Colorado

No official update, but an article in yesterday's Coloradoan.com gives the Private QHP number as 93,000 as of Thursday, up 5,234 from 87,766 as of March 8th:

WASHINGTON — At least 100,000 Coloradans are expected to sign up for private health insurance on Connect for Health Colorado by March 31, according to the head of the state’s online health exchange.

With 93,000 people enrolled as of Thursday, “we are really exceeding our expectations,” Patty Fontneau, CEO of Connect for Health Colorado, told reporters in a conference call arranged by Families USA, a health care consumer advocate.

Colorado's offiicial metrics press release from last week only runs through March 1st, but contributor deaconblues found an interesting county-by-county breakdown which runs through the 8th. No Medicaid data, but the QHP number is up to 87,766, a 2,885 increase over a week earlier.

 

OK, as noted a little earlier, I underestimated the February HHS Report for Exchange-based Private QHP enrollment by about 4.2%:

  • My Projection: 902,800 (4.202 million total)
  • Actual Enrollments: 942,833 (4.242 million total)

I'm perfectly happy to have underestimated. As for where the extra 40,000 enrollments came from, my initial guess would be that California, in particular, started ramping up their big March blitz a bit earlier and more successfully than I figured, which, again, I'm absolutely fine with. Update: Nope, actually, California's numbers plummetted in the 2nd half of Feb due to that ugly technical outage; see below for details.

I'm busily plugging the new enrollment numbers into the spreadsheet even as I type this, and will be updating with various notes and observations, so keep checking in.

OK, I've entered the QHP data; a couple of things to note:

UPDATE: On the down side, I was off by 4% this time around.

On the up side, I UNDERESTIMATED:

Actual Feb. enrollments: 942,833, for a total of 4,242,325 thru 3/01/14.

Sarah Kliff at Vox just announced that the February HHS report is expected to be released today at around 4:00pm. A few items in anticipation of that:

  • As I've noted several times, I'm projecting the report to total around 902,000 exchange-based private QHP enrollments for the month of February (technically 2/02 - 3/01)
  • If accurate, this would bring the cumulative total of exchange-based private QHP enrollments to 4.202 million (from 10/1/13 - 3/01/14)
  • From the data I have, the average daily enrollment rate in February was almost identical to that of January, which had about 1.146 million QHP enrollments. HOWEVER, the January report included five weeks of data (12/28 - 2/01), while the February report will only include four weeks (2/02 - 3/01). Therefore, even at the same daily average, it'll be about 20% lower no matter what.
  • Don't be surprised if Peter Lee of CoveredCA decides to steal some thunder by announcing that California has enrolled 1,000,000 QHPs all by itself either today or tomorrow. However, that would include the past 10 days, while the HHS number will only run thru 3/01.
  • If you want to get REALLY specific, call it 902,800 and 4,202,292.
  • I've been dead-on target 6 times in a row without hyping up my projections beforehand. This time I am hyping myself up beforehand, so I'll probably be way off...but as long as I've UNDERestimated the tally, I'll be perfectly fine with that...
  • The report will be released in about 5 minutes, but my kid gets home from school in about 10, so it'll be a good 20 minutes before I can really post anything. Feel free to follow Sarah Kliff of Vox in the meantime!

Colorado continues to be one of the more smoothly-running state exchanges, adding 5,102 Private QHPs and 7,341 new Medicaid enrollees in the 2nd half of February. These represent a 6.4% and 5.7% increase respectively. Unfortunately, their daily QHP rate for February, which had looked to be slightly higher than January, was actually down about 8% per day. As always, in CO, the Medicaid number listed only includes actual ACA expansion (woodworkers are included separately in the CMS reports; there are no renewals or churn the number below).

Here's a bonus data tidbit that's also a precursor to a new feature that I'm adding later this week: Out of the total uninsured in the state, Colorado has a potential QHP pool of around 

325,000 residents, and a potential Medicaid pool of around 332,000 people, once you remove undocumented immigrants.

Assuming 60% of QHP enrollees were previously uninsured, this means Colorado has enrolled:

A flood of new enrollment data today! Colorado just posted their latest update, which runs through 2/17. Private QHPs are up from 69,627 as of 1/31 to 79,779 as of 2/17 (an increase of 10,152), while Medicaid enrollments are up to 128,219 from 117,607 as of Jan. 31st (an additional 10,612).

This is also more good news for the "February Drop-off" issue, since this knocks the likely drop-off in average daily enrollment from 11% down to 10% even:

This moves the likely February enrollment up from 820K to 830K, based on 13 states representing 98.7 million people, or 31.4% of the country.

