Maryland

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

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:

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!

Maryland's private QHPs went up 2,434 in the last week of February. More noteworthy, Maryland's exchange seems to be getting a lot of pressure to explain their "paid/unpaid" data; this is the most extensive explanation I've seen from any state about the subject (except for one Vermont report last month). They're up to 38,070 total, of which 20,439 are paid up.

Medicaid numbers are the same, since they're still through 2/25.

Through March 1, 38,070 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

Yeesh! Another crazy day...a third update today, this time for Maryland. The numbers aren't anything exciting (QHPs up about 2,400, Medicaid up a more impressive 10.7K), but every bit helps. The more noteworthy bit of news, however, is shown below--Maryland is finally jumping on the "How many are PAID???" bandwagon and joining 6 other states in breaking out their payment numbers.

While the percentage doesn't look good on the surface (only 54% of the total), the press release is careful to make the same point that I've been making for weeks now: If a big chunk of the unpaid enrollments aren't even due yet, it's rather silly to wring your hands about people not having paid their premiums yet.

Maryland continues to creep along, adding 2,139 to their QHP tally (about 7%) and another 8,581 to their Medicaid enrollments (a bit under 6%).

Through February 15, 33,251 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

95,889 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically enrolled in Medicaid coverage on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage. As of February 18, 2014, an additional 60,672 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1. 

Maryland's Private QHP enrollment is up to 31,112 (up from 29,059 on 2/01), and their Medicaid/CHIP enrollment has increased to 52,091 people plus another 95,889 transfees from the Primary Adult Care program; this is up from 44,592 Medicaid + 95,824 PAC transfers a week earlier.

Through February 8, 31,112 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

95,889 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically enrolled in Medicaid coverage on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage. As of February 11, 2014, an additional 52,091 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.  

Maryland had another few thousand people enroll in the in both Private QHPs and Medicaid over the past week: Private enrollments are up over 8% to 29,059, while Medicaid/CHIP enrollments have increased by 5%, to 44,592. The number of automatic transfers from the Primary Adult Care program also went up a few hundred to 95,824.

 Through February 1, 29,059 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

95,824 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically converted to Medicaid coverage effective on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage.  As of February 4, an additional 44,592 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.

Maryland continues to move along...

Through January 25, 26,832 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

95,318 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically converted to Medicaid coverage effective on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage. As of January 28, an additional 42,302 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.

Hmmm...the same article uses 2 slightly different numbers (368 and 370)...I'll split the difference for the moment :)

New Mexico is also noteworthy in that while their individual ACA market is being handled by the federal exchange (HC.gov) for the first 2 years, they're already running their own small business (SHOP) market themselves.

Meanwhile, I've been informed that Washington State only has their SHOP program running in 2 counties, while Maryland's won't be operational until April (SHOP enrollments are open year-round, while individual/family enrollments are only available through 3/31).

As of Jan. 15, 368 people had purchased insurance through New Mexico’s SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) exchange for small businesses. 

...So far, 370 people have enrolled in insurance plans on the SHOP exchange, according to the NMHIX. A total of 1,542 employers have set up accounts on the exchange and they represent 3,962 employees.

OK, yesterday's update was apparently a bit premature; MD is actually up to over 25K, though they're still under 17% of the CBO projection figure. The Medicaid tally hasn't changed since last week.

Through January 18, 25,177 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

93,514 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically enrolled in Medicaid coverage on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage. As of January 14, an additional 29,517 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.

Looks like Maryland has bumped their private enrollments up by over 10% from 20,358 as of Jan. 11 to 22,500 within the past couple of days.

Only 22,500 people have enrolled in private health plans through the Maryland exchange. That’s 15% of the state’s enrollment goal of 150,000 by March 31.

Maryland's private QHP enrollments went up about 10% in the first part of January, to 22,512, but the Medicaid numbers are confusing. According to the HHS report, as of 12/28 Maryland had 43,065 people enrolled in Medicaid via the exchange, but this update from the Maryland Health Connection states the number as only 29,517. However, they did also enroll a couple thousand more people via the automatic Primary Adult Care program, which cancels out some of this loss.

I'm not positive what to make of the 60,000 number, but the footnote certainly makes it look like this may be the true number of new Medicaid enrollees after separating out Medicaid renewals. This appears to account for the drop of 13,548, and suggests that (not including the PAC transfers), roughly 32% of all Medicaid enrollees were renewals. Assuming this is the case, these have now been separated out, and like Washington State, Maryland's Medicaid numbers should now be "clean" going forward (I think).

Maryland added another 2,093 people to the private exhange rolls from 12/28 - 01/04, a 11% increase. The Medicaid situation is a bit more confusing: Actual enrollments increased from 19,578 to 26,500 (a 35% increase), but the prior week's tally had it at 43,065. It turns out that about 20,000 or so of the Medicaid applications need to be double-checked for duplicates, so they can't be counted yet, making it look like a huge drop by comparison. Sorry about that, folks.

As of Jan. 4, just over 20,350 people had enrolled in private insurance plans on the Maryland health exchange, up 2,100 from the week before, according to a weekly report by exchange officials. The pace of enrollment slowed from recent weeks.

...About 26,500 people had enrolled through the exchange in Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, according to the latest numbers, up some 7,000 from the previous week. Tens of thousands more have been found eligible, but officials say many might be duplicate applications.

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