Discussion: The Other Side Of Obamacare's Great Enrollment Numbers

Discussion for article #233421

Is it possible that the exchange sign-up numbers tell only part of the story? I ask because I have an individual policy that I purchased directly from Coventry that matches Coventry’s offerings at Healthcare.gov and is available only because of Obamacare.

In purchasing the policy, I did my research at Healthcare.gov, chose the policy I believed I wanted, and called Coventry with a question about it. In answering the question, the person on the phone at Coventry verified that I could purchase the same policy directly from Coventry – same exact coverage, same plan name, same price. So I went back to Coventry when it was time to purchase. No need to go through an intermediary website.

That means I don’t show up in the exchange enrollment figures, but make no mistake: I am very much enrolled in Obamacare. I don’t qualify for a subsidy, but I also would possibly not qualify for individual insurance if not for Obamacare – Cigna rejected me in the last year it was legal to do so for pre-existing conditions. My pre-existing condition: a single, simple recording of elevated blood pressure at my most recent doctor visit (I do NOT have hypertension). Needless to say, I’m a big Obamacare fan.

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Yes. This type of reporting, though technically accurate with respect to a subset of the health insurance market, has a bit of not-seeing-the-forest-for-the-trees quality about it.

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off the exchange don’t appear to be represented in the 11 plus million enrollees – neither does medicare and SCHIP expansion for that matter.

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The biggest tell is the insurance industry: they are showing no sign of worry that enrollment is plateauing or that there are deep lurking problems. They generally love the ACA (and are fighting against the SCOTUS effort to gut it) because it’s brought them huge new business.

Off-exchange purchases are clearly a major factor. (I’m an off-exchange purchaser too.) But risk pools are determined by everyone who’s insured, not where they purchased it.

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1.4 million for California each year does NOT mean it plateaued. IF you like your first year coverage, why go back to the exchange? I imagine most people didn’t switch, which means most of the 2nd year 1.4 million are likely new sign ups.

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There is widespread suspicion of people who don’t speak Spanish in Hispanic communities: what the State and Federal Gov’ts need are respected Hispanic leaders to bridge the gap. When you have people down the street who are suspicious of your local small town govenment, imagine that compounded.

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Also, it might be theorized that signups in healthcare.gov states is leveling off because these states – which refused to create their own exchange and most likely refused to expand Medicaid – also are not publicizing the enrollment period, provide useful information to constituents, or helping people sign up for coverage.

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Beyond the point necessary to ensure actuarial viability of plans offered on the exchange, the number of people signing up on an exchange is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the percent still uninsured. That’s the only number that measures the failure or success of the law. And that number isn’t in this article.

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The very best things brought about by PP/ACA will, hopefully, be around for a very long time. It is not static and never has been a done deal. Debating numbers is just a way of getting the masses riled up.

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not sure if this affects state numbers , BUT. an example: last year i applied through fed marketplace. my income was too low so i was referred to my state which did expand medicaid, but did not set up an exchange. yet i filed through the federal marketplace first.
this year my state renewed me for medicaid and I was instructed by federal market place folks, three times, that i did not need to go back through the federal marketplace for 2015. so my guess is people like me are not showing up in the numbers yet…it takes a state by state understanding of exactly what is happening with those numbers. one thing i learned is that the state/fed communication is , er, quirky.
what bothers me are the states that did not expand medicaid. i think that is criminal on their part.

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p.s. my state is a red state and only expanded medicaid because the former GOP governor grabbed the GOP legislature by the nads and forced them to do it. Yes, it was a big surprise to all. this state also has the most incomprehensibly antiquated , outmoded computer systems imaginable, Current Expanded Medicaid enrollment numbers will be loaded onto donkeys, mules and camels, and begin their slow journey to The ACA headquarters in a few months…

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Are you in Arizona?

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Obamacare is continuing to enroll millions in health insurance plans. disaster

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it can be better – bad news alert!

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Yes, I bought a policy through BC/BS not through the exchange. The number of folks who do this is big.

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I bought one last year and this year from BC/BS for my girlfriend who was previously uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions.

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Yes, this…in regards to King v. Burwell also.

If past is prelude…

Past: Obama and the ACA consistently outperform everyone’s predictions, from the cautiously optimistic to the the spitefully tinfoil hatted.

Future: See Past.

I’m not engaging the breathless hand-wringing yet, so stop trying to get me to. There’s not a person in this country who doesn’t want his SS checks and Medicare eligibility. Give the ACA time and keep your fucking panties unbunched.

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Very good point. I’m an insurance agent and can testify to this happening for many people. Just because someone doesn’t sign up on the federal or state exchanges doesn’t mean they didn’t get health insurance.

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