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The other day Politico ran this story ahead of next week's release of the first official Obamacare enrollment figures:

Sebelius says Obamacare enrollment 'very low'

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today acknowledged that long-awaited enrollment figures for the rocky first month of Obamacare will be “very low.”
“We intend to give you as much information as we can validate,” Sebelius told a Senate Finance Committee hearing where lawmakers from both parties harshly criticized the rollout and her agency’s lack of foresight about the massive problems. She said the initial batch of enrollment figures being released next week cover “the first month of enrollment” and will include both Medicaid and health plan numbers in the new insurance exchanges.

It will be very interesting to see just how close--or completely dead wrong--my own figures are at

As of this morning, the Week 5 Tally stands at:

373,169     Exchange Applications/Enrollments and
588,948 Medicaid/SCHIP Expansion Enrollments.

Due to the extreme influence of Medicaid signups on the total, starting with Week 5, I'm keeping Medicaid numbers included BUT have decided to start breaking them out separately as best as I can.
HOWEVER, there are some MAJOR caveats:

--The other day Rep. Capps of CA-24 claimed California has 600,000 added to Medicaid, and 227,000 exchange applications. However, the 600,000 "added" to Medicaid appear to simply have been children who have been moved from a different healthcare program into Medicaid; more of a clerical/bookkeeping change than anything. Thanks to ybruti for this catch; if this is the case, you can yank all 600K from the total (it's still good that they're covered, but they don't belong in this particular spreadsheet).

Update: Upon further research, I'm quite certain that the "600,000" figure is indeed simply transferring children from one program to another. It's still a good thing, but I've removed it from the spreadsheet.

--In addition, in New York, at least half of the 176,000 number listed almost certainly belongs in the Medicaid column, but I have no way of confirming this.

Taking this into account, a more realistic picture is probably more like:

285,000 Exchange Applications/Enrollments
680,000 Medicaid/SCHIP Expansion
There are two other legitimate/serious ACA-tracking sources that I've found to be pretty reliable: is an openly anti-Obamacare outfit. As such, they're using an extremely strict definition of what "counts": No Medicaid, no SCHIP, no Applications, and they aren't even including the Catastrophic plans (even though those are a 5th option on the paid-for exchanges). They're only counting people who are actually fully signed up/enrolled (and presumably paying) for Gold, Silver or Bronze plans through the exchanges (why they aren't including Platinum plans, I have no idea, though that number is likely to be tiny).

With all of the above caveats, their number as of this morning is only 43,359.

--The Advisory Board Company, on the other hand, doesn't include Medicaid but does claim to break out the Exchange numbers by both Applications and Enrollments.

They put the numbers at 195,000 enrollments out of 485,000 applications.

So, it seems to me that the official enrollment numbers that Sebelius announces will be somewhere between 40,000 - 400,000 for the first month.
If it's towards the low end, that sucks...but remember that as long as those 400,000 applications are legitimate, complete and aren't accidentally deleted in a database glitch (or whatever), they will be processed soon.

Just keep this in mind and brace yourselves for the inevitable media/GOP outrage over the puny initial numbers.

Another key point: I assume Sebelius' numbers will ONLY be for Oct 1 - 31 and will likely NOT include anything from November.

Finally, remember that in Massachusetts, hardly anyone signed up the first few weeks, but there was a massive spike in enrollments very close to the deadline (in this case, 12/15 would be the key date, since that's the deadline for having coverage starting on 1/1/14).

Anyway, to keep my tally going and up to date, I'm STILL looking for people to assist by taking on one or more states.
The following folks have signed up to help track one or more states, and I'm very grateful to them for their assistance in this project:
Girdwood, page in seattle, ybruti, MotherShipper, gchaucer2, Rolfyboy6, gloriasb, Mokurai, dadadata, mistletoe, Minnesota Deb, Bob the Old Soldier, CJB, timmyc, rsmpdx, pierre9045, rugbymom, Al Fondy, bastrop, Ramu, blue aardvark and ArcticStones
I have 24 states covered so far, but if you're interested in assisting with one of the other states listed below, email me at cgaba (at) brainwrap (dot) com, thanks!

To clarify: All I'd be asking people to do is to scour the web/Google/Twitter/Facebook/etc. on a regular basis for anything related to the ACA/Obamacare/the Exchanges that's specific to the state you choose.

Just email me the link to the story, the number and the date and I'll take it from there.

In many cases I'll already have found the same number (or a different one) elsewhere, or from the same source, but it's still helpful to have a 2nd pair of eyes for each state.

