Connecticut

I'm cheating a bit here; CT Mirror reporter extraordinaire Arielle Levin Becker has posted the key points from the AccessHealthCT monthly board meeting via Twitter:

Census estimates: CT uninsured rate down to 6.9% in 2014 http://t.co/YUcVaXdVV4

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 16, 2015

Current exchange enrollment in private insurance plans: 96,621; down from 110k at end of open enrollment period

— Arielle Levin Becker (@ariellelb) September 17, 2015

Now, this is very interesting to me. Yes, the 2/22/15 QHP selection totally was around 110K, but compare 96,621 as of (I assume) mid-September against the HHS Dept's Q1 and Q2 reports:

Back in July, after several revised rate hike requests, the overall weighted average rate hikes requested for the individual market in Connecticut had dropped twice: From 7.7% overall to 7.2%, and then again to just 5.2%, as individual insurance carriers reevaluated their numbers and estimates.

Today, Arielle Levin Becker reports that the final approved rate changes have been released, and the overall, weighted average hike has dropped even further:

Premiums for the 55,000 people who buy Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans through the state's individual market will rise by an average of 2.4 percent next year, while ConnectiCare Insurance Company's 34,400 customers will see an average rate hike of 8.5 percent.

At the end of May, I noted some very promising news out of the Nutmeg State: Out of the 111,268 people (109,839 during Open Enrollment + another 1,429 during the #ACATaxTime SEP) who had selected a private policy via AccessHealthCT as of last spring, around 93% were still enrolled in effectuated coverage, which is fantastic considering that last year, 12% of those who selected QHPs didn't pay in the first place, aside from any additional net attrition which happened after the first month.

Well, it's mid-July now, and the AccessHealthCT board just had their monthly meeting at which they gave a bunch of solid updates. Thanks to Arielle Levin Becker for most of the Tweetstorm:

There are a total of 608,231 processed applications. 96,966 CT residents are insured in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP). #AHCTBoDMeeting

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) July 22, 2015

Just 3 days ago, I wrote about the changing 2016 rate increase request situation in Connecticut, where Arielle Levin Becker reported that 2 of the state insurance providers were lowering their requested rates ahead of the public regulatory hearings...even though the CT exchange, Access Health CT, is increasing their rates a bit to cover expenses. As a result, the overall weighted average increases being requested dropped a half a point, from 7.7% down to 7.2%, which is pretty darned good, all things considered.

Well, it looks like I should have waited a couple of days, because this morning Ms. Becker, of the CT Mirror, has posted another update...and the news is even better:

The four companies selling individual health plans through Connecticut’s health insurance exchange have revised their proposals to raise rates in 2016, seeking lower increases than initially proposed.

Nearly 2 months ago, I posted about Connecticut's insurance policy rate change requests from the 9 companies which plan on offering individual healthcare policies either on or off the ACA exchange, Access Health CT. The takeaway at the time was that, when weighted for the relative market share of each company, it looked like a statewide average requested rate increase of 7.7%, which isn't bad at all given the massive hikes being tossed around in some other states:

None of these have actually been approved yet, mind you...and in fact, just today it was announced that the CT Insurance Dept. will be holding public hearings to discuss the rate requests by three of the companies above: Anthem, ConnectiCare and Golden Rule.

Even before that happens, however, there's been some shifting: The first two companies, Anthem and ConnectiCare, have put in revisions to their earlier requests:

In 2014, the overall average premium payment rate for those who selected a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) from the various ACA exchanges ended up being around 88% nationally. This varied from state to state and company to company, but in the end it was roughly 88%.

In 2014, the overall average net monthly attrition rate ended up being roughly 3% per month (by net, I mean after taking into account both new people enrolling during the off-season and existing enrollees dropping their coverage). Based on this, here's what the 2014 exchange enrollment looked like (click image for full-size version):

Last year, Connecticut was a perfect example of how the initial requested insurance policy rate changes from the companies involved in a given state can end up changing dramatically after the approval process (and in CT's case, change even more when the actual Open Enrollment period actually arrives). The original requested average increas in CT was 12.8%, but the approved changes ended up only being around 4.5%...and in the end they were far lower: Less than a 1% overall weighted average increase!

With that in mind, here's the story on 2016 requested changes in CT:

Four major health care providers that offer plans on Connecticut's health insurance marketplace have filed for rate increases for the upcoming open enrollment period that begins Nov. 1, 2015.

...The following increases have been proposed: 2 percent for ConnectiCare, 6.7 percent for Anthem, 12.4 percent for United Healthcare and 13.96 percent for Healthy CT.

The CEO of Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, just issued a press release:

Hartford, Conn. (May 5, 2015) – Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced that they enrolled 1,429 Connecticut residents during the Special Open Enrollment Period which began April 1, 2015 and ended April 30, 2015. The special enrollment period was open to individuals who did not have health care coverage in 2014 and were subject to a penalty on their 2014 federal taxes.

