Rhode Island

Remember, Rhode Island bumped out their January coverage deadline all the way through New Year's Eve, so even this data is still presumably missing a small surge on the final day:

HEALTHSOURCE RI RELEASES ENROLLMENT, DEMOGRAPHIC AND VOLUME DATA THROUGH DECEMBER 27, 2014

Posted on January 2, 2015 | By HealthSource RI

PROVIDENCE – HealthSource RI (HSRI) has released enrollment data, certain demographic data and certain volume metrics through Saturday, December 27, 2014, for Open Enrollment.

Enrollment data (November 7, 2014 through December 27, 2014)
As of December 27, 2014, 71% of Year One customers have renewed plans for 2015.*
Total New Customers: 4,969
Total Renewed Customers: 17,941
Total HealthSource RI enrollments for 2015 coverage
(including those who have not yet paid): 22,910
*As of December 30, 74% of Year One customers have renewed plans for 2015.

SHOP (cumulative as of December 27, 2014)
Small employer applications completed: 532
Small employer accounts created: 1,904
Small employer enrollment:  437 (representing 3,157 covered lives, based on their submitted census)
Small employers enrolling in Full Choice Model: 76%

A nice fully-detailed enrollment report out of Rhode Island, although there's a rather curious wording decision for an even more recent update:

PROVIDENCE – HealthSource RI (HSRI) has released enrollment data, certain demographic data and certain volume metrics through Saturday, December 20, 2014, for Open Enrollment.

Enrollment data (November 7, 2014 through December 20, 2014)
56% of Year One Customers Have Renewed Plans for 2015.*
Total New Customers: 3,841
Total Renewed Customers: 13,780
Total HealthSource RI enrollments for 2015 coverage
 (including those who have not yet paid): 17,621

*HealthSource RI reports as of December 23, a total of 68% of Year One customers have renewed plans for 2015.

SHOP (cumulative as of December 20, 2014):
Small employer applications completed: 529
Small employer accounts created: 1,901
Small employer enrollment:  437 (representing 3,192 covered lives, based on their submitted census)
Small employers enrolling in Full Choice Model: 76%

And Rhode Island jumps on the bandwagon...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's health insurance exchange is extending the deadline for residents hoping to sign up for coverage beginning on Jan. 1.

HealthSource RI announced on Monday that people who can't meet the original Tuesday deadline will now have until Dec. 31 to enroll. They must also pay the first month's premium by Jan. 15.

There's a catch, however:

HealthSource officials caution, however, that customers who enroll after Dec. 23 may not receive their insurance cards or have active coverage on the first of the year. That could mean having to pay upfront for any care they receive during the gap and be reimbursed by their insurer after submitting receipts.

Individuals can choose health plans and enroll for coverage through the HealthSource website. They can also call or visit walk-in centers in Providence or Warwick between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

That makes 4 states pushing things out until New Year's Eve: Vermont, Minnesota, Hawaii and now Rhode Island.

Just over a month into open enrollment at HealthSource RI, nearly half of the people who purchased health insurance in 2014 have renewed coverage for another year,  the state-based exchange created under the Affordable Care Act announced Wednesday.

Through Dec. 13,  9,825 people, or 48 percent had renewed coverage, with  close to 60 percent opting to switch to different plans.

Another 2,522 have signed up for health insurance for the first time, bringing total enrollment to 12,347.

The numbers in RI are small, but there's some important data points here:

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.

Just a few things to note...

MASSACHUSETTS: The MA Health Connector allows for online premium payments (and in fact, payments have to be made to the exchange, not to the insurance company itself). The good news is that the website & billing system appear to be working properly this year, a vast improvement over last year's disaster. The bad news (or, odd news anyway) is that for some reason the system requires you to pay using only direct electronic fund transfers or a written check--it does not accept credit card payments!

I don't know if this is for technical reasons (which I doubt) or policy reasons (avoiding the 2.5% transaction fees or whatever), but it seems very odd to me.

HAWAII: Not only hasn't the HI Health Connector provided any enrollment updates since open enrollment started again on November 15th, they haven't even updated their enrollment report section since July 26th! Guys, either post an update or at least remove the link entirely; keeping it as is, locked in on 7/26 is just embarrassing.

OK, not sure if this number runs through Thursday, Friday or Saturday given the conflicting wording ("before the week was over"), so I'm playing it safe and going with Friday:

By Thursday, the exchange had received about 25,000 calls and greeted about 1,800 walk-in visitors at its Contact Center at 70 Royal Little Drive. Meanwhile, the HealthSource RI website received about 35,000 hits, half of them from new visitors, an indicator that many may be first-time customers.

All of that activity resulted in 1,850 renewals and 319 new customers before the week was over.

“We are about where we expected to be at this point,” said Director Christine Ferguson, “but we have a long way to go.”

There's also some updated 2014 data:

As of Nov. 1, two weeks before the start of open enrollment, about 26,300 Rhode Islanders were covered by individual and family plans through HealthSource RI. Another 2,400 people had obtained coverage their small employers offered via the exchange. In addition, close to 70,000 enrolled in Medicaid through HealthSource RI.

I've ranted several times before about the importance of current Obamacare private policy enrollees making sure to actually visit the exchange website, shop aroundlog into your account and manually re-enroll for 2015, even if nothing has changed at your end (ie, no changes in income, dependents, residence etc).

There are many reasons NOT to auto-renew, most of which are financial in nature. The short version is, you could easily end up paying more than you thought next year by not switching (in addition to premium changes, your tax credit might drop even if your income hasn't changed due to how it's calculated), and you could pay substantially less next year if you do switch to another policy (premiums are actually dropping in many markets).

NOTE: In light of some serious discussion with IBD's Jed Graham and a lot of thought afterwards, I've decided to run the "attrition" numbers two ways: "Current vs. April Paid" and "Current vs. April Total", for reasons I'll explain soon.

The main thrust of this article is general hand-wringing over how the state of Rhode Island plans on funding their ACA exchange after this year, although it's a bit confusing since it sounds like the problem has nothing to do with having the funding and everything to do with having permission to use it:

Enrollment starts on Nov. 15.

Not long after, the state will have to make its own big decision: how to finance the exchange.

Of the $23.4 million in federal funds budgeted for HealthSource RI this year, only $1,353,570 has been spent so far. The state anticipates — but does not yet have — federal permission to spend any of the remaining dollars after Dec. 31.

However, there's one data point that pops up smack in the middle of my current "mini-project", trying to lock down the current QHP enrollments in each state:

Yesterday I put out an open call for off-season QHP data from California, New York and Rhode Island, none of whom have released this info since 4/19 (Connecticut hasn't either...they gave me their combined total for QHPs + Medicaid, but I can't use that for a proper projection until I know the actual breakout between the two).

Today, thanks to Dara Chadwick of HealthSourceRI, I can cross Rhode Island off the list:

We had 25,767 total paid QHP enrollments during the open enrollment period, including all individuals who enrolled by March 31 and paid by April 23. 

As of August 2, 2014, 26,686 Rhode Islanders are enrolled in QHPs. Of those, 25,892 have paid.

OK, I'll have to reverse engineer things slightly here, since the paid number is given for both August 2nd and March 31st, but the total number is only given for August 2nd. Looking back at my last entry for Rhode Island, the 3/31 total was 27,968.

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