Connecticut

The Access Health CT board of directors is holding a meeting this morning and promises to liveblog the latest developments, including updated enrollment numbers.

Connecticut hasn't updated their numbers since 12/15, when they announced 66K renewals and 19.4K new enrollees, so this should be somewhat interesting.

  • Remember that today (Jan. 15th) is the deadline for February 1st coverage

ENROLLMENT:

  • As of last Friday, "around" 90,000 customers (20% higher than last year)
  • 1,500 - 2,000/day...on track to hit/exceed (combined)
  • last year: 100 - 120K total (includes Medicaid)
  • midnight tonight: should have over 500K in system (includes Medicaid)
  • dental: 1K any day now

OPERATIONS:

  • IRS form 1095 (tax credit form)
  • education/outreach/etc. programs already in gear
  • some people already asking questions, etc. re taxes

SHOP:

No formal press release yet, but CT is the 2nd state (after Kentucky) to announce how many 2014 enrollees were automatically renewed (as opposed to manually renewing):

66,000 of our customers were auto enrolled in our system and continue to have health coverage for 2015. #OEUpdate

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) December 17, 2014

We added roughly 20,000 new QHP customers & 46,000 new Medicaid customers over the last month. #OE2015Update

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) December 17, 2014

The most recent update I have from Connecticut was 13,000 new enrollees, but that was only through last Friday, before the big weekend push. That means they added another 7K over the weekend; not bad!

As you can see from the graphic I posted yesterday (and had to revise several times throughout the day), the official enrollment deadline for private policies starting on January 1st, 2015 has now passed for all 37 states operating via HealthCare.Gov, as well as residents of DC, Hawaii and Kentucky. It's certainly possible that any or all of these will announce some sort of "special circumstances" allowance for those who didn't make the midnight cut-off (10pm in Alaska), but I'm assuming those would be done strictly on a case-by-case basis.

OK, so what about the remaining 11 states?

Well, 4 of them (MD, MA, RI & WA) had later deadlines for January coverage all along: Maryland on 12/18 (Thursday) and the other 3 on 12/23 (next Tuesday).

New York and Idaho bumped their deadlines out from yesterday until 12/20 (Saturday), although Idaho had previously claimed that their deadline was 12/23, but are now claiming that it was originally 12/15. I still don't understand what happened there, but so be it: 12/20 it is for ID.

I wasn't really expecting any data drops today, but I've already received surprise updates from California and Massachusetts, and now I can add Connecticut, DC and Hawaii all in one shot (via separate entries):

Connecticut: Last year the state's uninsured rate dropped by about half – from nearly 8 percent to 4 percent. Likely for this reason Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT, was scooped up by the federal government to help fix Healthcare.gov. Latest figures for this year come from Dec. 12, which showed 39,000 new Medicaid enrollees and 13,000 new private health plans, according to an email from a state official. Late Monday, Access Health CT announced that it was allowing a grace period until Dec. 19 for enrollment that would begin January 2015. Consumers who had started an application before Monday could have four additional days to fill out their information.

That's 13K new enrollees only; again, it's safe to assume at least a 1:1 ratio between new & renewed enrollees, so I'm calling it at least 26K total for CT so far.

THIS JUST IN...

For Immediate Release

STATEMENT FROM ACCESS HEALTH CT ACTING CEO JIM WADLEIGH ON TONIGHT’S OPEN ENROLLMENT DEADLINE FOR HEALTH CARE COVERAGE BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2015

Hartford, Conn. (December 15, 2014) – In advance of tonight’s midnight deadline for coverage beginning January 1, Access Health CT (AHCT) Acting CEO Jim Wadleigh has released the following statement:

“The deadline to sign up for quality, affordable health care coverage that begins on January 1, 2015 is tonight at midnight. If customers have an application started and select a plan before midnight tonight, they can still get coverage beginning January 1, as long as they complete the application and get us all the relevant information by midnight this Friday, December 19.

Hmmm...on the surface these numbers seem fairly clear: 8,058 QHPs, 20,942 Medicaid. However, the wording of the article, combined with the fact that 8K in 26 days is only 310/day so far (versus 2014's 396/day average) makes me suspect that this only refers to new enrollments and doesn't include renewals of existing enrollees. In addition, the previous data release by AccessHealthCT clarified that it only included new enrollments.

So far, in the ongoing round of open enrollment that began Nov. 15, some 8,058 Connecticut residents have enrolled in plans offered by private insurers and 20,942 have enrolled in Medicaid plans, Madrak said. That’s more than the first year at around this time. However, the numbers last year were reversed and some 14,365 residents enrolled with one of the private insurance carriers and 9,075 had enrolled in Medicaid through the close of business Dec. 4, 2013

If this only includes new enrollees, then the odds are that the total number is actually at least double that (16K+) and likely more like 20K+.

I posted Connecticut's first week QHP & Medicaid numbers a few days ago. However, thanks to Dan Mangan providing a direct link to the press release itself, I can now add one other data point: SHOP (Small Business) exchange enrollments already have over 1,000 enrolled employees in just the first week of the 2nd Open Enrollment period (1,003 to be precise)!

To get a sense of how dramatic this is, consider that as of July, Access Health CT had only 602 total covered lives in SHOP plans. The distinction between employees and total lives is important, since the latter assumes perhaps 2-3 individuals covered for each employee enrolled.

