Oregon

UPDATE: On the down side, I was off by 4% this time around.

On the up side, I UNDERESTIMATED:

Actual Feb. enrollments: 942,833, for a total of 4,242,325 thru 3/01/14.

Sarah Kliff at Vox just announced that the February HHS report is expected to be released today at around 4:00pm. A few items in anticipation of that:

  • As I've noted several times, I'm projecting the report to total around 902,000 exchange-based private QHP enrollments for the month of February (technically 2/02 - 3/01)
  • If accurate, this would bring the cumulative total of exchange-based private QHP enrollments to 4.202 million (from 10/1/13 - 3/01/14)
  • From the data I have, the average daily enrollment rate in February was almost identical to that of January, which had about 1.146 million QHP enrollments. HOWEVER, the January report included five weeks of data (12/28 - 2/01), while the February report will only include four weeks (2/02 - 3/01). Therefore, even at the same daily average, it'll be about 20% lower no matter what.
  • Don't be surprised if Peter Lee of CoveredCA decides to steal some thunder by announcing that California has enrolled 1,000,000 QHPs all by itself either today or tomorrow. However, that would include the past 10 days, while the HHS number will only run thru 3/01.
  • If you want to get REALLY specific, call it 902,800 and 4,202,292.
  • I've been dead-on target 6 times in a row without hyping up my projections beforehand. This time I am hyping myself up beforehand, so I'll probably be way off...but as long as I've UNDERestimated the tally, I'll be perfectly fine with that...
  • The report will be released in about 5 minutes, but my kid gets home from school in about 10, so it'll be a good 20 minutes before I can really post anything. Feel free to follow Sarah Kliff of Vox in the meantime!

Well, Oregon's website may still be a complete disaster, but their manual enrollment process seems to be chugging along fairly well. Private QHPs are up 3,500 from 38,806 a week earlier, while Medicaid enrollments are up another 7,100 from 84,991.

Note that they've finally stopped including the "Fast Track" Medicaid numbers, presumably because they've already enrolled everyone they could find via that route:

March 7, 2014
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon

Total: 134,412 
Private insurance: 42,325
Oregon Health Plan: 92,087

Update: Something else very interesting about Oregon's situation. Take a look at their QHP enrollment history:

  • 12/28: 18,337
  • 02/01: 33,808 (15,471 in 35 days, or 442 per day)
  • 02/28: 38,806 (4,998 in 27 days, or just 185 per day...a 58% drop per day, ouch!)

However, today they announced the number, as of (I presume) yesterday, the 6th, as:

Last month there was news out of Massachusetts of some sort of extension being granted to "bring the state’s health care system in line" with ACA regulations. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it, thinking that it only related to administrative procedures or somesuch.

However, it turns out that there's actually 154,000 people who are currently enrolled in a sort of healthcare batter's box, being placed on hold until MA's screwed-up exchange is able to absorb them into the system via proper ACA-compliant QHPs (or Medicaid/CHIP...not sure about that yet):

Unable to immediately enroll applicants in new, private plans under the Affordable Care Act, state officials extended existing state coverage for about 124,000 individuals, and granted temporary state coverage to about 30,000 new applicants. Those individuals were supposed to move onto new plans by March. 31; the federal waiver gives officials another three months to do that.

So why am I bringing this up today, 3 weeks after that story broke? Because a contributor called my attention to this story out of Oregon:

Oregon continues to slowly drag their still-crippled exchange along, adding another 2,859 private QHPs and 22,564 Medicaid/CHIP enrollees (17,474 + 5,090 via the "Fast Track" program) over the past few weeks.

March 1, 2014 Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon and Oregon Health Authority

Total: 123,797 
Private insurance: 38,806
Oregon Health Plan: 84,991
 
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”
Oregon Health Plan: 128,434

Well I'll be damned! Oregon has finally managed to enroll a small number of people through their website! (Until today, all 35,247 private QHP enrollments in OR have been processed manually...literally, paper forms filled out by hand and then manually entered into the system). With only 6 weeks to go, this may seem a bit underwhelming, but it's still something...

A Cover Oregon official says insurance agents and community groups have been able to enroll about 700 people in health coverage entirely online.

Chief Information Officer Aaron Karjala revealed the number to a state legislative committee on Friday.

Cover Oregon launched its website for a limited group of experts earlier this week, more than four months after it was originally scheduled to be operational.

There's still no date for when the system will launch to the general public. Karjala says developers are regularly testing and fixing elements of the system.

Individuals working without an agent or certified expert can continue to apply, but Cover Oregon staff will have to process a portion of their application by hand.

Whew! Lots of updates today, although most of them have been fairly small. Today we see that Oregon continues to make steady progress in spite of their exchange website still being a mess. They've increased their Private QHP tally by another 11% (from 31,664 to 35,247) and their Medicaid/CHIP tally by 16.7% (from 57,858 to 67,517) via the exchange, plus another  475 added via their "fast track" program.

As noted in the previous Oregon update, there's already 120,155 "fast track" enrollees included in the December CMS report, so I'm only adding the difference since then (3,189) to the actual spreadsheet.

Private insurance: 35,247
Oregon Health Plan: 67,517
 
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”
Oregon Health Plan: 123,344

Some minor updates out of Oregon today: Private QHP enrollments are up to 31,664 from 30,157 a week ago; exchange-based Medicaid enrollments have gone up to 57,858 from 53,018, and Medicaid "Fast Track" direct enrollments are up to 122,869 from 121,190. As noted last week, only the difference in Fast Track enrollments since 12/28 are being listed on the spreadsheet, since the other 120K or so are already included in the CMS report numbers.