Since the grand total was almost precisely 3.3 million as of 2/01, adding 830K in February would bring the total up to 4.13 million.

An article in Bloomberg Businessweek about the sluggish early enrollment in SHOP (Small Business) exchanges includes this graphic, which gives updated enrollment data for 5 states. I already have the 2,155 California and 5,000 New York numbers, but didn't have any data for Connecticut or Kentucky until now. Colorado was up to 1,055 previously, so this update bumps it up by 241. Add that to the 500 in Connecticut and 200 in Kentucky, and it's 941 more people with health insurance who didn't have it before. Not much, but every addition counts...

Colorado does this odd thing where they simply upload an image file with the latest metrics, which can be irritating but also handy. To that end, here's their latest tally which runs through January 31st:

From this we have the latest Private QHP enrollments up slightly to 69,627 (from a prior estimate of 68,999 a few days ago) and Medicaid enrollments up to 117,607 from 101,730 two weeks earlier. It's important to note that Colorado's Medicaid tally supposedly includes only brand-new enrollees, not renewals. This represents a 15.6% increase from 1/15.

No exact numbers, but roughly 5,600 more private QHPs than the 1/15 official update of 63,407. No new Medicaid/CHIP here, however:

Almost 69,000 people have gotten private health insurance through the exchange that meets new federal mandates, Fontneau said. That's a big uptick from the end of 2013, when just over 50,000 had gotten coverage.

Since this period is evenly split pre- and post- Sec. Sebelius' "3 Million Total" announcement, I'm subtracting a little more than half from the "Not Broken Out Yet" amount and considering the other half to be newly added since then.

The next quote from a Colorado exchange representative is also quite telling:

"As much as we may have overestimated what would happen in October and November, we underestimated what would happen in January," she said.

If you take a look at the Private QHP spreadsheet you'll see a new column: "Private SHOP Market". This is for enrollees in the ACA's Small Business Health Options Program, basically the small business (fewer than 50 employees) counterpart to the individual/family exchanges getting so much attention.

The latest Colorado update is significant not just because of the solid numbers (private QHP enrollments up 20% from 12/31 through 01/15, to 63,407; Medicaid/CHIP enrollments up 17.6% to 101,730), but also because the second report devoted to Medicaid expansion specifically states that the 101K does not include redeterminations (ie, renewals of existing Medicaid recipients).

Also note that these Medicaid applications may include more than one person each.

Colorado is now at about 69% of their CMS projection number with 59% of the enrollment period passed.

And from the Medicaid Expansion Report:

**These are new applications for Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) and do not include redeterminations. An application can include multiple individuals.

Ironically, even though the article itself is primarily about Medicaid expansion in Nevada (from a newspaper in Georgia), I can't actually use the Medicaid numbers provided since they're fuzzy. It does, however, give slightly higher numbers for private enrollments in NV.

It also mentions 23,000 dental plans, which I'm not even covering. In other news, the spreadsheet includes minor corrections to both Colorado (private enrollment typo had it off by 10) and Minnesota (I had MN down as 26,001 based on "just over 26,000", this article specifies it as being exactly 26,011...or an increase of 10, although that also means decreasing  the MN Medicaid number by 10 as well).

Another report presented later Thursday to the board overseeing Nevada's insurance exchange shows 17,946 people who shopped for private insurance through the online portal have confirmed plan selections. Of those, 10,776 have paid the premiums. About 23,000 have chosen stand-alone dental coverage.

It looks like my previous source for Colorado's Medicaid Expansion tally (114,192) was mistaking applications for actual enrollments. This number has been reduced by 27,760 as of 12/31/13.

In addition, in a previous entry I mentioned a study by the Commonwealth Fund from earlier this year which claimed that the correct number of "Under 26'ers" on their parent's plans thanks to the ACA is actually closer to 7.8 million instead of the 3.1 million figure that I've been using. However, I've been reluctant to switch to that figure since a) it's much larger and b) the HHS itself is only using the 3.1 million number. Today I found out why this is the case; contributor jdld provided a link to this report on the HHS website which states:

Colorado has increased their private total enrollment from 42,771 on Christmas Eve to 52,773 as of New Year's Eve.

Not too much to add here. This is significant not just because of the hard number, which is impressive and pushes CO ahead of their CBO enrollment schedule (92K by 3/31/14; they're 57% of the way there while the period is only 50.5% over), but because of the implication--the state extended their January enrollment deadline to 12/27, and managed to increase their tally by more than 23% in that last week. If this trend held true for other late-enrollment states, it could mean some nice last-minute mini-spikes.

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