OE7

Mississippi once again has two carriers offering ACA-compliant individual market coverage in 2021 and six on the small group market. Unfortunately, few filing forms don't seem to be available and the ones which are are redacted, so I can't run weighted averages for either.

The unweighted average rate increases are 2.7% on the individual market and basically flat for small group plans.

This actually came out last week but I didn't have a chance to do a write-up on it until now:

July 23, 2020 - Early 2020 Effectuated Enrollment Snapshot

This report provides effectuated enrollment, premium, and advance payments of the premium tax credit (APTC) data for the Federally-facilitated and State-based Exchanges (“the Exchanges”) for February 2020 and for the 2019 plan year.

February 2020 Effectuated Enrollment Snapshot Key Findings

So far, only 8 states (+DC) have released their preliminary 2020 ACA-compliant individual market premium rate filings. So what's the deal with the other 42 states? Well, here's a handy 2020 Submission Deadline table from SERFF (the System for Electronic Rates & Forms Filing, a database maintained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners).

However, it's a bit overly cumbersome: It stretches out over 5 full pages, and includes columns for Standalone Dental Plans as well as a bunch of info regarding the Small Group Market.

To that end, I've cleaned up/simplified the 2021 Submission Deadline table considerably to only include the individual and small group market dates. I'll be perfectly honest: I'm not quite sure what the distinction is between the "Form/Rate Filings" and the "Binder Deadlines", but the dates tend to match up pretty closely, so I've included all of them below.

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, normally I would've been all over the official CMS 2020 Open Enrollment Period report the moment it was released. It cuts to the core of what I've done here at ACA Signups for the past seven years: Detailed demographic breakouts of everyone who enrolled in on-exchange ACA market policies during the Open Enrollment Period.

Instead, this year I've kind of put it to the side for obvious reasons. With the COVID-19 pandemic having killed over 37,000 Americans and with well over 710,000 total cases to date, it's hard to get too focused on this particular report. Besides, as I noted before, the national enrollment numbers (overall) are almost identical to last year anyway: Just 35,000 fewer people than during the 2019 OEP.

I noted this a couple of weeks ago, but I'm updating this post because the official CMS 2020 Open Enrollment Period report has just been released, so I have final numbers for every state now.

Normally this would be a big, wonky, in-depth analysis, but I'm gonna keep it relatively basic this year for two reasons: First, because the final numbers are only slightly different from what I had them at already (seriously, I was only off by around 5,300 enrollees out of over 11.4 million total); second, because with the COVID-19 pandemic having killed well over 5,000 Americans already with no end in sight, I'm not sure anyone really gives a crap at the moment.

Back in early January I noted that the DC Health Link had reported having 18,611 people enrolled in ACA individual market policies as of January 5th. DC's official deadline wasn't until January 31st, however, and even then they bumped it out by an additional five days (thru January 5th).

Unfortunately, they haven't issued an official final enrollment report yet, but I've been able to get the top-line numbers from an audio recording of their monthly executive board meeting on February 12th:

If you read through the transcript carefully, it boils down to this:

This Just In from the NY State of Health ACA exchange:

Press Release: NY State of Health Announces Record High Enrollment More than 4.9 Million New Yorkers Enrolled

  • One in four New Yorkers enrolled through NY State of Health
  • Enrollment through the Marketplace increased by over 150,000 from last year

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 20, 2020) - NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced that over 4.9 million people, more than one in four New Yorkers, signed up for health coverage through NY State of Health during this year’s Open Enrollment Period. With an increase of 150,000 people over 2019, enrollment is at a record level, including more than 1 million people enrolled in Qualified Health Plans and the Essential Plan. Marketplace enrollment growth is consistent with New York’s declining uninsured rate, which reached a historic low of 4.7 percent. Open Enrollment ran from November 1, 2019, through February 7, 2020.

