On December 17, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange released the enrollment numbers for 2019 plans and showed an increase of 2% over the previous year. Nationwide, enrollment was down about 4%. This great success would not have been possible without the emphasis that the Board and staff placed upon outreach, marketing, and consumer assistance. There are a few numbers worth highlighting from the MHBE press release:
156,963 - the number of Marylanders who enrolled in private health coverage that is effective on January 1, 2019. A few hundred more whose applications were in process at midnight December 15 will bring the total above 157,000!
5,432 - the number who enrolled on the last day (December 15), and this despite the uncertainty on the future of the ACA created by the decision of the Texas Judge the night before. In fact, this was the highest single-day enrollment in the exchange's history.
38,558 - the number of consumers who used the "Enroll MHC" mobile app on Friday and Saturday. That doubled the number who used the app in the same period in 2017.
4% - the increase over last year in young adult (18-34) enrollees.
28% - the largest increase in enrollments was in Wicomico County.
8% & 2% - the increase in, respectively, African American and Hispanic enrollees over 2018
Somewhat troubling is the fact that new enrollees were down by 10% from 2018. This and other factors that could impact the stability of the individual insurance market will be on Consumer Health First's agenda in 2019. But, for now, our thanks go the MHBE Board, Michele Eberle and her terrific team, and all those who staff Maryland's Connector Entities and others who provide such vital assistance to consumers. Congratulations and happy holidays to one and all!