Cover Oregon: Private insurance: 31,664 / Oregon Health Plan: 57,858 
Oregon Health Authority “Fast Track”: Oregon Health Plan: 122,869

A very nice bump in Oregon's numbers today, especially given their ongoing technical issues. Private QHP enrollments are up from 23,800 as of Jan. 15 to 30,157 as of Jan. 24. However, since yesterday's HHS Dept. announcement of appx. 3 million total enrollments was "as of this week", this doesn't impact the overall total; it simply subtracts about 6,000 from the "Unspecified" number. Expect a lot of this over the next week or two until the enrollment updates "clear" the Week 16 point.

Very slight number bumps; 800 private QHPs and about 1,300 more Medicaid, but an update is an update.

To date, [acting Cover Oregon directory Bruce] Goldberg said, 65,932 people have enrolled in health insurance through the marketplace. About 23,800 of those are enrolled in commercial health plans. There are almost 30,000 people who have been approved to select their plan but have chosen not to move on in the process, Goldberg said.

Two quick 'n simple updates: Oregon's "direct" Medicaid enrollments are up another 3,000, while the 86,000 total enrollments in Connecticut now have precise numbers (instead of ones based on percentages the other day). This knocks their private tally down by 880 while increasing the Medicaid number by the same amount.

More than three months after it was supposed to launch, Cover Oregon's website still can't enroll anyone from start to finish. Using a backup process that requires workers to process applications by hand, the state has managed to enroll 65,000 people in health coverage, about 23,000 of them in private insurance and the rest in the Oregon Health Plan, the state's version of Medicaid.

Another 118,000 have enrolled in Medicaid through a separate process that bypasses the exchange.

Access Health CT has signed up more than 86,001 customers by the end of Wednesday, which includes 43,840 people in private plans and 42,161 who learned they are income eligible for government-funded Medicaid.

Some slightly updated numbers out of Oregon today, revealed during a conference call with the director of the beleaguered Cover Oregon exchange. Private enrollments are up from 20K to 23K, and exchange-based Medicaid enrollments up from 39,711 to about 42,000.

In addition, some info on the method of the 115,000 "direct transfers" to Medicaid off of the exchange: Apparently they used food stamp income information to do so, which is pretty clever if you think about it.

More than 65k enrolled so far through exchange, he says, 23k in private plans

— Nick Budnick (@NickBudnick) January 15, 2014

Oregon has enrolled more than 115k in Medicaid via workaround to avoid exchange, using food stamp income info

— Nick Budnick (@NickBudnick) January 15, 2014

We’ve already dealt with Oregon’s recently updated enrollment numbers, but this bit of news from Nick Budnick’s article in The Oregonian the other day really caught my attention:

About half of those who applied for coverage effective Jan 1 were turned away because their applications were not fully filled out, state officials have said. Instead, they'll be processed for insurance effective Feb. 1.

If Oracle had delivered a working website to Cover Oregon, then online applicants would immediately have received feedback that they needed to fill in more information. Clearly this is an added source of frustration for Oregonians who had every reason to think that their paper application was complete and in order.

On the other hand, this speaks to a huge potential. If Cover Oregon can assist those 20,000 applicants quickly, that alone should double the state’s enrollment numbers! Who knows – with dedication and luck, Cover Oregon might well achieve that before the end of January.

We have our 3rd Oregon update this week today; they're now up to 20,000 private enrollments as of Monday, plus another 35,000 Medicaid expansion additions. Add this to the 114,500 automatic enrollments via the Oregon Health Authority, and that brings their total Medicaid tally to 149,500.

In total, about 170,000 people have new health insurance beginning this month under new funding and rules of the Affordable Care Act. A majority of them are Oregon Health Plan enrollees, a program for low-income residents...

Monday was the last day for Oregonians to finalize their commercial plan selections on Cover Oregon. Of the 55,000, about 20,000 new enrollees purchased private plans. About 35,000 enrolled in Oregon Health Plan through Cover Oregon, and the majority of the new OHP enrollees signed up directly through Oregon Health Authority.

It is well known, and highly embarrassing, that Oregon has yet to enroll a single person in a new insurance plan online. Since the 1st of October, Cover Oregon has had to do it all by hand, based on paper applications.

But did you know that in 2008 Oregon had an impressive success, enrolling 61,000 teachers and educators in a single month?

That, of course stands in stark contrast to today’s situation. In the course of three months, Cover Oregon has managed to enroll just 18,000 people in private insurance plans – and towering piles of applications are still awaiting the attention of their stressed case workers.

One more update in Oregon, and it's a substantial one despite their severe technical issues: The Oregonian reports a 22% increase in state signups , from the previous totals of 14,700 private and 32,000 Medicaid enrollments. Journalist Nick Budnick, who has written numerous articles on the Oregon health exchange’s non-functioning website, also confirms the correctness of the additional Medicaid figure.

The final tally on enrollment through Oregon's health exchange by Jan. 1 topped 50,000, according to Cover Oregon. More than 18,000 people enrolled in commercial or private insurance, according to Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox, while more than 32,000 people enrolled in the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan.

...The exchange's enrollment figure does not include more than 100,000 people who were enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan using a streamlined process set up by the state to bypass Cover Oregon.

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