END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Charles Gaba's blog

Just received this bit of negative news out of Wisconsin...apparently half of the WI Private QHP enrollees through the end of December still haven't made their first payments yet:

MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dan Schwartzer says only about half of the 40,752 state residents that signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act have paid their premiums and are currently receiving coverage.

Schwartzer tells 27 News that while some of the state insurance companies participating in the federal marketplace have received premium payments for 65 to 70 percent of those policies, others have seen a payment rate of only about 15 percent.

Between the Avalere reconfiguration, the Washington State double-counting news and this discouraging item out of Wisconsin, this isn't a particularly cheery day for ACASignups.net, I admit.

Since January 9th, Private QHP enrollments in DC are up 40% (from 3,646 to 5,090, Medicaid/CHIP enrollments are up over 80% to 8,451 and SHOP (Small Business) enrollments are up about 5% to 12,639 people.

Since the exchange opened for business on October 1, DC Health Link has enrolled 26,180 people. This includes District residents who enrolled in private health plans and in Medicaid, as well as people with coverage through their employers.

  •  5,090 people enrolled in private health plans through the DC Health Link individual and family marketplace and 965 of those have coverage that will be effective March 1, 2014;
  •  8,451 people gained Medicaid coverage through DC Health Link; and
  •  12,639 people enrolled through the DC Health Link small business marketplace.

Similar to the first three months of open enrollment, the largest enrollment – 37% of enrollees in private coverage (individual not SHOP) through DC Health Link – is 26 to 34 year olds; the second largest is 35 to 44 year olds (21%). 

For those who still don't understand why I shifted gears and changed the Medicaid/CHIP enrollment tally from a "solid" 7.6 million to a wishy-washy "range" stretching from as low as 2.4 million to as high as 7.6 million, here's a prime example of the problem:

In the opening section of my Medicaid/CHIP Enrollment Omnibus Analysis a few weeks ago, I included a bunch of caveats at the beginning, including the following:

Everything below except for the "updates since 12/28" and some (not all) of the Special/One-Time Transfers come directly from the official HHS and CMS reports. If their data (and especially their footnotes) are accurate and comprehensive, then everything else should be correct. If any key data from their reports is either missing or incorrect, then obviously the rest of my calculations would be off accordingly.

I think you can already see where this is heading.

Washington State just released their weekly update, and as usual it's crisp and clean:

  • Private QHPs are up to 176,095 (90,723 Paid / 85,372 Unpaid) from 175,595 (88,071 Paid / 87,524 Unpaid); the total only went up a few hundred, but the number of paid enrollments went up about 2,700 people.
  • Medicaid enrollments are up to 276,263 (184,783 Expansion / 91,480 Woodwork) from 258,087 (172,715 Expansion / 85,372 Woodwork), an increase of about 7% from last week.

Enrollments Completed

Qualified Health Plans: 90,723

Medicaid Newly Eligible Adults: 184,783

Medicaid Previously Eligible but not Enrolled: 91,480

Qualified Health Plan Applicants – Need to Pay: 85,372

 

Another small update this morning: Rhode Island has released their data through 01/08:

Enrollment data (Oct. 1, 2013 through Feb. 8, 2014):

  • Total HealthSource RI enrollments (including those who have not yet paid): 16,512
  • Paid enrollments: 14,086
  • Medicaid enrollments (per EOHHS): 35,821
  • Small employer enrollment: 107 (based on their submitted census, these 107 employers represent 420 covered employees and 658 covered lives)

The Paid QHP number is up from 9,902 to 14,086 (a 42% jump in the past month) and the Medicaid number is up from 19,941 to 35,821, a whopping 80% jump...but as the submitter noted, the 4,311 people who were previously listed as being moved into RIte Care are no longer listed, so I think it's safe to assume that they're now included in one of the above increases.

Wow, talk about a last-minute update: Just received a tip about Connecticut announcing that they've broken through 120K in either Private QHPs or Medicaid/CHIP today:

(HARTFORD, CT) – Seven weeks ahead of schedule, Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced that it has surpassed its self-imposed goal of enrolling 100,000 Connecticut residents and small businesses in qualify, affordable health care coverage.  The total number of enrollees stood at 121,983 as of close of business yesterday.  The total number of enrollees in private insurance plans is 50,665 or 41.5 percent of total enrollees.

The 50,665 figure is a 15.5% increase over their January 15 total of 43,840, and the remaining 71,318 is a whopping 69% increase over their prior 42,161 tally.

