On the one hand, moving from 2,000 in the first 3 days to a minimum of 6,000 (likely more like 10K, since the 6K refers only to "accounts" not "people") in the first 17 days is a perfectly reasonable point for Washington to be at right now.
Today, the Exchange identified an error affecting 6,000 customer accounts enrolled in Qualified Health Plans. Early analysis indicates that our system integrator, Deloitte, ran an automated enrollment cancellation process in error. The affected accounts, which are a portion of the total number of customers who are enrolled in coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2015, experienced an erroneous cancellation of both their enrollment and payment for 2015 coverage.
Well, on the plus side, the rest of the PR makes it clear that a) they're on top of it, b) it's gonna get resolved ASAP and c) it looks like this screw-up was Deloitte's fault, not the actual exchange itself (they call them out by name, which is noteworthy).
This article from the Seattle Times is primarily about the Washington State exchange still having some technical problems, but there's also a key #OE2 enrollment nugget:
Of the 25,000 applications completed on the exchange so far in the first week of the second round, more than 10,000 are for insurance plans while the remainder are Medicaid applications. Officials don’t yet know how many are people renewing their coverage, as opposed to new customers. Roughly 2,000 of the applicants have scheduled their first payments.
There you go: 10K applications, 2K actually selected & enrolled. Since the article was published at around 6pm on Tuesday, I'm assuming that number runs through Monday night.
As I posted last night, most of the ACA exchanges seemed to be running pretty smoothly for the launch this year, with two exceptions: CoveredCA, which was having some sort of serious problems throughout the day (I'm not clear how widespread they were), and the Washington Healthplanfinder, which was actually deliberately taken completely offline after only a few hours, and remained offline until this morning:
The problem was noticed during the site’s first hours of operation on Saturday morning, the first day of open enrollment for 2015 plans. The staff decided to take the site down for repairs at 10 a.m.
The good news is that the issue appears to have been fixed, and it didn't impact too many people (of course, that also means that an unknown number of potential enrollees were lost in the interim). In any event, it looks like we also have an unofficial Day One enrollment number, anyway:
I haven't done these average-rate-increase posts in a while, but this one came across my screen today so I figured I should post about it.
Back in August, Washington State announced that they had final approved rates on the 90 plans being offered on the WA exchange, with an average increase of 1.9%. However, I didn't know what the market share breakdown was at the time, so I couldn't tell whether that was weighted or not.
There's been a lot of fuss made about 2015 ACA exchange premium rates not being available at Healthcare.Gov until after the election. The presumption, of course, is that this is being done for political reasons. While this may be true, it could also simply be that there's a lot of different policy figures to plug into the federal system, and some states haven't even finalized their rates yet.
That being said, residents of some states can check out the 2015 premiums now and compare them against their current premium:
IDAHO: Idaho is the only state moving from HC.gov to their own exchange. Idaho residents can check out their 2015 rates directly via the state exchange site.
CLARKSTON, WA – Leaders with Washington’s Health Care Exchange are preparing for the second open enrollment period, but at the same time they are still working on resolving billing and computer problems for 1,300 accounts from the first sign-up period.
This is very confusingly worded, because it makes it sound like all 3 companies have been operating on the HC.gov exchange when it turns out that only 2 of them have. Wellmark did not participate in the ACA exchange; the 19,000 customers referred to here have off-exchange policies which are still ACA-compliant:
Commissioner Nick Gerhart said today that he has approved premium increases from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CoOportunity Health and Coventry Health.
According to the last official HHS enrollment report from back in May, as of April 19, 2014, Washington State had enrolled 163,207 people in private policies via their ACA exchange. Of those, 8,310 people never actually had their coverage start due to non-payment (WA requires payment of the first month's premium as part of the enrollment process, so I'm not sure what happened in these cases, but presumably there was some sort of credit card account approval glitch, insufficient funds in debit card accounts and/or the like).
In any event, that means the actual paid tally as of 4/19 was 154,897, or 95%, which is pretty darned good.
Well, a couple of days ago the WA exchange issued a press release regarding the renewal process for 2015, and included 2 key data nuggets. First up:
Between my son being sick for the past 4 days (he's better now, thanks!), losing my internet connection for 2 days (it's back up now, thanks!) and just generally being swamped with work, I don't have time to give these stories the attention they deserve, but they're all worth checking out:
Wow! The WA Health Benefit Exchange, which hasn't issued an actual enrollment update since the end of the Open Enrollment period, just came through in a big way:
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Healthplanfinder today announced 11,497 Washingtonians have taken advantage of special enrollment periods since March 31 that allow them to enroll through wahealthplanfinder.org if they have a qualifying life event outside of the standard open enrollment period. The next open enrollment period starts on Nov. 15, 2014 for coverage beginning in 2015.
Data also shows that nearly 700,000 residents are now enrolled in new free or low-cost health coverage options, with more than 147,000 customers currently enrolled in Qualified Health Plans. Including customers who are renewing their existing Medicaid coverage, more than 1.28 million residents have enrolled in health coverage through wahealthplanfinder.org.
The Washington State Insurance Commissioner just released a chart listing all of the companies operating on the exchange this fall (including 3 new ones, bringing the total to 12), how many plans they're each offering, the requested rate change and the approved ones for most of them.
Unfortunately, they don't include an actual enrollee breakdown, so I can't tell whether this is a weighted or unweighted average. Judging from the numbers provided, it looks like an unweighted average would be just 0.1%, so I'm guessing that the 1.9% mentioned in the press release is weighted, but I'd be more confident of this if they included how many people were enrolled by each company.
(h/t to Josh Z. for pointing out the uncertainty here)
In any event, the original average requested increase was 8.6% (4.8% unweighted), so this is still great news either way.
In addition, the total number of plans has doubled from 46 to 90:
90 health plans approved for next year’s Exchange with a record low 1.9 percent rate change – Exchange Board set to certify plans on Aug. 28