In other words, 1,003 employees covered likely means perhaps 1,500 - 2,000 actual people covered by those policies...which means that in just one week, Connecticut may already have tripled the total people enrolled in SHOP plans for the full 2014 period.

Hah...I knew I should've waited a couple more hours to send out the newsletter for the evening...

In the first week of open enrollment, 2,659 new customers signed up for private insurance plans and 8,945 people signed up for Medicaid through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange.

To reiterate: This is new enrollees only, not renewals:

The figures include people who had not previously had coverage through Access Health. The exchange did not release the number of people who currently have coverage through the exchange and signed up for 2015 coverage.

Oh, yeah, and I'm guessing that #ObamaDentata will mean more clarifications of this nature going forward:

Separately, 123 people signed up for dental coverage sold through the exchange.

Well, there's your transparancy improvement, folks...

Looks like Access Health Connecticut is having a press conference even as I type this...

CT exchange update: 74,334 people in private insurance plans, 208,468 signed up for Medicaid

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) October 16, 2014

As of April 19th, 79,192 people in Connecticut had enrolled in QHPs. Since their non-payment rate has been "in the single digits" (call it 8%), that means around 72.8K paid enrollees as of then.

If there are currently 74,334 enrolled, that means there are 2% more enrolled (and paying) today than there were 6 months ago, which is right in line with my projections as well as the national 7.3 million figure mentioned by HHS Secretary Burwell as of August.

Meanwhile, Medicaid enrollees via the exchange are now up to 208,468. This is only a small increase over a month ago (around 1,400 people), but there's a very good reason for that:

A ton of great ACA news coming out of Connecticut this morning, courtesy of Arielle Levin Becker (posted in reverse-chronological order, newest at the top):

Arielle Levin Becker provides some updated numbers out of Connecticut, which is great...but I'll have to do some calculations to parse the data out for my purposes:

Current Access Health membership: 76,094 in private insurance, 207,020 in Medicaid (total Medicaid enrollment is much higher)

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 18, 2014

OK, so those are the current enrollment numbers. 76,094 QHPs is 4% net attrition from the 4/19 total of 79,192, or less than 0.8% per month, which is fantastic.

However, since that 76K figure combines both additions and subtractions (ie, it's the net total, not gross), I can't really tell what the cumulative total is, which is what I use for my off-season projection chart.

The news broke just a few hours ago that Kevin Counihan, the head of AccessHealthCT (Connecticut's extremely successful ACA exchange, which works so well that they were able to actually sell the software platform to Maryland to replace MD's original broken system) is leaving the CT exchange for an unspecified position at the HHS Dept:

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan, who spearheaded Connecticut's largely successful first round of Obamacare enrollment through the state's public insurance exchange, is departing, a source close to the matter confirmed.

Access Health has scheduled a noon press conference Tuesday to make the announcement. No replacement will be named today, according to the source, who said Counihan is leaving to take a federal position within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Well, Sarah Kliff over at Vox.com has now broken the news about just what that new HHS position actually is...and it's very good news indeed:

Breaking: White House announces Kevin Counihan will be new Healthcare.gov CEO. Currently runs the Connecticut exchange.

Over at the CT Mirror, Arielle Levin Becker does the same type of wonky number-crunching that I specialize in here at ACASignups.net to figure out whether the state's recent claims of the ACA slashing their uninsured rate in half (from 8% to 4%) hold water.

It gets a bit involved, but her conclusion is that yeah, it probably has been cut significantly, but a specific percent number is hart to pinpoint since there's still a lot of noise on the ESI side as well as continuous churn across the board as people move on & off of different plans.

However, it does include a few nuggets which help me update my own data. For one thing, CT's SHOP enrollment has gone up from 500 as of February to a whopping...602 people last month:

Access Health also operates an exchange for small businesses, although uptake has been low. As of mid-July, it covered 602 people.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how insurance providers in Connecticut requested rate changes ranging up to 12.8%...but the approved rate increase, overall, appeared to only be around 4.5% when weighted by market share. However, that was based on the assumption that the largest provider, Anthem BCBS, would end up with an approved average of around a 6% increase.

Today, it was revealed that Anthem's actual rate changes for 2015 will be an average of 0.1% lower:

Anthem, the state’s largest insurer, initially requested approval to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent. But the insurance department rejected the proposal and asked the company to resubmit its plan using different calculations.

The result: An average premium decrease of 0.1 percent for Anthem customers.

A few days ago, AccessHealthCT (Connecticut's state-run ACA exchange) gave me their exact total enrollments as of 8/02: 250,633. Unfortunately, they were unable to provide a breakout between QHPs and Medicaid/CHIP enrollments. Yesterday the Hartford Courant reported a higher combined total:

Access Health CT, the state-run onlinehealth insurance marketplace created under the federal Affordable Care Act, has enrolled more than 256,000 state residents in private health plans or Medicaid since the website launched last fall.

The open enrollment period total of 218,100 (including everything through 4/19) broke out roughly 36:64. Assuming "more than 256K" is roughly 256,100, that means about 38,000 more people since then. If that ratio has stayed consistent, it should be around 13,700 QHPs and 24,300 Medicaid. However, as I noted the other day, with off season enrollment being limited for QHPs but open-ended for Medicaid/CHIP, the ratio has almost certainly shifted substantially in Medicaid's favor.

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