BREAKING: CMS releases FINAL HC.gov Enrollment Snapshot Report

As I warned back on December 19th when CMS released the Week 7 HealthCare.Gov Enrollment Snapshot Report, the final, official enrollment tally for the 2019 Open Enrollment Period was almost certain to end up slightly lower than the Week 7 cumulative numbers indicated. There are several reasons for this: Some people who were auto-renewed contact HC.gov to cancel their 2019 renewals, while others had their enrollments involuntarily denied or otherwise cancelled due to problems with verifying their identity, address or legal residency status.

Last year around 79,000 QHP selections were dropped in the final report; I expected this to be slightly lower, at around 75,000. I'm pleased to report, however, that according to CMS, only around 43,000 people were scrubbed from the 39 states hosted by HealthCare.Gov this year:

Final Weekly Enrollment Snapshot for the 2019 Enrollment Period

Approximately 8.4 million people selected or were automatically re-enrolled in plans using the HealthCare.gov platform during the 2019 open enrollment period.   

These snapshots provide point-in-time estimates of weekly plan selections, call center activity and visits to HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov. The final snapshot reports new plan selections, active plan renewals and automatic enrollments. It does not report the number of consumers who paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment. This snapshot also does not include plan selections from State-based Exchanges, other than those using the HealthCare.gov platform.

CMS will release additional data in March, including final plan selection data from State-based Exchanges that do not use the HealthCare.gov platform.

Definitions and details on the data are included in the glossary.

...Plan Selections: The cumulative metric represents the total number of people who have submitted an application and selected a plan, net of any cancellations from a consumer or cancellations from an insurer that have occurred to date.

What's most noteworthy to me here, aside from the significantly lower number of people "scrubbed" from their plans after 12/15 (43,268 lower than the Week 7 report) is that the number of current enrollees renewing their coverage actually ended up increasing slightly year over year (by nearly 1%) while the number of new enrollees ended up dropping a bit more than Week 7 had already indicated (15.8% instead of the 15.4%) which it had previously looked like). Overall, instead of the grand total dropping by 4.2% year over year, it was down only 3.8%, or around 332,000 enrollees.

Here's the state-by-state breakout. Six of the seven states which had previously appeared to surpass 2018's totals still did so in the end, but South Carolina didn't end up making the cut after all: