Colorado

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

Last month I noted that, assuming I was reading Connect for Health Colorado's monthly dashboard report correctly, they were down to 115,890 effectuated exchange enrollees as of 3/31/16, or a whopping 23.1% lower than the official APTC report tally of 150,769 QHP selections as of the end of Open Enrollment.

Over the weekend, they released their April dashboard report, and the numbers are actually up slightly...which means that while the net drop compared to the OE3 number is still steep, it's also spread out over a 3 month period instead of 2:

In a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, I posted two very wonky, detailed entries over the past couple of days about Minnesota and Connecticut's latest enrollment numbers...but completely missed one crucially important data point.

Investor's Business Daily's Jed Graham picked up on some of my work for his post today, including the enrollment data for both Minnesota and Connecticut...but in addition to that extra data point (which I'll come back to in a moment), he also nabbed the latest number out of a third state, Oklahoma, from one of Adam Cancryn's updates on what I'm calling the UnitedHealthcare Disenrollment Odometer:

When I reported on Colorado's monthly enrollment report a week or so ago, I noted that they had added around 15,000 QHP selections via off season SEPs, mainly due to the meltdown of their state Co-Op last fall. However, like I did with Minnesota (I'm slipping!), I forgot to note the effectuated enrollment number as of 3/31...and if I'm reading this correctly, it's not pretty:

There's a bunch of different numbers there, but as far as I can tell, the one I'm looking for is "Effectuated Enrollments with APTC/CSR (medical)" combined with "Effectuated Enrollments Without APTC/CSR (medical)". That's 69,519 + 46,371 = 115,890 effectuated, individual, medical QHP enrollees as of 3/31/16.

When the dust settled on the official 2016 Open Enrollment Period, Connect for Health Colorado reported enrolling 153,583 people in exchange-based Qualified Health Plans. However, as I noted at the time:

Colorado lost their Co-Op...and CO is also one of only two states (Oregon is the other one) to drop their "transitional" policies as of the end of 2015. As a result, Colorado has a lot of people who could still potentially enroll by the end of February thanks to the 60-day Loss of Coverage Special Enrollment Period provision.

Louise Norris noted that there were around 39,000 ex-Co-Op members in Colorado (along with some others) who could still potentially enroll during February via the SEP option; I spitballed anywhere from 10,000 - 20,000 more Coloradoans might yet be added. There are also the normal SEPs for things like getting married, giving birth and so forth.

The last Colorado update, which ran through January 15th, had their numbers at 139,579 private policies (QHPs), 23,017 standalone dental plans, 45,100 in Medicaid and 2,771 in the SCHIP program.

I've just learned that Colorado's final tally as of the January 31st deadline stands at 153,583 QHPs, 25,604 dental, 54,447 Medicaid and 3,549 SCHIP, which means they added just over 14,000 in the final 16 days.

Here's Connect for Health Colorado's latest enrollment update:

DENVER — Between Nov.1 and Jan. 15, more than 190,000 Coloradans enrolled in health coverage for 2016, either in private health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace or in Medicaid, or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

“These enrollment figures show strong growth during this open enrollment period,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson.  “But we are now only days away from this year’s enrollment deadline for many. I strongly urge everyone who does not have health insurance provided through their employer to act right now to provide financial security for their families and to avoid a penalty that experts estimate will average nearly $1,000 per household. The final deadline for 2016 coverage for many Coloradans is Jan. 31.”

Connect for Health Colorado just issued their official monthly enrollment update:

Connect for Health Colorado® and Colorado Medicaid Report Enrollment Gains of More Than 169,000

January 5, 2016

DENVER — Between Nov.1 and Dec. 31, more than 169,000 Coloradans enrolled in health coverage for 2016, either in private health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace or in Medicaid, or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

“We are very happy with the enrollment growth during the first two months of this open enrollment period,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson. “But I want to urge everyone who does not have health insurance provided through their employer to act now to provide financial security for their families and to avoid a penalty of nearly $695 or more. The final deadline for 2016 coverage –Jan. 31 – is fast approaching.”