It's important to bear in mind that this number specifically does not include "normal" off-season QHP enrollees via marriage, birth, job loss and so forth.

1,429 over 30 days = about 48 per day. My final estimate of 3,000/day nationally would scale down to just 28/day for Connecticut specifically based on their Open Enrollment Period percentage, so this is actually pretty good.

Last week, Access Health CT released a rough enrollment update (103K QHPs), but that only ran through 2/13...it didn't include the final 2 days of the official open enrollment period.

Today, as promised, at their board meeting, they gave the full, official update which includes the final weekend:

.@AccessHealthCT making #CT healthier.2nd open enrollment exceeded expectations. 204,358 signed up for healthcare. pic.twitter.com/QMgSlTQEzn

— Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (@LGWyman) February 23, 2015

OK, that includes both QHPs and Medicaid/CHIP enrollment...

CT is a national leader. Total enrollment through @AccessHealthCT 552,603. Workforce, economy, families are stronger pic.twitter.com/bfpIk4p1uR

— Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (@LGWyman) February 23, 2015

This is a "mini" update, as it doesn't include the final weekend, but it still means that CT nudged over their internal 100K target without those last 2 crucial days:

As of 2/13, there were 103,007 QHP Enrollees and 433,429 medicaid customers. #AHCTBoDMeeting

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) February 19, 2015

The Medicaid number is a bit misleading; I'm almost certain  that 433K figure refers to everyone in Medicaid state-wide, not just via ACA expansion. The state only has 3.6 million people total; I find it difficult to believe that 12% of the population falls into the expansion range specifically.

They also threw in the SHOP tally:

Dental plans & the SHOP program continues to show solid gains. Over 1,100 SHOP members enrolled. #AHCTBoDMeeting

Just a few hours ago, Access Health CT issued what seemed to be a fairly solid, hard-line statement about midnight tonight being their open enrollment deadline.

Apparently the moves made by HC.gov, CO, NY, CA, MA, WA & MD (just moments earlier) got to Connecticut...

(sorry, couldn't resist)

Connecticut's official 2015 QHP target is an even 100K. They were 99% of the way there as of last night, with no technical problems to speak of gumming up the works:

As of Jan. 30, 95,700 people had signed up for private insurance through Access Health, including about 66,700 repeat customers from 2014. (On Monday, officials said more than 99,000 people had signed up for private insurance plans through the exchange.) By comparison, last year, slightly more than 80,000 people bought insurance through the exchange (though a few thousand dropped out as the year went on).

My own target for CT is 114K. To reach that, they'll have to enroll just 2,100/day for the final week, or less than twice the rate they've averaged so far. This shouldn't be a problem; nationally, I'm expecting QHP enrollments to average around 286K/day all this week, which is around 2.33x more than the average to date, and Connecticut has one of the most solid operations of any state.

This isn't a formal press release, but according to NBC Connecticut, Access Health CT has enrolled "more than 96,000" people into Qualified Health Plans (QHPs). The article ran yesterday, so presumably the number is current as of February 2nd at the latest:

Connecticut residents signing up for health insurance through Access Health CT must enroll by Feb. 15 or face a potential tax penalty from the federal government.

"We're on track to hit our [enrollment] goals," said Access Health CT's acting CEO, Jim Wadleigh.

The state's health care marketplace aims to sign up 100,000 private citizens during the current enrollment period. With less than two weeks left, more than 96,000 residents have signed up for qualifying health plans.

About 30,000 of them are new sign-ups, Wadleigh said, adding that all avenues for enrollment have been successful.

The Access Health CT board of directors is holding a meeting this morning and promises to liveblog the latest developments, including updated enrollment numbers.

Connecticut hasn't updated their numbers since 12/15, when they announced 66K renewals and 19.4K new enrollees, so this should be somewhat interesting.

  • Remember that today (Jan. 15th) is the deadline for February 1st coverage

ENROLLMENT:

  • As of last Friday, "around" 90,000 customers (20% higher than last year)
  • 1,500 - 2,000/day...on track to hit/exceed (combined)
  • last year: 100 - 120K total (includes Medicaid)
  • midnight tonight: should have over 500K in system (includes Medicaid)
  • dental: 1K any day now

OPERATIONS:

  • IRS form 1095 (tax credit form)
  • education/outreach/etc. programs already in gear
  • some people already asking questions, etc. re taxes

SHOP:

No formal press release yet, but CT is the 2nd state (after Kentucky) to announce how many 2014 enrollees were automatically renewed (as opposed to manually renewing):

66,000 of our customers were auto enrolled in our system and continue to have health coverage for 2015. #OEUpdate

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) December 17, 2014

We added roughly 20,000 new QHP customers & 46,000 new Medicaid customers over the last month. #OE2015Update

— Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT) December 17, 2014

The most recent update I have from Connecticut was 13,000 new enrollees, but that was only through last Friday, before the big weekend push. That means they added another 7K over the weekend; not bad!

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