Maryland

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

This is really part of the actual HHS report, but I haven't had a chance to plug in the Medicaid numbers for every state yet so I'm including it here for now:

The state reports that nearly 263,000 Marylanders have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014.

It seems a bit odd to me that Maryland is issuing a formal press release today when their extension period doesn't end until tonight or tomorrow (why leave a couple days of stragglers?), but whatever; the increase in exchange QHPs from 4/09 to 4/14 was only 1,017, so I guess they figure that it won't be more than a few hundred from 4/15 - 4/18 anyway.

In any event, they say they aren't issuing any more updates until mid-May, so for all practical purposes, this closes the books on Maryland for now:

Please note, we will begin reporting on a monthly basis, on the third Friday of each month. Our next report will be May 16, 2014.

As of April 15, 2014, 262,619 individuals have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid. This includes the 95,889 PAC enrollees who were automatically converted on January 1, 2014 to full Medicaid coverage.

As of April 14, 2014, 66,203 individuals have enrolled in a qualified health plan. 

OK, I actually do have one update today (it's 8:30 at night and my kid is getting ready for bed).

When I first learned that Washington State's off-exchange total was a whopping 2.2x that of their exchange-based enrollments back on February 20th, I casually noted that if that held true nationally, it would make the off-exchange QHP tally easily 7.7M or higher ...and this was back when the exchange QHPs were only around 3.5M.

However, I also tried to be cautious in my "official" estimate, keeping it to around 4M or so since I didn't know how many there really were beyond the 300K (later 560K) or so I had documented at the time. After all, other states would likely have a much lower ratio of Off- to On-exchange QHPs; In Wisconsin, for instance, Off-Exchange QHPs were only about 23% as high as exchange-based.

Maryland's press releases are getting shorter and more abrupt. With the enrollment period wrapping up and their exchange site still an utter mess (and about to be completely scrapped and replaced), this isn't terribly surprising.

Still, this is up another 2,184 QHPs and 16,420 Medicaid enrollees in the past week, which isn't too bad, all things considered.

Through April 9, 2014, 65,186 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in qualified health plans through Maryland Health Connection. As of April 8, 248,495 have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid.

Enrollments in qualified health plans since March 31 include 2,229 enrollments completed with assistance from a dedicated team responding to Marylanders who contacted our 1-800 hotline and other channels to request additional help.

  • Thru 4/02: QHPs: 63,002
  • Thru 4/02: Medicaid: 232,075 (295,077 - 63,002, includes one-time PAC transfers)

O’Malley points out that despite the problems, Maryland exceeded its overall enrollment goal of 260,000. As of Tuesday night, that number had hit 295,077. It includes people who have enrolled in private plans (which has dramatically lagged expectations) and Medicaid (which has exceeded expectations).

...Sharfstein said in late February that a more accurate projection is 75,000 to 100,000 private enrollees.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 63,002, with hundreds or thousands more expected to finish their applications in coming weeks.

Maryland's exchange may be a mess, but this article gives solid, no-nonsense totals: 60K QHPs and 232K Medicaid through 3/31.

Sharfstein provided updated enrollment numbers on Tuesday. He said the state enrolled 60,003 people into private health plans. The state initially hoped to have 150,000 enrolled in private plans. O’Malley has tried to offset the disappointing private plan enrollments by highlighting a higher numbers of Medicaid enrollments through the federal Affordable Care Act. Sharfstein said Tuesday that 232,025 have been enrolled in Medicaid. The state’s goal of total enrollments was 260,000.

Sarah Kliff posts a hell of a Tweet about Maryland: Over 3K QHPs so far today...nearly 10x the 322/day they averaged in February:

RT @drJoshS Seeing our @MarylandConnect enrollment numbers ... >6000 enrollments so far today, including >3000 in QHPs #biggestever

— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 1, 2014

There's a few days missing in between so I don't really have a total number for MD, but this is still worth an entry.

