Politically, it's generally better to underpromise and overdeliver. Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual legislative process it's usually the other way around.
Case in point: Connecticut.
It was just twelve days ago that Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont rolled out his proposed ACA improvement policy package, which included a bunch of key elements including the ballyhooed "Connecticut Option"...a Public Option which would have opened up the existing state employee healthcare plan to anyone on the individual or small group markets.
The full suite was supposed to include nine major provisions:
HARTFORD, CT — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont has much lower expectations for what he’s going to be able to do to improve the health of Connecticut residents than one might expect from a Democratic candidate this year.
Sounds like Lamont would not push for CT to reinstate the ACA individual mandate penalty:
...Does he believe everyone in Connecticut has to purchase health insurance now that it’s not mandated by the federal government?
Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, released their 2019 Open Enrollment Period report, and it's one of the most extensively detailed & granual looks at the year's enrollment data. They've included the normal stuff, of course (subsidized vs. unsubsidized, metal levels, age and income brackets, etc)...but they've also done a very deep dive into data points I haven't seen before by cross-indexing categories.
For instance, not only did they break out "enrollment attrition reasons" (that is, why 2018 enrollees who didn't renew their policies chose not to), but they actually broke that out into what those enrollees' financial assistance status was.
The level of detail here is pretty impressive and somewhat overwhelming (there's 25 pages of charts & graphs), but if you're a healthcare nerd interested in what's going on in the Nutmeg State, knock yourself out!
Connecticut lawmakers are joining other states that have unveiled proposals to expand government-run health coverage, with plans to extend state health benefits to small businesses and nonprofits, and to explore a public option for individuals.
Under two measures announced Thursday, officials would open the state health plan to nonprofits and small companies – those with 50 or fewer employees – and form an advisory council to guide the development of a public option. The legislation would allow the state to create a program, dubbed “ConnectHealth,” that offers low-cost coverage to people who don’t have employer-sponsored insurance.
With the clock ticking, Access Health CT’s latest statistics show they are closing in on last year’s numbers.
As of Friday afternoon there are now 109,126 Connecticut residents enrolled in insurance plans through the exchange. The deadline for enrolling was extended to Jan. 15.
Last year 114,000 Connecticut residents enrolled in plans sold on the exchange.
CT is just over 5,000 signups shy of last year's 114,134 QHP selection total. They probably added a couple hundred more over the weekend (weekends are always slower anyway), but the odds of matching last year's total by tomorrow (Tuesday) night are extremely slim. My guess is they'll end up between 110K - 111K.
Covered California’s Iconic Bus Tour Rolls into San Francisco to Promote Health Insurance Enrollment Ahead of Final Deadline
Covered California’s bus tour promotes enrollment and encourages consumers to see if they are eligible for financial help in obtaining quality health insurance.
The San Francisco visit coincides with the release of Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget which focuses on making health care more affordable through increased financial help and a state individual shared responsibility provision.
Consumers have through Jan. 15 to sign up and select a plan, through Covered California or directly with health plans, for Feb. 1 coverage.
An estimated 1.1 million uninsured Californians are eligible to enroll in Covered California and research shows that 82 percent of uninsured consumers surveyed, who are eligible for financial assistance, do not know that they qualify.
CT still has another week to go, but I just received a partial update, as of January 4th.
That's a net increase of 6,286 QHP selections between 12/15/18 - 1/04/19, or around 300 per day on average. At that rate, they'd add around 3,300 more by the final 1/15 deadline, putting them 112,000...still around 2,100 shy of last year. On the other hand, that timeframe included both Christmas and New Year's Eve, when enrollment tends to drop through the floor, so there's still a chance of Access Health CT at least matching 2018, though exceeding the 114,134 tally would be a pretty tall order at this point.
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
Connecticut was originally supposed to end their 2019 Open Enrollment Period on Saturday, December 15th along with most other states. However, on Saturday afternoon, just hours before the midnight deadline, they announced that they were bumping out the final deadline by a full month, through January 15th, to coincide with California and Colorado. This was done mostly in response to the mass confusion and fear which spread rapidly on Friday night and all day Saturday as people heard about the ruling in the #TexasFoldEm lawsuit.
HARTFORD — Enrollment in Access Health CT is higher this year than it was last year at this time, but time is running out.
Officials said they’ve enrolled 9.685 customers who are new to the exchange this year, and they’ve auto-enrolled more than 91,000 customers who purchased plans with them in 2018. That brings total enrollment up to 101,054 individuals as of Nov. 30.
Last year, about 90,428 individuals had enrolled by this time.
HARTFORD, CT — The number of customers purchasing plans through Connecticut’s insurance exchange is around what it was last year in the first two weeks of open enrollment.
Since Nov. 1, 12,777 customers have shopped and purchased a plan for 2019, according to Access Health CT officials. That means about 85,000 enrollees have yet to renew into a 2019 policy.
...Traffic on the website is trending about 18 percent higher than it was at this time last year, according to Access Health CT’s Director of Technical Operations and Analytics Robert Blundo.
...An estimated 60 percent of customers are picking plans that are different from their plan in 2018 and that’s compared to only 18 percent who were changing their plans last year. It also means there are a higher percentage of customers using brokers to help them make a decision about the health plan that’s right for them.