District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

In addition, I've made some layout tweaks to the spreadsheet to help clean it up a bit, including:

--I've merged the State column with the Website Link column; now you can just click on the state name to visit the appropriate Exchange website

--I've color-coded the full columns instead of just the headers to make it easier to separate by weeks

--I've started posting the tally for the other two sources noted above (EnrollMaven and Advisory Board) daily for comparitive purposes

--Starting in another week or so, I'll be archiving the first few weeks onto a separate Worksheet so that you don't have to endlessly scroll horizontally to see the most recent numbers.
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Comment Preferences

  •  This doesn't bode well. (0+ / 0-)

    What sort of numbers do we need to make this thing fly?

    •  7 million enrolled in private plans by 3/31/14 (11+ / 0-)

      That's supposedly the threshold necessary for the exchanges to pay for themselves.

      Or, an average of around 39,000 enrollments per day.

      If EnrollMaven is correct, they're only at around 1/40th of where they should be.

      If those 400,000-500,000 applications are actually processed properly, they'll be up to about 1/3 of where they should be.

      Bear in mind again, however, that in Massachusetts, there was a MASSIVE spike in enrollments as they approached the deadline.

    •  7 million give or take (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Victor Ward, WisVoter, Brainwrap, rsmpdx

      To put off a massive premium hike next year - although I believe that HHS has some mitigation ability to try and soften the blow.

      Failure to get young, healthy American's into the exchange will also cause significant problems. If they get 7 million plus older, sicker enrollees that could also cause a premium rise.

      It's politically tricky because the timing of such an increase would likely begin to occur just prior to next year's election - as insurers try to set the cost for their 2015 plans.

      Additionally, it is unclear what exactly the beginning of the employer mandate will bring - although it does not go into effect until January 2015 - if there is some significant upheaval in that market(as some analysts, including the White House believe) then the exchanges may get a heck of lot more traffic. But will it be quick enough to mitigate the premium spike is unknown?

      Bottom line: The exchanges have a limited amount of time to get their number and that number must include a large enough group of healthy individuals to balance the cost sharing.

      Look, I tried to be reasonable...

      by campionrules on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:39:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd expect a spike in December. (7+ / 0-)

      As people sign up at the last minute for coverage that starts in January.

      Then another spike in March as people rush in to beat the deadline.

      I'm actually somewhat surprised at how many people (including those 6 that signed up on day 1) are already signed up for something that doesn't start for two more months.  If it were me, I'd likely still be browsing and comparing, and only decide on which plan to buy in either late November or early December.

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:39:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be me (5+ / 0-)

        ("...still browsing and comparing...").  I am self-insured by BC/BS of FL. While I haven't received a cancellation letter because even with a high deductible and a small in-network pool, it's not junk insurance.

        Still, my policy won't be renewed until after the open enrollment period is closed so I fully expect my premiums to be jacked to the max.

        Therefore, I totally plan to be one of the later enrollees.

        Thanks, Brainwrap, for your time and effort in tracking the progress; it's important and we have to make it work. Going backwards is not an option.

        •  Browsing and comparing for (0+ / 0-)

          my wife and son, whose (not junk, but expensive) plan ends December 31.

          Since we won't qualify for a subsidy, and since Cover Oregon has a logjam enrolling applicants, we will get our new plan outside the exchange.

          The Cover Oregon exchange has not yet enabled online enrollments, and the latest guesstimated date from Gov. Kitzhaber is December 31.  Meantime, he's adding clerical humanpower to enter the applications by hand. (One clerk can process six applications per day. The applications are eighteen pages long! No wonder the software is choking!)

          I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

          by rsmpdx on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:32:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  where do i go (0+ / 0-)

    to bet the 'under'?

  •  Your CA number for Exchanges may be off. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, Brainwrap

    In the source linked to your spreadsheet for that number, it says:

    ...approximately 227,002 applications were started.
    I was thinking your criteria was "applications completed" but I could be mistaken.

    Thanks again for your work on this, brainwrap!

    •  You know this really pisses me off (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tronsix2, MKS

      that this diary is not on the wrecked list. In the here and now ALL of us need to pull together to make the ACA work. It's a huge missing piece in our social safety net and to think there would not be problems (especially with the wall of hate constructed obstructionism) is not rational.  No parts of the New Deal were "born" fully formed and "glitch" free".

      Single payer becomes even more a wish and a prayer if we do not make this work.

    •  I'm trying to only go with completed applications (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Araguato, WisVoter, Sylv

      ...but in some cases the definition of "started" and "completed" gets a bit fuzzy as well--there have been a few stories that treat an application that has been "completed" but not actually enrolled as only being "started".

