OK

In the largely manufactured outrage over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, even the larger media have praised Kentucky's implementation of its online exchange, Kynect.

Well, this was a good week for Kynect - and, by extension, a good week for Kentuckians and the ACA.  Follow me below the Great Orange Colophon for the numbers.

Kynect delivers daily statistical updates, courtesy of the Governor's "Healthier Kentucky" page.  I'll be comparing the numbers for 11/21 with those of 11/14.  As you look at these numbers, here are some population figures with which to put them into perspective (thanks to the Census Bureau's QuickFacts site):

Kentucky's population (2012 est.): 4,380,415
18-to-64 population - 70.4%, or 2,470,554
65-and-over population - 14.0%, or 613,258
Below the poverty line - 18.1%, or 792,855
Now, let's get to the good stuff...

Every significant category experienced a sharp uptick this week:

Unique visitors went from 452,464 to 492,838 - more than 40,000 new visitors.

Preliminary screenings went from 380,000 to 404,865 - almost 25,000 completed screenings, more than 3000/day.

Medicaid enrollments jumped from 39,186 to 45,622 - almost 1,000 Medicaid enrollments per day.

Health plan enrollments spiked from 8,780 to 10,800 - almost 300 completed enrollments per day.

Dental-only enrollments increased from 3,134 to 3,716 - even dental-only coverage is seeing a steady increase of almost 100 enrollments/day.

Those who were determined eligible for subsidy, but have not yet selected a plan, bounced from 18,848 to 22,401, despite the 300/day rate of completed enrollment - indicating that thousands more Kentuckians are in the pipeline to coverage via subsidies.

Small business applications for group coverage increased from 913 to 1000 - small employers are getting on board.

Small business completed applications (i.e. they can now offer ACA coverage to their employees) went from 343 to 393 - 50 more businesses are now offering coverage to their employees via the ACA.

I'm somewhat surprised that we haven't seen more reporting on the small-business aspect of ACA coverage.  Each of those completed small business applications could represent as many as 50 individuals who won't have to use the exchanges because their employer secured group coverage through the ACA.  So that current number of 393 Kentucky small businesses could represent as many as 19,650 additional Kentucians receiving group coverage through the ACA! With another 600+ small businesses queued up for group coverage, this could the single most far-reaching effect of the exchange - and I, for one, certainly didn't see that coming.

This week, the Governor's Office added a new statistic, namely this:

27% of the enrollees in qualified health plans are 35 years old or younger.
We all know that, in demographic and actuarial terms, younger enrollments are necessary for the ACA's overall success, and that the opposition has been specifically targeting younger persons with a "pay the fine, don't enroll" message.  Well, I have to think that this rate of adoption among 35-and-unders is a Good ThingTM, but we'll keep an eye on it in the weeks to come.

That's it for this week's report from the Bluegrass State - leading the way in the ACA!

Originally posted to wesmorgan1 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 03:26 PM PST.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos.

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