I don't write about Idaho much, which is a bit surprising when you think about it because it's kind of a unique state when it comes to the ACA exchanges. Most states never set up their own exchange platform. A dozen or so set them up and are still using them. Two states (Massachusetts and Maryland) scrapped their original, failed platforms and completely overhauled them.
Three states started out with their own platform but gave up when they failed, moving home to the mothership (HealthCare.Gov). One state, New Mexico, was supposed to move off of HC.gov after the first couple of years, but changed their mind and is still hosted by the federal platform. Oh, and there's also Kentucky, which is scheduled to scrap their perfectly-functioning tech platform for absolutely no good reason other than the petty whim of their new Governor, Matt Bevin.
And then there's Idaho.
Idaho is unique for a couple of reasons: Not only is it the only state to start off hosted by HC.gov and then move off of the federal tech platform onto it's own system, it's also the only state running it's own full exchange which hasn't expanded Medicaid as well.
The Idaho insurance department website has made this really easy for me. Most states either don't provide the requested rate hikes at all (forcing me to track them down via a slew of SERFF filing forms) or, if they do provide the rate requests, they don't provide the actual enrollment numbers for each carrier, making it very difficult to run a weighted average.
In the case of Idaho, they don't give the enrollment numbers, but they've already ran the average and posted the weighted number for me! Better yet, they've done this for both the Individual and Small Group markets:
Over the past week or two I've been compiling the currently effectuated exchange enrollments for as many states as possible (the official Q1 ASPE effectuation report likely won't be available until early June). So far I have the data from either February, March or April for 7 states: CO, CT, MA, MN, NH, OK and WA.
Today I can add Idaho to the list, and unlike some of the other states, Your Health Idaho's number appears to not only be cut & dry, but very good news indeed:
Hello Mr. Gaba,
Your Health Idaho’s effectuated enrollments for March stand at 95,522. Numbers for April are preliminary at this point.
In a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, I posted two very wonky, detailed entries over the past couple of days about Minnesota and Connecticut's latest enrollment numbers...but completely missed one crucially important data point.
The final 2016 Open Enrollment Period exchange-based QHP selection numbers have been posted for just about every state for a couple of weeks now...but until today, there were still 3 states with missing data: Idaho, New York and Vermont.
Unfortunately, both NY and VT are still AWOL, but moments ago Idaho scratched itself off the list with the following press release:
Your Health Idaho Reaches Record Enrollment
Idaho has second largest per capita enrollment in the U.S.
BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho today announced that 102,353 Idahoans have enrolled in Qualified Health Plans for 2016 through the state’s health exchange.
Idaho had just over 97,000 QHP selections last year, so this is about a 5% increase. Not fantastic, but not terrible; this puts ID in between Kansas and New Mexico in terms of year over year enrollment increases.
In any event, I can at least plug in one more data point.
More than 97,000 Idahoans Select Insurance through Idaho Exchange
Lawmakers Get Update on Your Health Idaho’s Progress
BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho executive director Pat Kelly went before lawmakers on Tuesday to give them an update on the second year of operations for Idaho’s state-based health insurance exchange. Kelly said Idahoans have benefitted from state lawmakers’ choice to keep the federal government out of Idaho’s health insurance decisions.
Currently, more than 97,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan through the exchange. In 2015, Idaho ranked fourth in the nation per-capita for enrollments and had the highest enrollment numbers of any state-based health insurance exchange.
YHI also makes a strong case for keeping full state exchanges as opposed to moving to HealthCare.Gov (Matt Bevin of Kentucky might want to take notice...):
BOISE, Idaho – The deadline to get health insurance coverage through Your Health Idaho is just days away. If you want health insurance for 2016 you must enroll by January 31. Already, more than 95,000 Idahoans have selected health insurance plans through the state’s health insurance exchange.
BOISE, Idaho – Since Open Enrollment began on November 1, over 93,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan for 2016 through Your Health Idaho. Approximately 86,000 Idahoans are currently enrolled for 2015 coverage.
“We are pleased to see an increase in enrollments at this half-way mark,” said Your Health Idaho executive director, Pat Kelly. “This demonstrates there is a continued need for access to affordable healthcare in Idaho. The good news is that Idahoans who remain uninsured still have until January 31 to enroll for health and dental coverage. But we encourage people to act now.” Idahoans who complete an application between now and January 31 will have coverage as early as February.
Idahoans who need assistance picking a health insurance plan can find a local agent or broker in their community to help them free of charge by visiting www.YourHealthIdaho.org and clicking on “find help near you.”
If you take a look at the State-by-State chart, you'll notice that in addition to a few clarifications here and there, there are 5 states (well, 4 states +DC) all the way at the bottom labelled "NO DATA YET".
California insists, just like last year, on doing this weird thing where they release the number of new enrollees who have signed up on a fairly regular basis, but the number of renewals by current enrollees is kept a secret all the way into January. I have no idea why they do that, and it's pretty important given that we're likely talking about somewhere between 1.0 - 1.3 million people here.
On the other hand, at least they've posted data on their new additions. DC, Idaho, Kentucky, New York and Vermont haven't even done that much as of this writing.