Hmmm...on the surface these numbers seem fairly clear: 8,058 QHPs, 20,942 Medicaid. However, the wording of the article, combined with the fact that 8K in 26 days is only 310/day so far (versus 2014's 396/day average) makes me suspect that this only refers to new enrollments and doesn't include renewals of existing enrollees. In addition, the previous data release by AccessHealthCT clarified that it only included new enrollments.
So far, in the ongoing round of open enrollment that began Nov. 15, some 8,058 Connecticut residents have enrolled in plans offered by private insurers and 20,942 have enrolled in Medicaid plans, Madrak said. That’s more than the first year at around this time. However, the numbers last year were reversed and some 14,365 residents enrolled with one of the private insurance carriers and 9,075 had enrolled in Medicaid through the close of business Dec. 4, 2013
If this only includes new enrollees, then the odds are that the total number is actually at least double that (16K+) and likely more like 20K+.
I posted Connecticut's first week QHP & Medicaid numbers a few days ago. However, thanks to Dan Mangan providing a direct link to the press release itself, I can now add one other data point: SHOP (Small Business) exchange enrollments already have over 1,000 enrolled employees in just the first week of the 2nd Open Enrollment period (1,003 to be precise)!
To get a sense of how dramatic this is, consider that as of July, Access Health CT had only 602 total covered lives in SHOP plans. The distinction between employees and total lives is important, since the latter assumes perhaps 2-3 individuals covered for each employee enrolled.
In other words, 1,003 employees covered likely means perhaps 1,500 - 2,000 actual people covered by those policies...which means that in just one week, Connecticut may already have tripled the total people enrolled in SHOP plans for the full 2014 period.
Hah...I knew I should've waited a couple more hours to send out the newsletter for the evening...
In the first week of open enrollment, 2,659 new customers signed up for private insurance plans and 8,945 people signed up for Medicaid through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange.
To reiterate: This is new enrollees only, not renewals:
The figures include people who had not previously had coverage through Access Health. The exchange did not release the number of people who currently have coverage through the exchange and signed up for 2015 coverage.
Oh, yeah, and I'm guessing that #ObamaDentata will mean more clarifications of this nature going forward:
Separately, 123 people signed up for dental coverage sold through the exchange.
Well, there's your transparancy improvement, folks...
If there are currently 74,334 enrolled, that means there are 2% more enrolled (and paying) today than there were 6 months ago, which is right in line with my projections as well as the national 7.3 million figure mentioned by HHS Secretary Burwell as of August.
Meanwhile, Medicaid enrollees via the exchange are now up to 208,468. This is only a small increase over a month ago (around 1,400 people), but there's a very good reason for that:
OK, so those are the current enrollment numbers. 76,094 QHPs is 4% net attrition from the 4/19 total of 79,192, or less than 0.8% per month, which is fantastic.
However, since that 76K figure combines both additions and subtractions (ie, it's the net total, not gross), I can't really tell what the cumulative total is, which is what I use for my off-season projection chart.
The news broke just a few hours ago that Kevin Counihan, the head of AccessHealthCT (Connecticut's extremely successful ACA exchange, which works so well that they were able to actually sell the software platform to Maryland to replace MD's original broken system) is leaving the CT exchange for an unspecified position at the HHS Dept:
Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan, who spearheaded Connecticut's largely successful first round of Obamacare enrollment through the state's public insurance exchange, is departing, a source close to the matter confirmed.
Access Health has scheduled a noon press conference Tuesday to make the announcement. No replacement will be named today, according to the source, who said Counihan is leaving to take a federal position within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Well, Sarah Kliff over at Vox.com has now broken the news about just what that new HHS position actually is...and it's very good news indeed:
Breaking: White House announces Kevin Counihan will be new Healthcare.gov CEO. Currently runs the Connecticut exchange.
It gets a bit involved, but her conclusion is that yeah, it probably has been cut significantly, but a specific percent number is hart to pinpoint since there's still a lot of noise on the ESI side as well as continuous churn across the board as people move on & off of different plans.
However, it does include a few nuggets which help me update my own data. For one thing, CT's SHOP enrollment has gone up from 500 as of February to a whopping...602 people last month:
Access Health also operates an exchange for small businesses, although uptake has been low. As of mid-July, it covered 602 people.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how insurance providers in Connecticut requested rate changes ranging up to 12.8%...but the approved rate increase, overall, appeared to only be around 4.5% when weighted by market share. However, that was based on the assumption that the largest provider, Anthem BCBS, would end up with an approved average of around a 6% increase.
