Hmmm...OK, I admit I'm starting to get a bit concerned about Minnesota. True, they bumped out their January deadline enrollment date until tomorrow (New Year's Eve), so there's still 5 day's worth of data to go including what I assume will be some sort of surge today and tomorrow, but I was expecting them to be doing a bit better at this point. They had just over 41,000 2014 enrollees as of mid-October. Nationally over 90% of 2014 enrollees should be renewed either manually or automatically, but MN has a special situation given that the largest insurance company on MNsure dropped out, leaving over 60% of the total to find something else or be moved off of the exchange completely.

(sigh) This is gonna be a lonnnng month for me...

MNsure Extends Enrollment Deadline for January 1 Coverage to December 31

MNsure sent this bulletin at 12/19/2014 11:34 AM CST

December 19, 2014


MNsure Extends Enrollment Deadline for January 1 Coverage to December 31
Decision follows transfer of enrollment information to insurance carriers and aligns enrollment deadlines for January 1 coverage

ST. PAUL, Minn.—In an effort to provide more time for Minnesotans who qualify for financial help available only through MNsure, the organization today announced it would extend the enrollment deadline to December 31 for January 1 coverage.

Minnesotans must now enroll in coverage through MNsure by noon on Wednesday, December 31, to have their coverage effective on January 1, 2015. The change comes at a time of high interest in MNsure and as many health insurance companies recently extended their own enrollment deadlines for January 1 coverage.


As of Thursday the 12th, MNsure had enrolled about 14.4K people for private 2015 policies. Thanks to the December Surge Weekend, this has jumped up by more than 9,300 more:

Latest Enrollment Numbers

December 17, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 17,888
MinnesotaCare 7,681
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 23,797
TOTAL 49,366

Hmmm...MNsure is currently enrolling people at 3x the rate they did all of last year. Assuming that this doesn't include automatic renewals, that's pretty good. They bumped their enrollment deadline for January coverage out until Friday afternoon (4:30pm, for some reason), which is even better.

UPDATE: According to this Modern Healthcare article, only about 42% of MN's enrollments to date are renewals. In one sense, this is good since it suggests that they still have a good 31K potential renewals to work with.

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.

Here's the latest from MNsure...

December 12, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 13,697
MinnesotaCare 5,318
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 14,415
TOTAL 33,430

Overall, 14,415 QHPs in 28 days is quite good: 514 per day on average, or about 2.1x the average daily rate for the 2014 open enrollment period.

However, when you look at the trend lines from week to week, it's even more impressive:

  • 11/15 - 11/21 (7 days): 2,551 = 364/day
  • 11/22 - 11/26 (5 days): 1,796 = 359/day (only 5 days included due to Thanksgiving)
  • 11/27 - 12/05 (9 days): 3,482 = 386/day (includes 2 extra days from prior week)
  • 12/06 - 12/12 (7 days): 6,586 = 941/day

In addition, they've added, 19,015 Medicaid/MinnesotaCare enrollments.

This is the first Minnesota update I have which comes from a tweet instead of their official update page, but it's very specific:

Here's your weekly @MNsure enrollment update. 20,909 total enrollments. 7,829 in QHPs, 3,340 in MinnesotaCare and 9,740 in MA.

— MNsure (@MNsure) December 5, 2014

Even I was surprised when I read that Minnesota's ACA exchange, MNsure, was projecting to more than double their 2015 enrollment figure. Yes, other states like Massachusetts are expected to increase their numbers severalfold, but it always seemed like a stretch for Minnesota, especially with their largest 2014 participant, PreferredOne, dropping out this year. They hit around 50K last year and were originally projecting to hit over 100K this time around.

Sure enough, they've decided to walk that number back a bit, down to 67K...which would be an increase of only 38% over the

48,495 they enrolled during the first open enrollment period:

MNsure on Wednesday said it was cutting by about one-third the number of people it expects will enroll in private health plans through the exchange for 2015.

That means MNsure will also see a drop in revenue, although officials say they expect to end the fiscal year next June with no red ink.

Huh. OK, I wasn't expecting MNsure's update until Friday this week (they put it out on Wednesday last week due to Thanksgiving), but fair enough:

Latest Enrollment Numbers

December 3, 2014

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 8,874
MinnesotaCare 2,954
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 7,106
TOTAL 18,934

MNsure is running around 54% higher than their 2014 daily average so far, FWIW.

