A subcommittee of a state task force recommended Monday continuing with a state-run health insurance exchange like MNsure for now, rather than transferring Minnesotans to the national exchange called HealthCare.gov
Moving to the federal website would be costly and wouldn't work with the state's MinnesotaCare insurance program, said a report endorsed by the 11-person subcommittee of the state task force on health care finance.
Plus, by moving to HealthCare.gov, the state would lose control over its network of health insurance navigators that help people enroll in coverage, according to the report.
I've been getting a little worried about the Minnesota exchange of late. Their first two years were pretty rough, and their most recent update prior to today had them at only 26.5K QHPs as of 12/13. Of course, that didn't include the critical final few days before the January enrollment deadline...nor did it include the extended deadline for Minnesota, which was pushed all the way out to 12/28.
Not an official data update, but a nice catch from Louise Norris (the article is mainly about MNsure bumping out their enrollment deadline from 12/15 until 12/28):
As of Sunday, MNsure reported 26,532 sign-ups in private insurance policies through the exchange, including 18,595 new enrollees. The overall sign-up tally is up by more than 8,800 people in a five-day period, and the new enrollee figure is up by 6,415 people.
OK, that's 6,864 QHP selections in 17 days, or 404 per day so far.
Minnesota only accounted for 0.5% of total QHP selections for 2015; extrapolated nationally at the same ratio, this would suggest around 1.37 million QHPs nationally through yesterday...which is a little lower than I'm currently estimating, but in the right ballpark.
The federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, opened for business Sunday and will serve 38 states that rely on the marketplace. California’s state-run exchange is launching a 38-stop bus tour to get the word out about signing up and re-enrolling for coverage. Minnesota’s exchange had a couple hundred people sign up in the first hour after opening in the morning with no signs of any technology problems.
“We’re not expecting a whole lot of enrollment because it’s a 60 degree day on a Sunday, but so far so good,” said Shane Delaney, a spokesman for MNsure. The state exchange has hundreds of brokers and navigators geared up to assist consumers.
OK, that's a bare minimum of 200 QHP selections as of 10am (I'm guessing) on Nov. 1st in Minnesota. Duly noted.
MNsure, the Minnesota ACA exchange (which isn't included in the HC.gov analysis above, of course), just posted their own independent analysis of their 2016 rate offerings, and while the picture is pretty ugly for current enrollees who don't shop around, it's actually pretty damned good for those who do so:
Rep. Rusche asked what our target enrollment is for this cycle and what barriers we see in making those targets. Mr. Kelly said the team is focused on the 80% goal of 92,000 as our enrollment target.Premium increases are a potential barrier. Net premium is a relatively small increase for most consumers, and each consumer will experience something different depending Page 5 of 14 on their plan, their location, their carrier, etc. We feel that while the premiums are increasing the relatively small net premium increase will mitigate this barrier to a large degree.
When I asked for clarification, they informed me that:
We currently have 86,659 effectuated enrollments with Your Health Idaho, as of September 15. The 92,000 would also refer to effectuated enrollments.
When I crunched the numbers for Minnesota's requested rate hikes, the results were pretty scary-looking; based on partial data, I estimated that the weighted average was something like a 37% overall requested increase:
Note that there were several crucial missing numbers: I didn't know the actual market share for several companies (I made a rough guess based on an estimate of the total missing enrollments), nor did I know what the requested increases were for Medica or PreferredOne, other than thinking that both were under 10%.
A team of actuaries at the Minnesota Department of Commerce are currently scrutinizing the proposed rates that have been filed for 2016, and final rates will be announced on October 1. But for now, four MNsure’s individual market carriers have proposed the following rate changes for coverage effective January 1, 2016 (market share is as of the end of the 2015 open enrollment period):