UPDATE 2/24/20: California and New York have come out with their final, official enrollment numbers, as have Vermont,Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, although the latter three are estimates on my part due to the way they're reporting their enrollment data:

via HealthSource RI (email):

Press Release: HealthSource RI sees another successful Open Enrollment with lower plan rates for 2020

  • State’s critical market stability initiatives drive decrease in cost for those without financial help
  • Rhode Island is already seeing the effects of market stability initiatives proposed by Governor Raimondo and enacted by the General Assembly in 2019.
  • HealthSource RI’s competitive marketplace offered the 2nd lowest-cost benchmark plan nationwide for 2020.
  • The average monthly cost of a health insurance plan without financial help went down from $441.91 in 2019 to $435.60 in 2020.
  • HealthSource RI’s individual and family enrollments increased this Open Enrollment, with 32,704 customers enrolled and paid compared to 32,486 last year.
  • The marketplace saw over 7,000 new enrollees including strong enrollment from the key “young adult” demographic. Nearly 43% of new 2020 customers were “young invincibles” age 18-34, up from 29% percent in HealthSource RI’s renewing population.
  • HealthSource RI customers took advantage of new customer service tools, including a new webchat service and a search tool that lists which prescription medications are covered by each health insurance plan.

During the 2019 Open Enrollment Period, Vermont enrolled 25,223 people in on-exchange ACA individual market policies.

Just today, the state's ACA exchange, Vermont Health Connect, released a breakout of their January 2020 individual and small group market enrollment data as compared with January 2019.​​​​​​

The total number of Individual Market enrollees is 33,982 enrollees as of the end of January. It's important to understand that this is not the same as the number of people who enrolled on the ACA exchange during Open Enrollment, for two reasons: First, 2020 OEP in Vermont ended on December 15th, 2019; this data is as of January 31st. Second, the tables below include both on- and off-exchange enrollees, as opposed to on-exchange only.

I already called attention to this in my last post, but it's so long & filled with data wonk stuff that I'm reposting a separate entry to specifically highlight the SEP specifically:

  • Covered California is announcing a special-enrollment period through April 30 to address concerns that many Californians remain unaware of the new financial help or the new state penalty.

Hmmmm....the Special Enrollment Period is interesting. HealthCare.Gov and some state exchanges did something like this in spring 2015 (the first year people had to actually pay the mandate penalty) and managed to get around 210,000 more enrollees nationally. Of course, the penalty for 2014 was only $95 or 1% of income at the time...now it's up to $695/person or 2.5% of household income, so it's a bigger deal.

New Special-Enrollment Period Announced

When I last checked in on Covered California a couple of weeks ago, they still had two days left before their 2020 Open Enrollment deadline, and had managed to rack up 1.51 million on-exchange enrollments. This included 1.15 million renewals of existing enrollees, plus another 364,000 new enrollees.

I noted at the time that they had just barely beaten 2019's total with two days to go, and would have to add about 7,500 more to break 2018's total, and another 43,000 to beat 2017.

Well, they ended up in between the two, partly due to an overestimate of the renewal figure:

New California Policies Make Huge Difference, Increasing New Signups During Covered California’s Open Enrollment by 41 Percent

New Special-Enrollment Period Announced to Continue to Get Word Out on New Subsidies and Penalty

This just in from DC Health Link:

DC Health Link to Offer Even More Opportunities for Residents to Get Covered 

  • DCHBX Executive Board Votes to Allow Pre-Natal Special Enrollment Period and Four Other New Opportunities

Washington, DC – With Open Enrollment recently concluded, District residents and small businesses have new opportunities to sign up for health insurance coverage through DC Health Link. The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) Executive Board recently adopted recommendations from its Standing Advisory Board to create four Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) and an extended open enrollment period for DC small businesses.

This is very interesting. ACA Open Enrollment deadline extensions have become kind of a running joke over the years, but for the most part they've been restricted to the December deadlines. the states with deadlines already extending into January have stuck with them for the most part...until this year.

A few days ago, New York State of Health announced that they're extending their final enrollment deadline (for March 1st coverage) by a week, until midnight on Friday, February 7th.

Late last night, the DC Health Link announced that they, too, are extending their final deadline (for March 1st coverage) by five days, until midnight on Wednesday, February 5th.

California and New York have both released updated 2020 Open Enrollment numbers, so I figured I'd update my spreadsheet one more time before the final data is released. This time I've included a smaller secondary table at the bottom which adjusts the Federal and State-based exchange numbers for Nevada.

OFFICIALLY, HealthCare.Gov enrollment is down nearly 128,000 people this year, but that's not fair because Nevada broke off of HC.gov onto their own full state-based exchange platform this year. When you adjust for that, HC.gov is only down 119,000 people for the remaining 38 states. Meanwhile, the state-based exchanges are officially down 2,900 at the moment, but again, with Nevada joining them, they're actually down around 8,900.people.

That leaves the missing enrollment data from five states. Rhode Island and Vermont haven't released any data...I'm assuming they'll both be very close to last year (call it at least 33,000 and 24,000 respectively). I'm assuming New York + DC will be good for perhaps 3,000 more enrollees combined in their final days. And California will likely tack on another 30,000 or so in their final 2 days of Open Enrollment.

With one day left to go before the 2020 ACA Open Enrollment Period wraps up in California, the largest state ACA exchange in the country issued one more update and call to action:

Covered California Sees Thousands of People Enroll Each Day as it Approaches Friday’s Final Day of Open Enrollment

  • More than 364,000 consumers have newly enrolled during the current open-enrollment period, which ends at midnight on Friday, Jan. 31
  • More than 33,000 people have enrolled since Monday, an average of more than 11,000 people per day.
  • California passed two new laws for 2020, one that requires Californians to have health insurance or face a penalty, while the other offers new financial help – for the first time – to eligible consumers purchasing coverage.

Open enrollment is the one time when people can sign up for health insurance in the individual market without needing a qualifying life event.

Hmmm...looks like there was some sort of data breach at AccessHealthCT:

A Small Number Of Access Health CT Consumers Will Receive Mail This Week About Their Personal Information And Should Review Carefully

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 28, 2020)—Approximately 1,100 Access Health CT consumers will be receiving an ORANGE ENVELOPE in the mail this week. It is important that consumers review this information carefully as they will need to take action to enroll in free services being offered to help protect their personal information that may have been compromised in a data breach.

“Access Health CT takes the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information seriously, and it is making this public notice in an abundance of caution,” said Chief Executive Officer of Access Health CT, James Michel. “We apologize for any inconvenience to consumers and we remain steadfast in our commitment to keep our consumers’ best interests as our number one priority.”

I just received the final 2020 Open Enrollment report from the Massachusetts Health Connector (via email, no link):

Here’s where we are:

  • We have 290,105 January enrollments
  • 22,493 February and March enrollments
  • 7,014 plans selected
  • For a total of 319,612

New enrollments currently total 57,044.

I wish every ACA exchange would break out their numbers this way. Simple and to the point, but also with relevant details...not only "renewals vs. new" but also how many are enrolled for January vs. February or March coverage and even how many have/haven't paid yet! The last is a bit unfair since Massachusetts is one of only two states, I believe, which actually handle premium payments (Rhode Island does as well...Washington State used to but doesn't anymore).

Here's what's truly impressive: Massachusetts is the only state to increase their ACA exchange enrollment each and every year for six years running:

This just in from the New York State of Health ACA exchange:

Press Release: New Yorkers Have More Time to Get Covered in 2020: NY State of Health Open Enrollment Deadline Extended to February 7

  • Enroll Now for Affordable, High-Quality Health Coverage in 2020
  • Free, In-Person Enrollment Help is Available: Click Here to Find a NY State of Health Certified Assistor

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 28, 2020) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, announced that consumers will have an additional week to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) for 2020. The Open Enrollment deadline has been extended until February 7 to give consumers more time to enroll. NY State of Health’s Customer Service Center representatives and in-person assistors are available to help individuals find the best plan for themselves and their families.

Huh. That's unexpected.

This came out while I was in DC for the Families USA conference...