Today, it was revealed that Anthem's actual rate changes for 2015 will be an average of 0.1% lower:
Anthem, the state’s largest insurer, initially requested approval to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent. But the insurance department rejected the proposal and asked the company to resubmit its plan using different calculations.
The result: An average premium decrease of 0.1 percent for Anthem customers.
Access Health CT, the state-run onlinehealth insurance marketplace created under the federal Affordable Care Act, has enrolled more than 256,000 state residents in private health plans or Medicaid since the website launched last fall.
The open enrollment period total of 218,100 (including everything through 4/19) broke out roughly 36:64. Assuming "more than 256K" is roughly 256,100, that means about 38,000 more people since then. If that ratio has stayed consistent, it should be around 13,700 QHPs and 24,300 Medicaid. However, as I noted the other day, with off season enrollment being limited for QHPs but open-ended for Medicaid/CHIP, the ratio has almost certainly shifted substantially in Medicaid's favor.
They weren't able to provide a breakdown between private QHPs and Medicaid/CHIP enrollment, but I can make a pretty good guess.
According to the final HHS report, Connecticut's official exchange QHP total as of 4/19 was 79,192, and Medicaid determinations were 138,908, for a combined total of 218,100. Since then, this total has gone up 32,533. The QHP/Medicaid ratio during open enrollment was roughly 36/64, which, if consistent during the off season would mean around 11,700 more QHPs to around 20,800 Medicaid enrollees.
There's been a recent batch of insurance rate change requests reported across various states which has gotten a lot of press. However, as I noted a couple of weeks ago, there can be a big difference between what the insurance companies ask for and what the state insurance commissioner approves. This is one of the most important (and least-written about) aspects of the ACA: Insurance companies can no longer just jack up their prices however much they feel like; those rates have to be approved by the insurance commissioner for the state they're operating in if they want to sell their wares on the exchange.
Don't let the snarky headline fool you; I'm still very much a single-payer guy. However, anyone who still claims that the ACA exchanges are "socialized medicine" doesn't have the slightest clue what they're talking about. In case you needed even more proof that the ACA is very much private-market friendly:
After sitting out the first year, UnitedHealth Group Inc. intends to offer individual policies on the Illinois health insurance exchange next year, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
The decision by UnitedHealth, the nation's largest and the state's No. 2 insurer, has the potential to shake up the Illinois market, which was dominated in 2014 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the state's dominant insurer.
...United's participation also could help lower rates for consumers, a key concern among the law's supporters.
While United would neither confirm nor deny its plans to offer policies in Illinois next year, a spokesman said the Minnesota-based insurer intends to increase its participation over time in exchanges nationwide.
This story out of Connecticut breaks down their Medicaid enrollees using a handy chart and some very specific numbers, giving fairly hard "Strict Expansion" and "Woodworker" updates:
Unsurprisingly, the biggest percentage growth occurred among adults who don’t have minor children. The income limit for people in that category [HUSKY D] to qualify for coverage rose Jan. 1 as part of the federal health law commonly known as Obamacare, from 56 percent of the poverty level to 138 percent.
...But another portion of the Medicaid program also saw a significant enrollment increase, even though eligibility requirements remained largely unchanged. That portion, known as HUSKY A, covers low-income children and their parents.
...Between the end of September and the end of April, total number of people in HUSKY D rose from 94,058 to 137,260 -- a growth of 43,202 people.
During that time, the number covered by HUSKY A grew by 29,792 people, to 460,103 members.
After my back-to-back Cranky Screeds, this is a breath of fresh air.
Given the "How many have PAID???" fuss & bother, I've been debating how to handle an interesting number-crunching dilemma ever since the (final???) HHS report for March/part of April was released a few weeks back.
The question is this: When people ask "how many have paid?" their first month's premium, are they really interested in the percentage or in the actual number of people who are paid up?
This may seem like a curious distinction, but consider the following: Officially, the maximum total number which could potentially be "fully enrolled" (ie, premium paid) is 8,019,763. That's the number that the HHS Dept. listed in their last report, which runs through April 19th.
So, 90% of that number would be around 7.22 million, give or take.