Home Social Issues We’re Number Five! We’re Number Five! Seriously, Some Good Virginia ACA News

We’re Number Five! We’re Number Five! Seriously, Some Good Virginia ACA News


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On an icy/snowy Saturday, some additional, and positive, Virginia-oriented info on the excellent 2015 Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment numbers through February 15, taken from a recent post on Charles Gaba’s ACASignups blog. Full disclosure: I volunteer for ACASignups, and for that matter, I buy my health insurance on healthcare.gov. Plus, as a bit of final info comes in from a couple of remaining states, the following “rankings” could slightly change.

The bottom line: both compared to other states, and compared to our own numbers last year, Virginia’s doing great on ACA enrollment on healthcare.gov. I have no idea why. Is it that enrollment outreach grant that Gov. McAuliffe got from HHS? More generally, is it because we have a pro-ACA governor who loves to beat numerical benchmarks, as opposed to last year, when we were busy changing governors in the middle of the October-March enrollment period?

Note, btw, that none of this affects the shame of the lack of Medicaid expansion. This is about the other part of the ACA, the on-exchange signups for health insurance. You know, the part that the Supreme Court case with all-Virginia plaintiffs, King vs. Burwell, may destroy.

How well did Virginia do in the 2015 enrollment period vs. how it did in the 2014 enrollment period?

Virginia comes in fifth in the nation in year-over-year improvement. Last year’s Virginia enrollment on the exchange was 216,356; this year’s 384,612 is 177.77 percent of the prior number.

How well did we do vs. the HHS projection? And against ACASignups’s own projections for Virginia?

Here, Virginia’s performance is sixth compared to other states. We came in at 139.86 percent of our HHS projection of 275,000.  

We were just below the very last ACASignups Virginia projection (adjusted a week ago) for the final surge, which was 405,000. However, the original ACASignups Virginia projection back in November was 339,000… and we beat that handily.

How’s our enrollment rate vs. our total eligible population?

Virginia is actually twelfth on this one. Out of our total exchange-eligible population of 831,000, our total enrollment of 384,612 is 46.28 percent. While that may seem discouraging, we can’t be number five in everything… and remember that HHS is envisioning a total of four years to ramp up the initial enrollment; this is the second year.

So, I guess that’s it for Virginia ACA enrollment numbers until next year, assuming the Supreme Court allows there to BE a “next year,” right?

Well, no: First, there’s a “waiting in line” extension (in effect, if you started to apply before February 15, you can keep going) through tomorrow, February 22, for all healthcare.gov states. Second, there’s a newly announced March 15 through April 30 “special enrollment period” for Virginia and other healthcare.gov states for people who find out about all this when they do their taxes; if they owe the penalty for being uninsured in 2014, they’ll still pay that, but they’ll get the chance to sign up for 2015 insurance in that March/April period.

So, it seems like we’ll get closer to the “final” 2015 numbers for Virginia after April 30 — and those will be a bit higher, presumably, than what we have now.

That said, I assume there’s no other totally bizarre numerical twist to share re ACA enrollments?

There is! But it’s a national one, not a Virginia one — enrollments in red states are generally outperforming those in blue states. And once again, I have no idea why! Details here.

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