Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Enrollment in Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace tops 40,000

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM

click to enlarge aid_map_april_2.PNG

Through April 6, 41,402 Arkansans have purchased plans on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, the new marketplace created by Obamacare, according to information released yesterday by the Arkansas Insurance Department (see county  by county map above). As in the rest of the country, Arkansas saw a surge in enrollment recently, with more than 7,800 people signing up in the last two weeks. But while national enrollment in the marketplaces across the country hit initial projections, Arkansas will fall well short. 

The deadline for open enrollment was technically March 31, but  the Obama administration granted an extension that in practice gives people more time to sign up. This number may tick up slightly in the coming weeks as folks continue to sign up. Administration officials have not yet given an official final deadline.

This does not include enrollment in the private option, the state's policy for Medicaid expansion which purchases plans on the Marketplace for folks that make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,000 for an individual or $33,000 for a family of four). More than 100,000 people and counting have enrolled in Marketplace plans via the private option. For the differences between private option enrollment and the rest of the Marketplace, see this post

Enrollment remains well below targets. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, around 250,000 people were estimated to be uninsured and make more than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, the population that the Marketplace is intended to reach. While no one predicted that all of them would sign up, thus far the 41,402 enrollees represent just 16.6 percent of that eligible population (and some of the Markteplace enrollees may have been previously insured). Heading in to open enrollment, AID set a target of 160,000, though this was inclusive of the Small Business Health Options Program, which ended up getting delayed significantly. Marketplace Director Cindy Crone told me that projections were lowered to around 50,000 once the initial problems with healthcare.gov became clear. Any way you cut it, the number of people purchasing plans on the Marketplace is less than what was once projected. While the private option has been a smashing success at reducing the number of uninsured people below 138 pecent of FPL, the Marketplace in Arkansas above that line is so far falling short of the health care law's goals in terms of getting people covered. See the map below, which shows the percentage of people eligible for the Marketplace who have signed up. 

There are some big caveats — because the state insurance department allowed plans not compliant with the ACA to continue through fall of 2017, there are likely tens of thousands of people on private plans outside of the Marketplace that may eventually transition in. And of course, the state blocked the federal money intended for outreach just as enrollment began, which didn't help. See this post for more context

I'll have more on this later, but the private option may well end up representing 75 percent or more of the people covered in the Marketplace. A major policy victory for the private option has been stabilizing the Marketplace in its first year. While Obamacare opponents might be unhappy about this for partisan or ideological reasons, this is a good thing for any Arkansan shopping on the individual, non-group market. A successful Marketplace with strong enrollment means lower premiums in the long run, more carriers in the state, and more choices for consumers.

click to enlarge aid_map_april.PNG


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Speaking of...

  • New teacher insurance rates to be announced July 29th

    July 15, 2014
    The latest on public school employee insurance woes: the task force looks at bigger-picture fixes and EBD says premiums will be announced on July 29th. /more/
  • Faith and facts: Tax-cutting and Obamacare

    July 14, 2014
    Arkansas political campaigns this year, from the Republican side, are all about the beauty of tax cuts and the horrors of Obamacare. You have to ignore some inconvenient facts to accept the sales pitches. /more/
  • Obamacare: The more the Kochs rant, the more people sign up

    July 10, 2014
    The louder the opposition to Obamacare, the more people sign up. Or so a new analysis indicates. /more/
  • The amazing drop in expected Medicare costs

    July 9, 2014
    More bad news for the Obamacare naysayers. There's been a dramatic drop in expected Medicare spending — $50 billion in savings this year against costs predicted four years ago. /more/
  • Innovation in health care under Obamacare includes single-payer experiment

    July 9, 2014
    Cheryl Smith, recruited from Utah to run Arkansas's health insurance marketplace, told legislators yesterday that they sky was the limit the state could take on seeking waivers for "innovative" ways to deliver coverage under the Affordable Care Act. She mentioned a single-payer experiment in Vermont, but — sadly — didn't suggest that here. /more/
  • Jobs, market, health security looking up: What an Obamanation

    July 3, 2014
    Economic indicators are looking strong and 6 million more people have health security thanks to new insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. How good would things be if we didn't have such a terrible president. (Snark intended.) /more/
  • Five carriers will sell policies on Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace in 2015; all expected to sell statewide

    July 2, 2014
    The Arkansas Insurance Department today announced that five companies plan to sell health insurance plans on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace in 2015, the second year for the regulated marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. The issuers that have filed are Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, the national multi-state Blue Cross Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company (selling in Arkansas as Ambetter), and two companies owned by the parent company QualChoice Holdings: QualChoice Life and Health Insurance Company, Inc. and QCH Health Plan Inc. /more/
  • Picking apart the teachers' insurance "fix" just approved by the legislature

    July 2, 2014
    The crisis in the public school employee (PSE) insurance system is complicated. The politics behind it are complicated. The solutions just passed by the legislature to once again shore up the troubled fund — those are complicated, too. But the underlying reason behind the fund’s insolvency is simple: the public isn't paying enough for its share of PSE insurance. /more/
  • Tom Cotton: "Mark Pryor thinks that faith is something that only happens on Sunday mornings."

    July 2, 2014
    In an interview with KNWA in Fayetteville, Rep. Tom Cotton commented on Sen. Mark Pryor's faith in response to a question about the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case: "Barack Obama and Mark Pryor think that faith is something that only happens at 11:00 on Sunday mornings. That's when we worship but faith is what we live every single day." Pryor called it a "deeply personal attack...for him to question my faith is out of bounds." The Pryor campaign called on Cotton to apologize. /more/
  • State-appropriated funding for Obamacare guides ends; outreach will depend on private funding

    July 1, 2014
    Today, the first day of the new fiscal year, marks the end of state-appropriated funding for more than 500 outreach workers known as In-Person Assistant (IPA) guides, charged with education, outreach, and enrollment help for the new insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. The Arkansas Insurance Department has closed contracts with the 27 organizations tasked with hiring and overseeing 537 guides throughout the state. The change comes because of an amendment to the private option adopted in last year's fiscal session. In some cases, workers will be laid off and those guide positions will simply end; in other cases, organizations may seek private funding to continue the guides' work or may continue to employ the guides themselves, adding the positions within their own scope of work. /more/
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • The Woo Pig Sooie TM Edition

    I fill in for Lindsey this week, who's on daddy duty with a new baby boy (congrats Lindsey!). Max joins me to talk Razorback trademarking, the state of the Pryor-Cotton and Hutchinson-Ross races (tomatoes! debates!), ballot initiatives for statewide booze sales and raising the minimum wage, and the possibility of Uber coming to Little Rock. Plus endorsements for the city of Nashville and "Getting Back to Abnormal," a character-rich documentary on post-Katrina New Orleans politics.
    • Jul 18, 2014
  • Arkansas requires cosmetology licenses for hair braiders and bans dental specialists from doing basic dental work

    The Institute for Justice is challenging the state regulations in court.
    • Jul 10, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  
  • Re: News roundup and the open line

    • The Darlenes wrapped up a wine-taster celebration of the President's executive order prohibiting LGBT discrimination,…

    • on July 22, 2014
  • Re: News roundup and the open line

    • NVR, in Chickenopolis I come across people fitting the description regularly. Sad.

    • on July 22, 2014
  • Re: News roundup and the open line

    • I missed it if someone posted this recently. Well worth the read I was poor,…

    • on July 21, 2014

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation