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Molina Healthcare

An article about Molina Healthcare's first-quarter financial report by Inside Health Policy reporter Amy Lotven caught my eye today:

Molina exchange business grew by 302,000 consumers to reach a total 620,000 enrollees in the first quarter, outpacing the company’s earlier 500,000 estimate, growth that CEO Joseph Zubretsky says was driven by strong product design and pricing, higher effectuation rates, lower attrition and the special open enrollment period.

Molina’s marketplace business had a Medical Loss Ratio of 77.3%, which was due to the higher-than-expected direct COVID-related costs as cases surged in many areas.

There's a lot packed into that first paragraph.

First, their ACA enrollment (which presumably includes off-exchange) for Q1 was 24% higher than expected, which is quite an eye-opener.

ACA Signups Logo

With this morning's confirmation of my post from Saturday that over 1 million more people have enrolled in ACA exchange coverage via HC.gov during the ongoing COVID Special Enrollment Period, I was reminded of a headline I wrote back in March:

Exclusive: Official 2021 #ACA Open Enrollment Period Hits 12.0 Million QHPs For First Time Since 2017

At the time I only had estimated 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) data for several states, but my estimate was confirmed a couple of weeks ago when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the official 2021 OEP report, which states that the official total number of ACA Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections for 2021 was 12,004,365 people.

ACA Signups Logo

A few days ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an updated report on the number of Americans who have selected Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) through HealthCare.Gov, which hosts ACA enrollment for 36 states during the ongoing COVID Special Enrollment Period (SEP) which began on February 15th and is set to continue through August 15th in most states.

In addition to the 940,000 QHPs via the federal exchange (HC.gov) from 2/15 through 4/30, I've compiled officlal SEP enrollment numbers for several of the states which operate their own ACA exchanges as well:

  • Colorado: 17,282 from 2/08 - 5/05
  • Connecticut: 5,890 from 2/15 - 4/15
  • Idaho: 3,600 from 3/01 - 3/31
  • Maryland: 15,150 from 1/01 - 2/28
  • Minnesota: 2,285 from 2/16 - 3/09
  • Nevada: 6,908 from 2/15 - 5/06
  • Pennsylvania: 11,126 from 2/15 - 3/25
  • Washington: 1,700 from 2/15 - 2/23

The total of these, plus the 940,000 via HC.gov, comes to 1,003,516 confirmed so far.

Nevada Health Link Logo

There's no formal press release yet, but I've confirmed that the Nevada Health Link ACA exchange has enrolled 6,908 additional Nevadans in ACA exchange coverage via the COVID Special Enrollment Period as of yesterday (5/06) so far.

This breaks out to around 85 per day from 2/15 - 5/06.

Unfortunately, I don't have Nevada's 2019 or 2020 SEP enrollment handy for comparison, but NV's statewide population (3.10) is right in between Arkansas (3.03 million) and Iowa (3.19 million), which at least allows for a rough comparison:

This strongly suggests that Nevada's 85/day average is perhap 2.5x higher than 2019 and perhaps twice as high as 2020, although 2020 is a fuzzier comparison since HC.gov didn't have a COVID SEP last year while the Nevada Health Link did.

Connect for Health Colorado Logo

In addition to the 940,000 Americans who have enrolled in ACA coverage across the 36 states hosted by HealthCare.Gov to date during the COVID Special Enrollment Period, Connect for Health Colorado just announced that the Centennial State has enrolled over 17,200 more people via their own COVID SEP:

DENVER — 17,282 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan since Connect for Health Colorado re-opened enrollment on Feb. 8, with more than 7,500 sign ups in the last month alone. That uptick in enrollments coincides with the date that Connect for Health Colorado began offering increased savings on health insurance to residents of all income ranges following the passage of the American Rescue Plan.

Hmmm...I know they say "7,500 in the past month", but they reported 9,971 as of 4/07, so that should mean 7,311 in the past month. Huh.

Washington HealthPlan Finder

This just in from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange...

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Opens the Doors for Washingtonians to Benefit from Lower Health Care Premiums and Save Money Through the American Rescue Plan

  • More Than $250 Million in Tax Credits Available to Help Washingtonians Lower Health Insurance Costs

Health coverage purchased on Washington Healthplanfinder became much more affordable today as the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) rolled out new savings to help Washingtonians with the cost of their individual health insurance.

HealthCare.Gov Logo

As I noted this morning, CMS has released an updated Special Enrollment Period report which includes SEP enrollment from 2/15 through 4/30 for the 36 states hosted via HealthCare.Gov.

Overall, enrollment during the 2021 COVID SEP is up 3.5x vs. the same time period in 2019, which makes sense when you consider a) the COVID pandemic which has caused millions to lose their income and/or employer-based healthcare coverage; b) the "fully open" status of the COVID SEP; and c) the expanded subsidies put in place under the American Rescue Plan.

SEP enrollment is also up 2.4x over the same time period in 2020; COVID was in full force for most of that period last year, but HC.gov refused to launch a "wide open" SEP as most of the state-based exchanges did, nor were there any expanded subsidies in place, so 2019 is still the more appropriate year to compare against. (Besides, 2020 was a leap year, which tacked an extra day onto the total).

This just in from CMS...

HHS Secretary Becerra Announces Nearly 940,000 Americans Have Signed Up for Health Coverage through HealthCare.gov During Special Enrollment Period

  • Since April 1, premiums have been reduced by over 40 percent for nearly 2 million current HealthCare.gov enrollees

Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that nearly 940,000 Americans have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as a result of the Biden Administration’s Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The 2021 SEP, along with the additional financial assistance afforded by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), offers individuals and families an opportunity to take advantage of reduced premiums, increased savings, and quality, affordable health coverage through HealthCare.gov.

Covered California Logo

via Covered California:

New television ads began airing today in four languages – Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese – to let California’s Asian Americans know about the new savings provided by the American Rescue Plan.

  • The new ad campaign coincides with the start of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
  • More than 400,000 Asian Americans in California, including the uninsured and people enrolled directly through a health insurance carrier, stand to benefit from the new financial help that is now available.
  • Many Californians will be able to get a high-quality plan for as little as $1 per month, while currently insured consumers could save up to $700 per month on their coverage if they sign up through Covered California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California launched a new television ad campaign on Monday to raise awareness in California’s Asian American community about the new financial help now available through the American Rescue Plan. The ads, which are in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese, highlight how 400,000 Asian Americans can now get lower health insurance premiums starting June 1.

Michigan

It's no secret that as a) a lifetime Michigan resident and b) an openly activist Democrat, I'm a huge fan of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (I was even on a healthcare town hall panel with her back in 2017 during the Repeal/Replace debacle). Having said that, I'm still impressed with the announcement just put out by the MI Dept. of Insurance & Financial Services:

Michigan Insurers on HealthCare.Gov Provide Consumer Flexibility

(LANSING, MICH) Through an agreement announced today between Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), and all nine of Michigan’s Marketplace insurers, Michiganders enrolled in a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace can now take advantage of expanded tax subsidies offered by the American Rescue Plan without having to restart their deductibles when they switch to another plan offered by their current insurer, and in some cases even if they choose a plan through another insurer.

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