Some nice, solid numbers in an otherwise negative article about Maryland bailing on their existing software in favor of Connecticut's:

O'Malley said that as of Wednesday, 273,582 people have signed up for coverage. That includes 220,043 people (80% of the total enrollment) who had enrolled in Medicaid, and 53,539 people (20% of the total enrollment) who had enrolled in private insurance.

This brings MD's QHPs up from 49,293 on 3/22, an increase of 4,246 in 4 days; the Medicaid number hasn't changed.

OK, not exactly a shocker or particularly relevant until after Monday (unless they're gonna be foolish enough to try and switch over to the new system during the deadline weekend frenzy), but worth noting:

Maryland officials are set to replace the state’s online health-insurance exchange with technology from Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, according to two people familiar with the decision, an acknowledgment that a system that has cost at least $125.5 million is broken beyond repair.

Final report before the official 3/31 deadline...exchange QHPs are up to 49,293 from 44,836 (up 4,457), while Medicaid is up to  220,043, which includes 124,154 regular enrollments (up from 107,505) and 96K auto-transfers.

The impact on the projection chart is slight but positive; MD's increase over the February rate has gone from 50% to 66%.

Through March 22, 49,293 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection. As of March 25, 220,043 have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid....This includes the 95,889 PAC enrollees who were automatically converted on January 1, 2014 to full Medicaid coverage. 

For some reason Maryland's thru-dates are different for QHPs and Medicaid; not sure why. Anyway, they're up to 44,836 QHPs (up over 4,100 from 40,693 on 3/08) and Medicaid enrollments are up to 107,505 from 97,781 on 3/11 (up 9,700).

From October 1, 2013, through March 15, 2014, there have been more than a million unique visitors to the Maryland Health Connection website. 197,818 Marylanders have created identity- verified accounts. Through March 15, 44,836 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

As of March 18, 203,394 individuals have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid. This includes the 95,889 PAC enrollees who were automatically converted on January 1, 2014 to full Medicaid coverage.

On the March Surge side, Maryland is ramping up from 116% of their February rate the first week of March to 150% when you include the second week.

OK, the cutesy title is kind of a misnomer; my two previous entries didn't use that title originally...but they should have, and do now.

March 31st is supposed to be the final day to enroll in QHPs via the exchanges...but it's looking more and more as though that won't quite be the case in not two, not three...but possibly up to seven states now, including a couple whose websites have been working smooth as silk??

On March 7th I pointed out that due to Massachusetts having some 154,000 people stuck in health insurance limbo, they've been granted some sort of temporary extension, twice...out to as far as June 30th in some cases...

A couple of weeks ago I pointed out that at least two states, Massachusetts and Oregon, may end up extending their enrollment period beyond the official March 31st "deadline" due to their exchange websites still being partially or completely hosed.

In Massachusetts' case, there's about 219,000 people currently stuck in coverage limbo; the HHS Dept. has granted an extension of some sort to as far out as June 30th to get these people squared away, although I'm pretty sure the extension only applies to those folks, not anyone who's just trying to enroll now...but that's still a hell of a lot of people.

Hmm...Last week Maryland finally reported their Paid/Unpaid numbers (54% paid); this week they didn't for whatever reason. Anyway, their total QHPs are up from 38,070 to 40,693, an increase of 2,623 since March 1st.

On the Medicaid side, they've decided to bundle together the 96K PAC transferees with the "normal" new Medicaid enrollees for whatever reason. Subtracting out the PAC number gives 97,781 through March 11th, a very impressive 37% (26,332) gain since Feb. 25th.

From October 1, 2013, through March 8, 2014, there have been more than a million unique visitors to the Maryland Health Connection website. 186,268 Marylanders have created identity- verified accounts. Through March 8, 40,693 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

As of March 11, 193,670 individuals have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid. This includes the 95,889 PAC enrollees who were automatically converted on January 1, 2014 to full Medicaid coverage.

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:

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