2014 QHPs By the Numbers: It's All About The Spin

Even after yesterday's Big 7.3 Million Currently Enrolled News (or perhaps because of it), there's still tremendous confusion about what that number actually means. In addition, there's been some ongoing confusion about some other numbers relating to the ACA exchange qualified healthcare policies (QHPs), so here's a rundown, in descending order, based partially on existing data and partially on my projections through November 15th (that's when the 2nd Open Enrollment period starts for coverage beginning on January 1st, 2015, making the current enrollment numbers partially moot).

As you can see, depending on what question you're trying to answerwhat you feel should "count" and what your political spin is, there are up to 12 different numbers (!!!) which you could conceivably "use" for your answer.

Verified numbers are in blue; current estimates are in red; future projections are in italicized red:

9.91 Million: This is my projection for the cumulative number of exchange-based QHP enrollments from 10/1/13 - 11/14/14...including everyone who goes through the enrollment process, whether they end up eventually paying their first month's premium or not.

9.37 Million: This is my estimate of the cumulative number of QHP enrollees as of September 18, whether they've paid to date or not.

8.92 Million: This is my projection for the cumulative number of people, of the 9.9 million figure above (10/1/13 - 11/14/14) who will either already have or eventually will pay for at least their first month's premium.

8.14 Million: This is my estimate of the cumulative number of QHP enrollees who have paid for their first month's premium as of Sept. 18th. This assumes that 90% of the "original" 8.02 million enrollees did so and 75% of the "off season" enrollees since 4/19/14 have done so.

8.13 Million: This is the cumulative number of confirmed QHP enrollees (whether paid or not) to date as of Sept. 18th, 2014.

8.02 Million: This is the cumulative number of confirmed QHP enrollees (whether paid or not) as of April 19th, 2014.

7.1-7.6 Million: This is my projection for how many people, of the above, I believe will be enrolled & paying for their exchange QHPs as of November 14, 2014 (after which the odometer is effectively reset for 2015). The high end assumes 2% net monthly attrition; the low end assumes 3% net monthly attrition.

7.3 Million: This is the number of people who were enrolled & paying for their exchange QHPs as of August 15th, according to yesterday's CMS Administrator testimony to Congress.

7.2 Million: This is the cumulative number of confirmed QHP enrollees (out of the "original" 8.02 million) who paid their first month's premium as of Sept. 18th, 2014.

7.1 Million: This was the cumulative number of confirmed QHP enrollees (whether paid or not) as of March 31st, 2014 (the original open enrollment deadline).

6.4 Million: This is the estimated number of QHP enrollees out of the 3/31 total above who eventually paid their first month's premium.

5.7 - 5.9 Million: This is my projection for what the average number of people enrolled in ACA QHPs per month throughout the full 2014 calendar year will be as of November 14, 2014. Again, the high end assumes 2% net monthly attrition, the low end assumes 3% net monthly attrition.