There's a lot of buzz today about a new Gallup poll which states that the total uninsured rate has fall by about 1.2% since the end of last year:
The percentage of Americans without health insurance continues to fall, measuring 15.9% so far in 2014 compared with 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. With only a few weeks remaining in the first quarter, the uninsured rate is on track to be the lowest quarterly level that Gallup and Healthways have measured since 2008.
And another "mini-update" out of Minnesota...up another 2,000 total in 3 days to 115,001+. Still assuming a 30/70 QHP/Medicaid split until they release detailed numbers, based on existing data, which brings MN up to 34,600 QHPs / 80,401 Medicaid.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — MNsure announced today an addition to their television campaign that highlights the March 31 deadline to enroll in a qualified health plan. More than 115,000 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure to find comprehensive, affordable coverage, and with only 21 days left of the open enrollment period, MNsure is reminding Minnesotans to take action so they do not incur a penalty.
While it's great to see an official press release instead of just the number on the website, and it's also great to see that the new number is 32,000 higher than 5 days ago, it's rather irritating and strange that nowhere in the press release do they break out the QHP/Medicaid numbers.
ALBANY (March 10, 2014) – NY State of Health (NYSOH), the State’s official health plan marketplace, reported that as of 9 a.m. today, 908,595 New Yorkers have completed their applications and 590,639 have enrolled for coverage since the launch of the Marketplace on October 1, 2013. More than 70 percent of those who have enrolled to date were uninsured at the time of application. Over the last week alone, enrollment has increased by more than 55,000.
I discussed the "Paid/Unpaid" issue in the California update a few moments ago, but the topic needed a separate entry as well. According to the San Jose Mercury News, CA-exchange-based QHP enrollees who enrolled by January 31st are up to an 85% payment rate, from 80% as of 2/19:
The numbers of nonpayers varied only slightly among the largest insurers on the exchange: Kaiser Permanente reported that 13 percent of its enrollees didn't pay. Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield and Health Net said it was closer to 15 percent.
Federal officials say they've noticed the same trend nationwide.
As I've pointed out repeatedly, it's not enough to know how many haven't paid, it's also important to know when the unpaid policies actually start as well as why they haven't paid yet.
This article is both very helpful but also has 2 frustrating data points missing. The key numbers: While CA was averaging around 7,200 QHP enrollments per day in the first half of February, that rate is apparently up to 8,000/day now. This is excellent, but I don't know whether that 8K/day rate is only for the past week or if it includes the full 2nd half of February (I would guess that it's risen steadily since then.
On the other hand, CoveredCA also suffered from a 3-day outage, which could skew the daily average...they had 3 days of no enrollments, followed, presumably, by the 22K people who tried on those days possibly joining another 22K over the subsequent week or so. Either way, it's looking pretty good, though California will have to end up averaging around 20,000/day in March to do their part in hitting 7M total by 3/31, or 13,000/day to hit 6M.
The other big news here (the main point of the article) is that payment rate for enrollees through 1/31 has gone up from 80% as of 2/19 to 85% as of a couple of days ago:
Greetings, all...just a few little site enhancements that I've added going into the Home Stretch:
As you may have noticed, I've started adding simple State Icon graphics to the entries. The site is pretty bland...nothing but dry text...so I decided to spruce it up a bit. In keeping with my Dour, Strictly Business style, however, the icons are still gray :)
For a long time I've kept the commenting system on a very short leash, to avoid spammers and wingnuts from pissing all over the threads. As such, I've limited commenting to only those who contribute either a donation or new data points. I've decided to experiment by replacing the comment system (which hasn't really had that much activity so far) with the more open-ended Disqus system; people will still have to log in with an account, but at least it should be attached to something solid (Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+). We'll see how it goes...if the comments go to hell, I'll reverse myself and go back to the previous version (existing comments are all still there, though they don't appear on the Disqus system).
I know this is really cheesy, but I couldn't help myself: I've added a QHP Enrollment Deadline Countdown Clock on the home page. I've also posted my official QHP Projections for February (902,000) and Cumulative through 3/01 (4,202,000). (OK, never mind...the countdown clock was messing up the layout on smartphones, and it was pretty cheesy-looking. Plus, as someone pointed out, there's at least 2 states (Oregon & Massachusetts) for whom 3/31 may not end up being the deadline anyway...
Whoops...looks like I may have misread the previous Cover Arizona report. It had stated the total added to Medicaid due to Prop 204 restoration + Expansion as being 134,674, but they didn't specify the starting date for that figure; this time they're more specific, giving the total as 91,115 since October, which is the relevant date. Correcting now...sorry about the mix-up.
As of March 1st, AHCCCS reported that there had been 85,309 Arizonans added to AHCCCS under the Prop 204 restoration category (adults between 0-100 FLP) and 5,806 added to the expansion category (100 -133 FPL) since October. In total, that adds up to more than 91,000 Arizonans who have been added to AHCCCS since October due to the restoration/expansion.
