, ethnicity, etc), I've started moving beyond my home state of Michigan.
As I noted recently, I've relaunched my project from last fall to track Medicaid enrollment (both standard and expansion alike) on a monthly basis for every state dating back to the ACA being signed into law.
Instead of replicating his work, I decided to take a closer look at individual states. The graph below shows how many Alaskans have been actively enrolled in our Medicaid expansion program (Healthy Michigan) every month since it was launched in September 2015:
Unfortunately, Alaska's 2021 rate filings aren't available via the state insurance department website or the SERFF database, and the actuarial memos posted to the federal Rate Review database are heavily redacted, so I can't run a weighted average rate change for either the individual or small group market.
The unweighted average changes, however, are a 2.0% reduction on the indy market and a 1.9% reduction for small group plans.
Louisiana's 2020 Presidential primary was scheduled for April 4th, but the other day Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin agreed to reschedule it for June 20th...which is actually later than the last previously-scheduled primary in the U.S. Virgin Islands on June 6th:
The presidential primary elections in Louisiana slated for April will be delayed by two months, the latest in a series of dramatic steps government leaders have taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Republican, and Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, both said Friday they would use a provision of state law that allows them to move any election in an emergency situation to delay the primary.
The presidential primary elections, initially scheduled for April 4th, will now be held June 20th. Ardoin said in a press conference he does not know of any other states that have moved elections because of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.
When I ran the preliminary 2020 rate changes for unsubsidized ACA policies in Alaska back in August, it was pretty easy to do...there's only a single carrier offering ACA-compliant individual market policies for 2019, which means no weighting is required. Furthermore, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is basically keeping their rates flat for 2020 anyway.
Moda is re-entering the market for 2020, but there's no "rate change" for them since there's no base premiums to measure against year over year.
Anyway, CMS just posted the final, approved rate changes, and Premera's number is ever so slightly higher than it was: They went from a 0.05% reduction to...a 0.03% reduction.
But that's not all! In addition to the actual 2018 MLR rebates, I've gone one step further and have taken an early crack at trying to figure out what 2019 MLR rebates might end up looking like next year (for the Individual Market only). In order to do this, I had to make several very large assumptions:
The floodgates are now officially open for preliminary (not final) 2020 ACA rate filings for both the Individual and Small Group markets. There are several states which only have a single insurance carrier offering policies on the Individual Market, which makes it very easy to calculate the weighted average rate changes...seeing how a single carrier holds 100% of the market.
Among these states are Alaska, Nebraska and Wyoming, where the sole Indy Market carriers are once again Premera BCBS (AK), Medica (NE) and BCBS of Wyoming. Unfortunately, the rate filing forms for all three are partly redacted, making it impossible for me to determine how many total enrollees they have, although I have a pretty good estimate of the on-exchange number as of the end of March for each.
In Alaska, Premera's 2020 rates are virtually unchanged year over year. In Nebraska, Medica expects to reduce rates an average of 5.3%. And in Wyoming, BCBS is only looking to bump up average unsubsidized premiums by 1.6%.
So, it's over, right? Well...not quite. The 2019 ACA Open Enrollment Period officially ended last night...but only in 43 states. In the remaining seven (+DC), Open Enrollment hasn't ended yet. 2019 ACA Open Enrollment is still ongoing for nearly 10% of the population!
In Massachusetts, open enrollment runs through Jan. 23rd, 2019 for coverage starting February 1st
Alaskans living in Southcentral affected by the Nov. 30 earthquake have until Jan. 29, 2019 to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
In a release from United Way of Anchorage, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday that Alaskans living in the Municipality of Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna Boroughs at the time of the quake are eligible for the extension past the original Dec. 15 deadline.
Lori Wing-Heier, director of Alaska's Division of Insurance, explained for the extension to kick in, "The caller has to call in to [healthcare.gov] and would have to attest that they could not enroll because of the earthquake."