So, with all the fuss & bother over the imminent King v. Burwell decision, what's the deal here in the Wolverine state?
Well, first of all, here's what's at risk if the Supreme Court rules for the plaintiffs, Congress fails to pass a simple tweaking of the law to resolve the issue and the state administration fails to "establish" an exchange which passes muster with regard to the minimum legal definition required:
In addition to nearly all of those 232,000 people losing their healthcare coverage, I estimate that roughly 70,000 more people who aren't receiving federal tax credits would likely also have to drop their policies as well due to the exorbitant rate increases which would follow (or, at the very least, would have to downgrade to a far worse policy...from Gold/Platinum to Bronze).
Right off the bat, I want to clarify that I might have misread some of the numbers here; while some states provide the per-company average rate change requests in a nice, simple table format, I had to wade through a mountain of forms at the SERFF Filing Access Database to hunt all of these down, and there seems to be little consistency from company to company about the formatting of the documentation, etc etc. It's possible that I've confused a Small Group filing for an Individual one, for instance, and I may have misunderstood the current enrollment number for one or two companies. Finally, in one case (Physicians Health Plan), their 2016 rate request seems to have been redacted for some reason. Fortunately, they only appear to have around 600 enrollees anyway, which means any change in their rates would barely move the state-wide needle at all anyway.
With those caveats out of the way, assuming I have these numbers straight, here's what it looks like...and remember, these are requested changes only; they still have to be approved:
...it could actually be several hundred dollars lower.
A week ago I posted a story in which I busted Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck for blatantly spewing nonsense numbers about the ACA in an Op-Ed in the Detroit News.
Yesterday, my follow-up story, about the Detroit News allowing Colbeck to go back in and correct some (but not all) of his insanely false factual garbage a solid 10 days later (while failing to give any indication about just how absurdly wrong he had been in the first place) went viral, generating more visitors than any other story I've posted in months.
After an all-day saga, the end result was that the Detroit News finally posted a "correction" notice...except they did so in such a disingenous way (and so long after the original editorial was publshed) as to be nearly meaningless.
The reason it's bobbling around the 600K mark, of course, is because of normal "churn" as people move onto/off of the program as they gain/lose jobs, move into/out of the state, give birth/lose family members and so forth.
A couple of days ago, the editiorial board of the News posted an editorial which correctly calls for the renewal of Healthy Michigan, which requires a federal waiver once a year (I think) in order to continue because it includes modifications from simply increasing the eligibility threshold to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.
For months now, Michigan's implementation of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion provision has defied expectations, enrolling far more than the 477K - 500K expected. A couple of weeks ago it managed to break the 600,000 mark, peaking at 603,681 people, and I've been wondering for quite awhile when the growth might finally stop.
Detroit — On the eve of the first anniversary of the Healthy Michigan Plan, Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday more than 603,000 Michiganians have enrolled since the expanded Medicaid Program launched on April 1, 2014.
Mazel Tov!! Over 600,000 Michiganders enrolled in a program enabled by and paid for by Obamacare! I'm sure they'll mention that in the 2nd paragraph, right?
The number exceeds by more than 100,000 people the two-year enrollment projections made prior to the program’s launch. The Healthy Michigan Plan provides health insurance to low-income working people for a minimal cost.
I have a ton of ACA-related stories cluttering up my in-box again; here's some of the more interesting ones, all regarding ACA Medicaid Expansion:
For months now, I've been a bit obsessed with figuring out how my home state's Medicaid expansion enrollment has managed to reach as high as 21% more people than were supposedly even eligible for the program. Estimates last year ranged from 477,000 - 500,000, yet enrollment in Healthy Michigan (Gov. Snyder's name for Obamacare Medicaid Expansion) currently sits at a whopping 579K, less than 1 year into the program.
Back in December, I noted that Michigan's implementation of the ACA's Medicaid expansion provision had achieved an impressive 99.4% of it's theoretical maximum enrollment. Official state administration estimates pegged the number of Michiganders eligible for the program at around 477,000, and as of 12/08/14, enrollment had hit 474K.
Other estimates had Michigan's eligible population as being higher--perhaps 500,000, so I didn't think too much of it at the time. Besides, population shifts, changes in the economy and so forth could mean that an estimate from last spring had shifted up or down a bit.
Even so, as the official enrollment total broke 500K, then 510K, then 530K, I noted each increase, with increasing curiosity about the discrepancy.