A very welcome, if unofficial, update from Connect for Health Colorado:

DENVER (AP) – A new insurance-matching tool similar to Uber car sharing is helping Colorado’s health insurance exchange meet demand during the open enrollment period for people who need to sign up for health coverage , an exchange official said Thursday.

And an extended deadline didn’t hurt.

Open enrollment ends in January for Connect For Health Colorado. But Thursday was the deadline for shoppers to have coverage in effect by Jan. 1.

More than 117,000 people had signed up, though exact figures weren’t available, said Connect For Health spokesman Luke Clarke.

Connect for Health wants to see 217,000 people signed up by next summer. Clarke said the exchange is ahead of last year’s pace, when 113,000 had signed up by the December deadline.

The article doesn't specify what the "thru date" for the 117K figure is, but I'm assuming that it was as of 12/15 since that was the original deadline for January coverage and the story ran today.

h/t to Louise Norris who beat me to the punch for once:

DENVER — Between Nov.1 and Nov. 29, more than 46,000 Coloradans enrolled in health coverage for 2016, either in private health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace or in Medicaid, or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

“The steady enrollment gains that we have seen during first month of Open Enrollment are very encouraging,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson.  “But now we have just two short weeks to complete enrollment before December 15 – the deadline for coverage to take effect on January 1. I encourage anyone who has not signed up to do it today. Going to our website to find free, in-person help is a great way to start.”

Whether you are renewing or enrolling for the first time, you must complete enrollment by December 15, to have coverage January 1, and avoid a gap in your coverage. Open Enrollment runs through January 31.

There's a lot of news stories of late about Colorado activists managing to successfully place a statewide initiative on the 2016 ballot which, if successful, would make Colorado the first state to move to a new Single Payer healthcare model.

I haven't written a whole lot about this so far, partly because we're still a year out, partly because I'm swamped with current Open Enrollment Period developments (believe me, I'll have more to say about it after the end of #OE3).

However, there's one meme which keeps coming up in the news which drives me a bit insane:

Connect for Health Colorado® and Colorado Medicaid Report Enrollment Gains

DENVER — Between Nov.1 and Nov. 15, more than 21,000 Coloradans enrolled in health coverage for 2016, either in private health insurance purchased through the state health insurance Marketplace or in Medicaid, or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

“We are very pleased with the number of initial sign-ups during the first two weeks of Open Enrollment,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson. “But I want to urge everyone to not put off their 2016 health insurance coverage. New customers and renewing customers have a number of choices to consider. I encourage all of our customers to review their options and complete their enrollment before the last-minute rush.”

OK, it turns out I have found an early enrollment update for a third state. Connect for Health Colorado held their monthly board meeting today, and along with a full report on October 2015 enrollments, they also posted a Business/Technology presentation for 2016 Open Enrollment, which includes this slightly cryptic bullet point:

  • Enrollment Results 2016 = 6,718 (as of 11/8/15)

That seems pretty cut & dry. I've confirmed with the exchange that this number represents QHPs only; it doesn't include SHOP (small business) or standalone Dental plans.

Last year Colorado ended up with 140,327 QHP selections during open enrollment out of 11,688,074 total...or about 1.2% of the national total.

When it comes to how many people are currently enrolled in effectuated Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) via the assorted ACA exchanges, I'm continuing to get completely different numbers from the actual exchanges as I am from the major insurance companies. To recap:

  • According to 8 of the state-based exchanges (CO, CT, DC, ID, MD, MA, MN & WA), effectuated enrollments as of the end of September were up 2.7% from the end of June (or down just 0.1% if you disregard Massachusetts, which has some special circumstances).
  • However, the quarterly financial reports from 8 major insurance carriers claim that private exchange enrollments in September were down around 7.9% since the end of June.

This discrepancy continues with the release of the Colorado exchange's October enrollment report. As you can see, when you add up the effectuated tax credit enrollees (APTC/CSR) (78,670) and the full-price enrollees (64,485) as of October 31st, they total 143,155 people.

...which is 1,304 more than the 141,851 effectuated enrollees reported as of the end of September.

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