The last time Covered California released enrollment data, they gave a hard number for new enrollees (258,158) but left the number of people renewing their policies a bit vague ("approximately 1.3 million"). I later learned that the actual number of renewals had been rounded up, so I'm assuming it's actually around 1.27 million; this gives a total of 1.53 million QHP selections as of January 3rd.
Today, CoveredCA issued another update, touting a new enrollee survey which concludes that in California, at least, people don't seem to be shying away from enrolling in spite of the ugly ACA repeal rhetoric coming out of Washington, DC:
Covered California Enrollment Continues at Strong Pace; New Research Suggests ACA News Coverage Is Not Deterring Consumers
Between the big December deadline (for January coverage) having passed and the holiday season, the actual OE4 enrollment data has been pretty sparse the past few weeks. A few minutes ago, however, Covered California broke the enrollment news drought (no pun intended) with a press release which, while not primarily focused on the actual enrollment data, nonetheless includes a solid update:
Covered California Brings Health Care Within Reach and Shows How Consumers Can Save by Shopping
Covered California Enrollment Continues to Surge for January Coverage
Deadline Extended to Dec. 19 to Align With Federal Marketplace
Consumers now have through midnight on Monday, Dec. 19 to sign up and have their coverage begin starting Jan. 1.
More than 67,000 new consumers selected a plan during the past four days.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California is extending a key enrollment deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1 in order to align with a new federal announcement made yesterday that extends the deadline for HealthCare.gov states.
Consumers enrolling through Covered California will now have through Monday, Dec. 19 at midnight to sign up for health care coverage that will begin on Jan. 1.
Covered California hopes that by aligning the deadline with HealthCare.gov it will reduce any confusion that consumers may experience after hearing yesterday’s federal announcement, and give consumers the time they need to sign up for coverage.
On the one hand, only 14.5% of these are new, which is disturbingly low. On the other hand, part of the reason for this is because so many current enrollees actively renewed...helped, no doubt, by CoveredCA's new policy which allowed them to do so an entire month early (starting on October 1st).
Individuals have selected health care plans as of November 15, 2016. This enrollment reflects a period in which Covered California did not conduct media or enrollment promotion until after November 12th .
Compares to approximately 50,700 for same period 2015 (when Covered California had conducted extensive media and “bus tour” efforts to promote enrollment).
OK, so new enrollments are down about 11% from last year, but as they note, they deliberately held off on actively promoting/advertising until after the election this year.
There you have it: The states which are 100% on board with the ACA exchange provisions (running their own full state-based marketplace, expanding medicaid and sticking to the original cut-off date for "transitional" policies) average around 18%. If you remove Minnesota from the equation, it's just 15.2%.
Those which implemented only one or two of the above provisions come in at around 26%. In a possibly coincidental quirk, all five fo the "halfway" state exchange states (Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Kentucky and New Mexico) just happen to also fall into this category as well, which is completely appropriate.
Finally, states which are fighting the ACA kicking and screaming (no Medicaid expansion, no state exchange and allowing transitional plan extensions as long as possible) are averaging around 30%.
I don't usually post a whole lot about the small group market (other than occasionally trying to track how many SHOP enrollees there are by state and nationally), but this seems like pretty good news given how chaotic the individual market continues to be...
Covered California for Small Business Announces Rate Change and Expanded Coverage Choices for 2017
Statewide weighted average rate increase is less than 6 percent.
Blue Shield of California expands to Full PPO network statewide.
Kaiser Permanente moves into Santa Cruz County.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced today the rates and expansion plans for its small group health insurance exchange, Covered California for Small Business. The statewide weighted average rate increase is 5.9 percent, for employers and their employees beginning Jan. 1, 2017, which is down from the 7.2 percent increase in 2016.
According to a release from the company on Tuesday, the firm will no longer offer individual market plans through the Affordable Care Act in Dallas, Texas, and New Jersey.
..."We hope to return to these markets as we carry on with our mission to change healthcare in the US."
The "we hope to return" part suggests that Oscar will continue to be available off the exchange in New Jersey, since completely pulling out of a state means a carrier has to wait at least 5 years before re-entering. So...there's that, anyway.
...Oscar currently covers 7,000 people in Dallas and 26,000 in New Jersey.