I still expect the current week to drop substantially due to it being Thanksgiving week. Note that last year the number dropped about 35% during Thanksgiving week before skyrocketing again the week after that; a similar drop this year would bring it down to around 330K for Week Four...although I'm gonna adjust my Week 4 projection upwards to 370K given the higher-than-expected results for Week Three.
NOTE: The Weekly HealthCare.Gov Snapshot Reports are normally released at around 1:00pm on Wednesdays. I have a 1:00pm meeting today, so the odds are that I won't be able to write up a response/analysis of the weekly HC.gov numbers until late this afternoon.
Hmmmm...over at Investor's Business Daily, Jed Graham looks at HealthCare.Gov's 3rd Weekly Snapshot report from a different angle: If you set aside renewals of current enrollees, how are things looking in terms of new additions?
As I noted in my detailed 2016 OE3 projection breakdown, nationally the HHS Dept. is projecting around 8.1 million renewals, plus around 4.5 million new additions, for a total of roughly 12.6 million QHP selections (expected to then dwindle down to roughly 10.0 million still enrolled/paying by the end of next year. In contrast, I'm more optimistic: I projected around 9.0 million renewals, plus 5.7 million new additions.
By my reckoning, total national QHP selections should hit around 1.33 million by the end of Week Two, of which around 1.07 million should be via HealthCare.Gov. I the expect around 1.9 million in Week Three, around 2.4 million by Thanksgiving, and then start ramping up to around 6.3 million by the 12/15 deadline for most states.
Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Snapshot: Week 2: November 8 – November 14, 2015
The second week of Open Enrollment for Marketplace coverage saw millions more Americans exploring their health insurance options by calling the call center, attending enrollment events, or visiting HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov.
This really shouldn't be considered profound or prescient, but the entire concept of of "free market competition" only works as intended if the customers actually shop around and compare their options. If people just ignore changes in the offerings available and stick with what they have regardless of the new options available, the "competition = better value" mantra collapses.
That's why I've been stressing the importance of shopping around on the ACA exchanges (or even off-exchange) so much this year. As I noted back in October:
Premiums are slated to rise steeply next year for health plans across the board. Yet almost half of voters who have health coverage under Obamacare say they will keep their current plan through 2016, according to a new Morning Consult online poll.
The findings could be a worrying sign for the Obama administration, which is urging people who buy their insurance on state or federal exchanges to shop around for new plans to avoid premium increases. But the results could also be seen as a positive sign for Obamacare, generally. Half of enrollees are satisfied with their current plan and another one-third are comfortable enough with the online exchanges to look for cheaper coverage, as intended.