Covered California is reporting some good enrollment numbers for coverage effective February 1st.
And the preliminary total of enrollments in Covered California health insurance plans from Oct. 1, 2013, through Jan. 15, 2014, has increased to more than 625,000….
Covered California™ and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced today that 500,108 Californians enrolled for health insurance and selected plans through the end of 2013
soaring past November’s enrollment of 78,377…
California added 125,000 individuals between January 1st and January 15th to Exchange plans. These people will receive coverage starting February 1st.
I want to pick out a couple of important notes. First, enrollment is deadline driven so a significant drop-off between enrollment before Dec. 24th and Jan. 15th was expected. Secondly, if I am reading the statement correctly, the 125,000 people signed up only signed up in January, so it is a monthly pace of a quarter million people or 8,000 people a day. That is more than triple Covered California’s November pace. Covered California did not have significant website issues suppressing the enrollment in November.
And now onto some extrapolations and suppositions:
1) Doing a linear population weighted extrapolation, the February 1st coverage national cohort could be a million or more people.
2) I’m betting the risk pool for Covered California got a little bit healthier and a little bit younger than the 4th quarter 2013 enrollment risk pool.
3) I’m also betting narrow networks were more frequently chosen. This is a bet based on the assumption that people with the highest known healthcare needs have mostly already signed up. These people had pre-established relationships with providers and they’re willing to pay extra to keep those relationships intact. If the risk pool is younger and healthier, fewer people will have frequent contact with the medical care system, so more people will be shopping primarily on price instead of network.
4) February 20th to March 15th will be massive.