      I agree that the California number is questionable; I'll revise it as soon as I get a clearer source on it.

  •  Wasn't the Admins first month goal 700k signups? (0+ / 0-)

    I think I remember hearing that...

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:22:08 AM PST

  •  In California, the goals have been (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, Brainwrap, MKS

    600,000 enrollees through Covered California and more than a million new people in Medi-Cal by the March deadline. As of Nov. 2, Covered California reported 227,000 applications had been started. Link It is estimated there are more than seven million uninsured residents in California.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:24:20 AM PST

  •  i plan to enroll (0+ / 0-)

    ...but i'm not going near the website until it's fixed. i'm in Maine so have to use

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:52:32 AM PST

  •  (technical) Quibble and a comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You wrote:

    Due to the extreme influence of Medicaid signups on both this number as well as the financial health of the Exchange program,
    (my emphasis added)

    Actually the Medicaid signups have almost NOTHING to do with "financial health of the Exchanges."

    They don't enter into the numbers needed to make private insurance maintain a healthy cost/expenditure balance that will keep Exchange-sold plans' prices down next year.

    That is a deliberate RW mischaracterization/obfuscation and ought not to be repeated here.

    I am one of the NY completed apps, but am not signed up, yet.  Even in my pokey Upstate market I have more than 6 dozen plans to review in all their confusing variety.  I'm taking my time.

    All of the Exchange plans in my area are less-desirable insurance than I have this year (a HD individual policy with a 100% payout after deductible is met) but, alas, my current plan is being discontinued.  It was NOT one of the rip-off ones that is better-off dead.  So I will miss it.

    On the positive side, though, I have an option for a Co-Op plan that will save me about two hundred bucks a month, for the fairly limited insurance available on the NY Exchange in my area (when compared to what I have now). But the Co-Op offering is a relatively good deal because I would pay the same as I pay now,  or more, for the same fairly limited insurance from every other company that's offering plans in my area.

    At least if I have to have not-great insurance, I won't be paying as much as I am now.

    I am not complaining - indeed, I realize that my present insurance company could have vanished anyway and then I would have been truly up a creek since individual policies are very expensive and very hard to find in NY (partly because we have always had things like guaranteed issue and community rating that are central parts of the ACA).  I still wholeheartedly support the ACA and the Exchange, even if I don't personally benefit from it.

    But my situation of going from not-cheap- but- very- good to mostly the same high-ish price (when you figure premiums plus deductible, and then on Exchange plans with further costs until you get to the OOP) for much more limited insurance coverage has sort of dampened my eagerness to sign up, ASAP.  Luckily I will only have about a year until I can sign up for Medicare, and once again have free choice of providers, etc.


  •  Gallup: one in five of uninsured (0+ / 0-)

    have visited an online exchange, either state or federal.

    Dylan Scott, TPM.

    Gallup found that 18 percent of the uninsured had visited the sites, which include, the troubled federal site that serves more than 30 states. Among the uninsured who say they do plan to use the marketplaces to purchase insurance, the number who have visited the marketplaces ticks up to 22 percent.

    Three in 10 of those surveyed said they were somewhat or very familiar with the marketplaces, according to Gallup.

    The poll, conducted from Oct. 23 to Nov. 6, surveyed 854 uninsured U.S. adults.

    I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

    by rsmpdx on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:43:04 PM PST

  •  that seems kind of low to me... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the other day, some show was estimating that Kentucky alone had already enrolled about 39,000 people...that would be one-tenth of your entire estimate. Granted, Kentucky has one of the better websites, but still...with Kentucky represents about 1.6 percent of the nation's would be hard to see how, even with the best healthcare exchange they would represent a tenth of the entire country's enrollment so far.

  •  Huffpost article with State numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These may not be new to this group but some state numbers reported here:

  •  And this from KY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    40,000 Kentuckians have found affordable healthcare by using @kynectky & 41% of those enrolled are under 35 #ACA #kynect #HealthierKy

  •  Minnesota. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Story in the Star Tribune puts the number of total enrollments at 10,940 as of November 6.

  •  Maryland Numbers in this story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    “We are not satisfied with the way things are going,” said Rebecca Pearce executive director of Maryland’s health benefit exchange. Ms. Pearce said many people can get through the website but that it isn’t working for everyone. About 4,500 people have enrolled in private insurance or Medicaid through the website as of end of October and more than 50,000 accounts have been created, state officials said Friday. The figures do not include paper applications.

  •  I have not heard any news regarding WY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 11:23:29 AM PST

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