2020 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

Idaho

Over the past week or two I've been compiling the currently effectuated exchange enrollments for as many states as possible (the official Q1 ASPE effectuation report likely won't be available until early June). So far I have the data from either February, March or April for 7 states: CO, CT, MA, MN, NH, OK and WA.

Today I can add Idaho to the list, and unlike some of the other states, Your Health Idaho's number appears to not only be cut & dry, but very good news indeed:

Hello Mr. Gaba,

Your Health Idaho’s effectuated enrollments for March stand at 95,522. Numbers for April are preliminary at this point.

That compares to 101,073 QHP selections as of the end of the 2016 Open Enrollment Period, which means that as of 3/31/16, Idaho had only lost 5.5% of their total enrollments, which is fantastic considering the 13-17% drop on average from the other states so far.

In a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, I posted two very wonky, detailed entries over the past couple of days about Minnesota and Connecticut's latest enrollment numbers...but completely missed one crucially important data point.

Investor's Business Daily's Jed Graham picked up on some of my work for his post today, including the enrollment data for both Minnesota and Connecticut...but in addition to that extra data point (which I'll come back to in a moment), he also nabbed the latest number out of a third state, Oklahoma, from one of Adam Cancryn's updates on what I'm calling the UnitedHealthcare Disenrollment Odometer:

And Then There Were Two...

The final 2016 Open Enrollment Period exchange-based QHP selection numbers have been posted for just about every state for a couple of weeks now...but until today, there were still 3 states with missing data: Idaho, New York and Vermont.

Unfortunately, both NY and VT are still AWOL, but moments ago Idaho scratched itself off the list with the following press release:

Your Health Idaho Reaches Record Enrollment
Idaho has second largest per capita enrollment in the U.S.

BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho today announced that 102,353 Idahoans have enrolled in Qualified Health Plans for 2016 through the state’s health exchange.

Idaho had just over 97,000 QHP selections last year, so this is about a 5% increase. Not fantastic, but not terrible; this puts ID in between Kansas and New Mexico in terms of year over year enrollment increases.

In any event, I can at least plug in one more data point.

Your Health Idaho informs me that their official final OE3 total won't be announced until after February 15th, but here's a quick mini-update:

More than 97,000 Idahoans Select Insurance through Idaho Exchange
Lawmakers Get Update on Your Health Idaho’s Progress

BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho executive director Pat Kelly went before lawmakers on Tuesday to give them an update on the second year of operations for Idaho’s state-based health insurance exchange. Kelly said Idahoans have benefitted from state lawmakers’ choice to keep the federal government out of Idaho’s health insurance decisions.

Currently, more than 97,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan through the exchange. In 2015, Idaho ranked fourth in the nation per-capita for enrollments and had the highest enrollment numbers of any state-based health insurance exchange.

YHI also makes a strong case for keeping full state exchanges as opposed to moving to HealthCare.Gov (Matt Bevin of Kentucky might want to take notice...):

Your Health Idaho has only issued one official enrollment data press release to date, back on 12/18, when they reported "over 93,000" private policy selections.

There was one additional update via the HHS Dept's ASPE report, which reported exactly 96,662 QHPs as of 12/26/15, which seems about right given that it included 8 extra days.

Since then, there's been nothing out of Idaho...until today, when they reported:

BOISE, Idaho – The deadline to get health insurance coverage through Your Health Idaho is just days away. If you want health insurance for 2016 you must enroll by January 31. Already, more than 95,000 Idahoans have selected health insurance plans through the state’s health insurance exchange.

At long last, Idaho has come through...in a big way!

Your Health Idaho Enrollment Update

BOISE, Idaho – Since Open Enrollment began on November 1, over 93,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan for 2016 through Your Health Idaho. Approximately 86,000 Idahoans are currently enrolled for 2015 coverage.

“We are pleased to see an increase in enrollments at this half-way mark,” said Your Health Idaho executive director, Pat Kelly. “This demonstrates there is a continued need for access to affordable healthcare in Idaho. The good news is that Idahoans who remain uninsured still have until January 31 to enroll for health and dental coverage. But we encourage people to act now.” Idahoans who complete an application between now and January 31 will have coverage as early as February.

Idahoans who need assistance picking a health insurance plan can find a local agent or broker in their community to help them free of charge by visiting www.YourHealthIdaho.org and clicking on “find help near you.” 

If you take a look at the State-by-State chart, you'll notice that in addition to a few clarifications here and there, there are 5 states (well, 4 states +DC) all the way at the bottom labelled "NO DATA YET".

California insists, just like last year, on doing this weird thing where they release the number of new enrollees who have signed up on a fairly regular basis, but the number of renewals by current enrollees is kept a secret all the way into January. I have no idea why they do that, and it's pretty important given that we're likely talking about somewhere between 1.0 - 1.3 million people here.

