Massachusetts is running a general COVID-19 special enrollment period. Late last week, they released an interim enrollment report.
Forty days into the COVID SEP (which began on March 11, 2020, and runs through May 25, 2020), approximately 8,300 residents have used it to enroll in a Health Connector plan. To date, COVID-19 SEP enrollees comprise 6,800 families representing 8,300 people.
More interestingly, to me, is the mixture of folks who are signing up for coverage.
The two right most columns are the columns I am interested in. The All COVID SEP Enrollees seem to be significantly younger than the current Mass Health Connector enrollees. Younger enrollees (all else being equal) are likelier to be healthier than older enrollees for both general health/age reasons and the ACA subsidy math makes low cost plans less valuable to younger enrollees than older enrollees.
Will the younger enrollees who are coming into the risk pool due to an attention/information/revaluation shock of a global pandemic stick around. They had a revealed preference of either in-attention OR valuation that insurance was not a good enough value relative to premiums to not enroll last November and December, but does a pandemic increase the salience and value of any insurance versus no insurance? I would suspect that is mostly a yes.
If these folks do stick around, they should lower the average risk and thus the average gross (pre-subsidized) premium by a smidge. This is one of the many questions that actuaries are trying to figure out right now as rates are being prepared for 2021.