Featured in Government News of the Week, Dec. 12, 2016; featured Health Business Daily Story, Dec. 19, 2016

As Deadline Nears to Ensure Jan. 1 Start, SBEs Expect Surge

Reprinted from HEALTH PLAN WEEK, the most reliable source of objective business, financial and regulatory news of the health insurance industry. Sign up for a $91 two-month trial subscription today.

By ,
December 12, 2016Volume 26Issue 44

Four weeks after the open-enrollment season kicked off Nov. 1, HealthCare.gov says more than 2.1 million people — including more than 500,000 new customers — had selected health plans through the federal exchange platform. While HealthCare.gov said it ended November with 97,000 more signups than at the same point last year, this year’s figures include 20,000 sign-ups from Kentucky, which last year operated its own state-based exchange (SBE).

The open enrollment period runs until Jan. 31, but SBEs contacted by HPW say they expect an enrollment surge as the Dec. 15 deadline approaches to assure that coverage begins on Jan. 1, 2017. Here’s a look at enrollment among seven SBEs:

  • California: As of Nov. 15, Covered California says 44,885 individuals had selected health plans for the 2017 plan year. That number is down from 50,700 on the same date a year ago when Covered California had already conducted an extensive media and “bus tour” promotion to boost enrollment, according to a Nov. 17 report. This year, the exchange didn’t begin media or enrollment promotion until after Nov. 12.

  • Colorado: As of Dec. 1, 37,948 people had selected a 2017 medical or dental plan through Connect for Health Colorado — up 23% from the same date a year ago.

  • Connecticut: Access Health CT, as of the close of business Dec. 8, had enrolled 15,177 new members. Combined with people covered by a 2016, the exchange has 105,384 enrollees, the exchange reported Dec. 9. The state also reported 38,960 completed Medicaid applications/redeterminations processed through its integrated eligibility system.

Health Plan Week
  • Idaho: As of Dec. 8, Your Health Idaho had about 95,000 enrollees. That’s up from 89,000 on the same date a year ago.

  • Maryland: The Maryland Health Connection says enrollment is a little behind last year’s numbers. As of Dec. 4, 128,933 had enrolled in individual coverage, including 101,594 automatically re-enrolled for 2017. That was down 6% from the same date a year ago. For the same period, Medicaid enrollment increased 9% to 134,629.

  • Massachusetts: Since the open-enrollment period began Nov. 1, the Massachusetts Health Connector posted 23,461 plan selections or new enrollments. At the same point a year ago, the Connector had 17,131 total plans selected or new enrollments. As of Dec. 1, 2015, 180,390 people had coverage through a policy sold through the exchange. As of Dec. 1, 2016, enrollment was 234,104.

  • Washington state: As of Dec. 5, Washington Health Plan Finder says more than 146,000 people had signed up for coverage — about 10% over last year’s enrollment, says spokesperson Michael Marchand.

Copyright © 2016 Managed Markets Insight & Technology, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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