More exchange numbers trickle in

By BenefitsPro


By Allison Bell

The 36 exchanges run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may have received fewer than 168,000 completed applications.

This reporter came up with that cap by tallying the latest available application activity figures for state-based exchanges and subtracting the total from a rough completed application count HHS provided for the country as a whole.

The HHS-run Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges and most of the state-based exchanges opened their enrollment systems Oct. 1.

Many states have published at least one or two activity data reports. HHS has not, saying all of its activity figures are unconfirmed and unreliable.

Officials have said only that they believe that users of all PPACA public exchanges have submitted a total of “almost 700,000” complete applications.

At least two states, Colorado and Connecticut, posted fresh activity numbers since California and Washington released their updates earlier this week.

Connect for Health Colorado says it processed 3,164 completed applications for commercial coverage from Oct. 1 through Oct. 26. The state also enrolled 44,000 residents in Medicaid through a separate process. A few weeks earlier, the state reported it had received about 8,000 coverage applications.

Access Health CT says it enrolled 7,615 people in exchange plans in October, and that 4,065 of those people enrolled in private plans, rather than Medicaid.

In New Mexico, which is running its own small-group exchange but not its individual one, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange says 824 small businesses have started applications.

States have not yet standardized how they report exchange activity data, but all state-based exchanges combined have reported receiving a total of about 528,000 individual coverage applications, and Colorado has reported enrolling about 3,000 people in commercial coverage.

If the HHS application total of “almost 700,000” completed applications means 660,000 to 699,000, then subtracting 531,000 from 699,000 suggests that the HHS exchanges may have received a total of fewer than 168,000 completed applications and may have received closer to 130,000 applications.



Originally published on BenefitsPro.com