OK, after discussing the Medicaid/CHIP situation with Caroline Pearson of Avalere Health some more (see her more detailed response to our discussion below), I've concluded there's just too damned much uncertainty and too many variables on the Medicaid side of things to try and pin it down to a solid number. This is why Avalere's own estimates ranged greatly from 1.1 million to 1.8 million people. In my case, both the low and high ranges are higher because I'm including more types and more recent data than they are.

I was thinking of 4 different types of Medicaid/CHIP enrollments: "ACA Expansion Only", "Out of the Woodwork", "Bulk Transfers" and "Renewals/Redeterminations". I've prided myself on successfully eliminating the fourth category, which has no business being included under any definition.

Short & sweet...For Nevada I'm defining "fewer than 100" as 95 until a more specific number is provided (not that this is enough to impact things either way...)

Utah had 1,300 people enrolled through its SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) exchange, including 673 employees, said Utah Exchange spokesman Steve Gooch.

Nevada had “fewer than 100” people enrolled in its SHOP exchange, said exchange spokesman C.J. Bawden.

Worth noting, as the contributor did, that 1,300 / 673 = 1.93, suggesting that my "1.8x" factor for individuals in households is more than reasonable.

Last week, Avalere Health issued a report in which they claimed that the total number of new Medicaid enrollees due to the ACA only come to between 1.1 million and 1.8 million people. I took a look at their study and found what I felt were some significant gaps in their methodology.

I contacted Avalere and asked them to take a look at my own analysis. Caroline Pearson from Avalere got back to me today via Twitter with the following responses (so far):

Regarding my "apples-to-oranges" comparison statement (ie, that my 7.5M number includes both "newly eligible due to the ACA" as well as "woodworkers", while their 1.8M high-end only includes "newly eligible due to the ACA"), she states:

Contrary to your recent post, our analysis does include woodwork AND new eligibles; excludes baseline churn & redetermin.

Ahead of the full January report expected from the HHS Dept. sometime this week, the NY State of Health (New York's exchange) gave out two key numbers. Total enrollments have gone up by over 8% in the past week (from 380,747 to 412,221), which is a nice bump...but the more significant news (politically speaking) is the announcement that 2/3 of those were not previously insured.

ALBANY (Feb. 10, 2014) – NY State of Health (NYSOH), the State’s official health plan marketplace, reported that as of 9 a.m. today, 696,880 New Yorkers have completed their applications and 412,221 have enrolled for coverage since the launch of the Marketplace on October 1, 2013. Sixty-six percent of New Yorkers who have enrolled to date were uninsured at the time of application....

"We are thrilled to see that more than 412,000 people have enrolled for quality, low-cost health insurance and nearly 697,000 have completed applications since the Oct. 1 launch of the marketplace. Also, 66 percent of enrolled New Yorkers were uninsured when they applied,” Donna Frescatore, executive director of NY State of Health, said.

OK, I don't know for sure that they'll release the January HHS ACA Report tomorrow, but the odds are very high that they will--the October report was released on November 13th; the November report was released on December 10th, and the December report was released on January 13th, so it should come out either tomorrow, Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

I've already given my prediction for the total Private Exchange-based QHP total, which I figure should come in at around 3.3 million. Some other key things to bear in mind, however:

I'm about 95% sure that the HHS Dept. is going to release their official January ACA exchange enrollment report on Monday. The prior monthly reports have all come out on or around the 10th of each subsequent month, so Monday is the most logical time.

With that in mind, here's my own January prediction (and for the hell of it, February and March as well). Bear in mind that while I'm fairly confident about January, the February and March predictions are sloppy "back of a napkin" calculations:

OK, looks like I misunderstood the wording of the prior update; while 422 is actually a slight increase, I thought that the prior 395 didn't include dependents; apparently it did. Therefore, the tally actually drops from 711 down to 422. Sorry about the error.

As of Feb. 2, 4,319 employees are in the system, but only 273 have enrolled in health plans. Combined with their dependents, a total of 422 people have selected health plans on the SHOP exchange.

Nothing to get excited about here, folks: Hawaii, with one of the most screwed-up exchanges (although also, in their defense, one of the lowest uninsured rates on the country to begin with) has added a whopping...488 people to their Private QHP roles since January 18. Still, a person covered is a person covered...no Medicaid update, however.

Total since October 1, 2013

3,614 Enrollments in the Individual Marketplace

Maryland had another few thousand people enroll in the in both Private QHPs and Medicaid over the past week: Private enrollments are up over 8% to 29,059, while Medicaid/CHIP enrollments have increased by 5%, to 44,592. The number of automatic transfers from the Primary Adult Care program also went up a few hundred to 95,824.

 Through February 1, 29,059 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

95,824 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically converted to Medicaid coverage effective on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage.  As of February 4, an additional 44,592 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.

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