MNsure added 2,551 QHPs in the first week of the 2015 enrollment period, and they added another 1,796 over the next 5 days:

November 26, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 6,476
MinnesotaCare 1,989
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 4,347
TOTAL 12,812

That's 362/day so far this year, about a 50% increase over the 242/day last year (which included the December/March spikes).

I just got off the phone with Christopher Snowbeck of the Star Tribune in Minnesota, who informed me that MN has a rather unique state law which, combined with the company dropping out of the ACA exchange, could have a serious impact on up to 23,500 residents who enrolled in policies via PreferredOne earlier this year.

To recap: MNsure, Minnesota's ACA exchange, enrolled roughly 48,500 people in private policies as of April. Unlike the 16% national attrition rate since then, Minnesota's ACA policies have retained 97% of their enrollments as of October (it's still at around 47,000 as of now out of 55,000 total enrollees to date). About 60% (33,000) of the total were through PreferredOne, although according to my sources, a good 10K of these have already moved on to other types of coverage (either a competitor, ESI, Medicare, Medicaid or whatever).

So, that leaves around 23,500 people still currently enrolled in MNsure-based PreferredOne policies as of October 15th.

Still with me? OK, so far, so good.

Now, here's where things get messy:

OK, this is excellent. Minnesota has not only updated their official Enrollment Update page for the first time since #OE2 started, they've also clarified exactly when it will be updated (over the off-season it was scattershot, although they sometimes updated it daily:

Latest Enrollment Numbers

November 21, 2014

MNsure will release 2015 enrollment metrics weekly, and will present a more robust metrics summary to the MNsure Board of Directors at each regularly-scheduled board meeting. During weeks that MNsure is closed on Friday, the enrollment metrics update will be released earlier in the week.

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 4,119
MinnesotaCare 1,215
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 2,551
TOTAL 7,885

That's 2,551 QHPs in (less than) 7 days, or 364 per day so far.

For comparison, last year they averaged 242 per day (and remember, that included the massive spikes in December and late March/early April).

Plus, of course, we have the reset Medicare/MinnesotaCare numbers to plug in.

Nice to have an official number, and like the other state-run exchanges which have overhauled their systems, Minnesota's 2015 kickoff is a massive improvement over last year:

Strong Enrollment 
Since the 2015 open enrollment period began on Saturday, 1,516 consumers have enrolled in Qualified Health Plans through the MNsure marketplace. By contrast, 406 consumers enrolled in Qualified Health Plans during the first two weeks of the 2014 open enrollment period, meaning MNsure has enrolled four times more people in its first four days than it did last year in two weeks. Also, 765 have enrolled in MinnesotaCare and 2,431 have enrolled in Medical Assistance. MNsure is the only place for Minnesotans to find out if they are eligible for financial assistance such as tax credits, and low-cost or no-cost coverage.

Again, for comparison, during the first open enrollment period, Minnesota enrolled 48,495 people, or 242 per day, so their initial pace is about even with that so far:

More than 500 people signed up for commercial health insurance this weekend through MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange.

Open enrollment started Saturday at MNsure, and more than 27,000 new and returning users accessed the health exchange website through the weekend, said Scott Leitz, the MNsure chief executive during a news conference Monday in St. Paul. About 2,700 people phoned the MNsure call center for help, and the average wait time was about two minutes, Leitz said.

The first-weekend figures are a good start toward meeting enrollment goals, Leitz said. The number of phone calls this weekend was 10 times the typical volume for MNsure.

UPDATE: Exact number was 518.


This makes the 5th state-run exchange to report hard numbers for Day One...this brings the verified Day One total to 2,515 QHP enrollees. Again, small but symbolically significant.

MNsure calls Saturday’s open enrollment a big improvement  from what happened last year.

As of 3 p.m., 201 people had signed up for health insurance.

On average, customers waited for help a little more than one minute. Last year, the average wait was more than two hours.

OK, the numbers have barely moved, and technically this update is missing 3 days (it only runs through 11/11 instead of 11/14), but MNsure has been the only exchange, federal or state, which has provided an almost odometer-like frequency of off-exchange updates.

Therefore, in a tribute to MNsure, here's their final 2014 QHP update before #OE2 kicks off:

Latest Enrollment Numbers

November 11, 2014

Health Coverage Type Cumulative Enrollments
Medical Assistance 234,751
MinnesotaCare 80,387
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 55,900
TOTAL 371,038

  • QHPs wrap things up at 55,900 (adding 21 more people over 2 days)
  • Medicaid has added another 53 people
  • MinnesotaCare is actually down by...4 people. Presumably some family of 4 moved onto better times?

And that's a wrap, folks.