Massachusetts: 262.5K QHPs thru Christmas, 4,130 from record


Time: D H M S

I've confirmed with the Massachusetts Health Connector that their official QHP selection tally stood at exactly 262,534 as of Christmas Day (12/25).

This puts them a mere 232 higher than they were 6 days earlier (12/19), which seemed a little odd to me given that 12/23 was MA's deadline for January 1st coverage; normally I'd expect a last-minute enrollment surge in the final days ahead of a big deadline, although it's not nearly as big a deal in the states which still have later deadlines for February or March coverage. On the other hand, Christmas Eve and Day were included here, and no one enrolls in health insurance on Christmas, of course. I wouldn't expect much this week either with New Year's coming up; there's usualy a 9-day Dead Zone from 12/24 - 1/01 anyway.

Even so, I suspect that they actually added quite a few more than that, but that most of this was cancelled out by people who were auto-renewed actively cancelling their policies. Unlike most other states, this likely is not connected to the individual mandate repeal, since Massachusetts still has their own mandate penalty on the books which predated the ACA, of course.

It's actually quite normal for some number of people to cancel their policies before they even go into effect--in fact, last year 5 states (Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee) ended the 2017 Open Enrollment Period with fewer enrollees on January 31st than they had on Christmas Eve, which obviously had nothing to do with either the mandate being repealed or the CSR cut-off; that's just normal churn and data cleanup, and is what I suspect is going on in Massachusetts this year.

In any event, Massachusetts is now just 4,130 QHP selections away from beating last year's record.