I've had quite a few updates first announced via Twitter, but this is the first one I've received via Facebook: Kynect Kentucky just announced 275,000 total enrollments, an increase of 10,086 since 2/27. The announcement was apparently made on Thursday the 6th, so presumably they hit the 275K point by the end of the Wednesday the 5th. Assuming the same 20.4% QHP / 80.6% Medicaid ratio that they've had until now, that brings KY up to 56,000 Private QHPs and 219,000 new Medicaid enrollments.
kynect Enrollments Top 275,000!
Staff at the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange paused on Thursday to celebrate this enrollment milestone, and prepared for a different kind of "March Madness," as Kentuckians rush to find affordable health care coverage through kynect before the March 31 deadline, when the 2014 open enrollment period comes to a close.
UPDATE: Hold the phone! Kynect just replied to me personally on Facebook, clarifying both the even more-recent total through yesterday as well as the exact QHP / Medicaid numbers!!
Several new numbers out of Arkansas. QHPs were at 21,763 at the beginning of February; I'll assume "late February" means around the 26th(?), so that's 4,237 in around 25 days.
On the Medicaid side, Arkansas' unusual "private option" system (in place of the standard Medicaid expansion) is a bit confusing as usual; technically the 94,000 people referred to are enrolled in "private" QHPs, but their bill is being footed 100% by Medicaid money, which is the more important factor here. The other 11,500 referenced were placed in "Medicare" although I'm pretty sure that's a typo and that it's supposed to read "Medicaid" (as in, "normal" Medicaid). It doesn't really matter, though; either way, both of these groups end up on the Medicaid side of the aisle, bringing Arkansas' total up from 79,000 to 105,500 new, ACA-enabled Medicaid recipients.
Already, as of late February, Wilson said 26,000 people had enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace and "had been transmitted to the (health) insurance carriers."
Connecticut's exchange PR person gave a new combined QHP/Medicaid tally of 141,233. The story was posted on the 7th but was actually updated on the 6th, so I'm assuming the number was as of the 5th. The previous number was around 58K Private QHPs and 82,100 Medicaid; using the same 41/59 ratio should bring these to 58,469 / 82,764.
Kathleen Tallarita, government and public affairs outreach manager for Access Health CT, said 141,233 residents statewide have signed up for health insurance through Access Health CT, created as the state's response to the federal Affordable Care Act. That surpasses the agency's goal of 100,000 new sign-ups in the first year.
Two reasons have been offered for why McKinsey might be wrong. For starters, Charles Gaba asks why, if McKinsey is correct, these numbers are so different from the numbers in New York, which collects data on prior insurance status and has found that a majority of purchasers are the previously uninsured.
I believe this is my first Missouri-specific QHP update: Their private enrollments went up from 54,147 as of February 1st to "about 68,000" by February 20, an increase of 13,853. Like the average of the other 17 states I have post-2/1 data for, Missouri's February enrollment rate appears to be very close to what it was in January, so I'm still confident of my appx. 902,000 February HHS report projection.
As of Feb. 20, about 68,000 Missouri residents had enrolled in private health plans through the online insurance marketplace, most of whom received federal subsidies to help offset the cost of premiums, said Ryan Barker, vice president for health policy at the Missouri Foundation for Health, a nonprofit group that's promoting the insurance marketplace.
Well, Oregon's website may still be a complete disaster, but their manual enrollment process seems to be chugging along fairly well. Private QHPs are up 3,500 from 38,806 a week earlier, while Medicaid enrollments are up another 7,100 from 84,991.
Note that they've finally stopped including the "Fast Track" Medicaid numbers, presumably because they've already enrolled everyone they could find via that route:
March 7, 2014
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon
Total: 134,412 Private insurance: 42,325
Oregon Health Plan: 92,087
Update: Something else very interesting about Oregon's situation. Take a look at their QHP enrollment history:
02/01: 33,808 (15,471 in 35 days, or 442 per day)
02/28: 38,806 (4,998 in 27 days, or just 185 per day...a 58% drop per day, ouch!)
However, today they announced the number, as of (I presume) yesterday, the 6th, as:
Back in January, I found my first solid data on off-exchange enrollments via a Co-Op operating in Iowa and Nebraska called CoOportunity. They helpfully provided their data through January 24, which totalled 10,166 off-exchange enrollments in Iowa and antoher 17,779 in Nebraska.
Last week, they provided an update to these figures. When you add off-exchange individual/family policies to small & large group policies (which are "off-exchange" by definition, since the HC.gov SHOP system isn't operational yet...you get redirected to the individual companies/co-ops), Iowa is up to 12,293 and Nebraska is up to 19,959, as of February 24.