On the other hand, at least they've posted data on their new additions. DC, Idaho, Kentucky, New York and Vermont haven't even done that much as of this writing.

I admit that given the carnage of the past couple of weeks, I'm almost afraid to post this entry...but I had to write something positive about the CO-OP situation.

With the ACA-created CO-OPs seemingly dropping like flies due to the #RiskCorridorMassacre, I thought this would be a good time to flip things around and look at which CO-OPs are doing well (or at least not badly).

This isn't much, but it'll do for now:

Wisconsin's insurance department says it has no intention of shutting down its #ACA co-op, which appears it will remain solvent next year.

— Bob Herman (@MHbherman) October 22, 2015

@charles_gaba and at this point, other than Maine, it's difficult to expect many others will last beyond risk corridors.

— Bob Herman (@MHbherman) October 22, 2015

When I updated my #OE3 state-level enrollment projections yesterday, I came across this official projection for #OE3 from Your Health Idaho's Sept. 18th board meeting minutes:

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.

A few days ago I noted that the Maryland Health Connection has officially launched window shopping for the 2016 open enrollment period (#OE3).

As it happens, at least two other state-based exchanges have done so as well:

COVERED CALIFORNIA: It's pretty obscure for the moment, but if you click the "Shop & Compare Tool" link at the lower left-hand corner of the CoveredCA website, you'll be given the option to shop around for 2016 plans (you can also choose 2015 plans in case you've had a qualifying life change and need coverage for the last 2 months of this year, or even 2014 plans if you still need that information for tax purposes or whatever):

YOUR HEALTH IDAHO:

Anonymously Shop and Compare Health and Dental Plans on Your Health Idaho

This article from the Idaho Statesman provides the final approved rate changes for 2016 in Idaho, which were mostly left intact:

Blue Cross of Idaho’s rates for individuals buying their own plans will go up an average of 23 percent. Company officials say the increase is needed after Blue Cross lost millions of dollars because current customer premiums are not keeping up with claims paid.

Last year, the company’s average rate increase for individual policies was about 15 percent. That year, the company paid nearly $221.1 million in claims while receiving $188.7 in premiums.

Other average rate changes for 2016, including for plans sold off the Idaho health insurance exchange:

  • Mountain Health COOP: 26 percent
  • SelectHealth: 15 percent
  • Regence BlueShield of Idaho: 10 percent
  • BridgeSpan Health, a sister company of Regence: 7 percent
  • PacificSource Health Plans: -8 percent

State Insurance Director Dean Cameron said he did not find any proposed rate changes to be unreasonable.

The HHS Dept. reported that exactly 97,079 people had selected private policies in Idaho via their all-new state-based exchange during 2015 Open Enrollment (including the "standing in line" period).

Unlike most states, Idaho chose not to participate in any sort of special tax filing season enrollment period (MA & CO are the other two which didn't do so; every other state is still allowing enrollment for people who had to pay the fine last year and didn't make the cut this year until April 30th, except for WA which cuts things off today and VT which bumped theirs out until the end of May).

While Idaho, like every state, does still allow people to enroll during the off-season if they have a major life change (getting married/divorced, having a baby, moving, losing other coverage, etc), that tends to be cancelled out by other people dropping their coverage for similar reasons.

In my post about today's official ASPE ACA Enrollment Report, there weren't too many surprises....but there were a few notable items. As I noted:

  • HAWAII: I was assured 8 ways from Sunday that Hawaii's23,000 enrollee figure was specifically for 2015 enrollment. This made no sense to me given their tiny enrollment last year, but I was assured of it. Well, apparently my original instincts were correct, because they're showing up with only 12,625 in the end.
  • IDAHO: This is the only state which hasn't given their own enrollment update in forever. According to the prior ASPE report, they were at around 90.5K as of January 17th...yet somehow they only managed to rack up another 6,500 enrollees over the entire final month of Open Enrollment?? I was expecting upwards of 30K or so. This makes zero sense to me...am I missing something here?

In addition, there are a few states where their most recent official enrollment reports had some confusing data, which the ASPE report pretty much trumps regardless of anything else (at least, this is the official number which will be tossed around no matter what anyway):

I'm expecting final official #OE2 enrollment reports from Massachusetts and Minnesota later today, but otherwise have to catch up on a bunch of my actual day job work. Here's three quick things to note:

MARYLAND: The Maryland Health Connection has released a big slideshow PDF with a mountain of demographic info. The only gripe I have is that it only runs through 2/15, so doesn't include the extra folks who signed up during the #ACAOvertime period. Data nerds, rejoice!!

Pages