Covered California’s New Enrollment Surges Past Last Year’s Mark with More than a Week Before the Upcoming Jan. 31 Deadline

  • More than 318,000 consumers have newly enrolled during the current open-enrollment period, surpassing last year’s open enrollment total.
  • However, new research shows that many Californians – particularly the uninsured – are unaware of a new state law which requires people to have health insurance or face a penalty.
  • In addition, many Californians are unaware of the new financial help that is available for the first time this year, including first-in-the-nation assistance for middle-income consumers.
  • Open enrollment, which continues through Jan. 31, is the one time when people can sign up for health insurance in the individual market without needing a qualifying life event.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced new enrollment data as it moved into the final week of open-enrollment and continued to reach out to consumers about the new state penalty and additional financial help that went into effect with the new year.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 22, more than 318,000 consumers had newly signed up for health insurance through Covered California during the current open-enrollment period, which surpassed last year’s total of 295,000.

via Covered California...

he commemoration of Dr. King’s 91st birthday will include parades in both Los Angeles and Sacramento where Covered California will participate.

Covered California representatives, including executive director Peter V. Lee, will join members of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in participating in Los Angeles’ Kingdom Day Parade.

In addition, Covered California staff will join thousands of others in Sacramento’s March for the Dream parade.

Covered California is committed to ensuring that the rich diversity of people in the state have access to quality health care.

Open enrollment is underway, and people have through Jan. 31 to sign up for coverage and see if they are eligible for financial help.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California will help celebrate the 91st birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, by having a contingent of leaders honor the civil rights icon by participating in parades in both Los Angeles and Sacramento.

This just in via Connect for Health Colorado:

DENVER — Nearly 167,000 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through the state’s official Marketplace by the end of the Open Enrollment period, according to preliminary data released today by Connect for Health Colorado.

Among the 2020 plan selections, about 20 percent are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado and 80 percent are returning customers. 

“This has been another successful Open Enrollment period,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “Now the work continues to increase access, affordability and choice for residents. We are fully engaged with partners at the state and in the legislature to advise and help implement innovative approaches to lower the cost of health care and increase choice.”

via Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie:

The calculation doesn’t include the last day of open enrollment, but Access Health officials reported Thursday that enrollment was down 2.7% in 2020.

An estimated 106,376 Connecticut residents enrolled with either ConnectiCare or Anthem Health Plans. That’s fewer than the estimated 111,066 who signed up for coverage last year.

I'm not sure where she gets 2.7%...that's a 4.2% drop year over year. They tacked on another 200 or so per day over the final week or so...if you assume a small surge on the final day they might top out at 107K, which would be perhaps a 3.7% drop.

A few more useful data nuggets:

It was the fourth year in a row that there was a drop in customers qualifying for federal tax credits to off-set the cost of the monthly premiums. An estimated 69% of those who enrolled this year are eligible for a subsidy. That’s a drop from 78% in 2016.

via New York State of Health:

Certified In-Person Assistors Provide Enrollment Opportunities at MLK Day Events Across the State Leading up to January 31 Enrollment Deadline

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 16, 2020) – NY State of Health, the State’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced participation in several Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events being held throughout the State. Certified In-Person Assistors will be at events celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to ensure New Yorkers have access to high-quality, affordable health care and to answer questions regarding enrolling or re-enrolling through the Marketplace. All events are open to the public.

“We are excited to meet New Yorkers at events celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to help them find a quality, low-cost health plan during Open Enrollment,” said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore. “Enrollment in a 2020 Qualified Health Plan runs through January 31, and our participation in these events offers New Yorkers another opportunity to complete the enrollment process.”

This Just In via Covered California:

Covered California Continues to See Strong Interest and Reminds Consumers That Penalty Is Back for 2020 as Open-Enrollment Deadline Approaches

  • More than 269,000 consumers have newly enrolled during the current open-enrollment period, which continues in California through Jan. 31.
  • A new law requires Californians to have health insurance in 2020 or face a penalty when they file their taxes with the Franchise Tax Board in 2021.
  • The penalty can be $2,000 or more for a family of four.
  • New research shows that many Californians, particularly the uninsured, are unaware of the new penalty or the new financial help that is available for the first time this year.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced new data as it approaches the final two weeks of the annual open-enrollment period and reminded consumers about the new state penalty and additional financial help that went into effect with the new year.

As of Saturday, Jan. 4, more than 269,000 consumers had newly signed up for health insurance through Covered California during the current open-enrollment period, which is an increase of 18 percent above the number of consumers who had enrolled at this time last year. In addition, more than 1.15 million existing Covered California members have renewed their coverage for 2020.

via the DC Health Link, where DC residents can still #GetCovered until January 31st:

  • Latino leaders to discuss state of enrollment opportunities at 6th Annual Hispanic Leadership Health Forum; Enrollment and outreach events scheduled throughout DC

Despite national studies showing the Latino community saw the biggest drops in uninsured rates thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the uninsured rate for Latinos continues to be significantly higher than in other minority communities, according to a United States Census report.

DC Health Link, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs (MOLA), the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and many community-based organizations, will host its annual, action-packed week of intensive enrollment and outreach activities during its Annual Hispanic Enrollment Week of Action. DC Health Link is using this Week of Action to accelerate outreach efforts to promote, educate and motivate Latino enrollment in quality, affordable health insurance. The Hispanic Enrollment Week of Action runs through January 19, 2020.

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 9:00am – 12:30pm

via the Massachusetts Health Connector:

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Massachusetts Health Connector embarks on a one-day, multi-city tour that includes stops at six locations along the North and South Shore to remind Massachusetts residents there is still time to get 2020 health coverage before Open Enrollment ends January 23.

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Massachusetts Health Connector holds its “Day of Coverage” featuring activities across the Commonwealth designed to help people #GetCovered with health insurance for the new year.“Day of Coverage” activities will be held in Boston, Hyannis, Lawrence, New Bedford, and Lowell.

Open Enrollment is happening now and runs through January 23, 2020. Massachusetts residents who want to enroll in coverage or switch plans to start February 1, must sign up through the Health Connector by January 23rd.

Residents can sign up for coverage at www.MAhealthconnector.org, over the phone at 1-877-MA-ENROLL (1-877-623-6765), or in person through a local navigator organization.

An important reminder from AccessHealth CT...

Close To 20 Percent Of Access Health CT Customers Still Need To Submit Verification Documents To Stay Covered

  • Customers can scan and submit verification documents at Enrollment Fairs, via mail or online
  • Some AHCT customers will receive letters in the mail requesting specific documents to confirm information in their application.
  • Documents can be submitted online, at an Enrollment Fair where documents can be scanned and uploaded immediately or by mail. 
  • Failure to submit documents by the deadline can result in loss of coverage or financial help.

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 13, 2020)—Open Enrollment to sign up for a 2020 health insurance plan through Access Health CT (AHCT) ends at midnight on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Connecticut residents can still enroll online, over the phone, or in-person at any of our Enrollment Fairs or five Enrollment Locations—and some might need to submit verification documents.

Find help at an event near you

Located across Colorado, these events provide educational and enrollment information about health insurance coverage, the application process and financial help through Connect for Health Colorado. While you can’t complete enrollment at all of these events, they are a great opportunity to talk with our network of trusted, certified experts and to schedule appointments.

January 15 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Pueblo Get Covered Walk-in and Enroll
  • Pueblo Get Covered is hosting an open enrollment on Wed, Jan 15 from 8 am - 5 pm at 230 N Union Ave. Pueblo, CO 81003. For more information call 719-583-6611.   Jan 15 is the last day of open enrollment!

January 15 @ 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Someone pointed me towards an official ACA Open Enrollment report for the DC Health Link from a few days ago. There's a bunch of demographic data broken out, but the bottom line is:

  • 18,611 people have selected individual market Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) for 2020
  • Officially, this is down over 5% vs. last year...however...
  • ...the final official total for the 2019 Open Enrollment Period was only 18,035 due to some last-minute clerical error corrections and/or purging of last-minute cancellations.

...which means that at least for the moment, DC is up 3.2% year over year.

Remember, DC residents can still #GetCovered through the end of January for coverage starting in either February or March, so this number should increase a bit more yet.

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