As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to make healthcare system more transparent, affordable, and accountable, the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics, within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has prepared public datasets to provide the total number of health plan selections by county for the 38 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform, including the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, State Partnership Marketplaces, and supported State-based Marketplaces. The data sets for county-level plan selection information cut by age, race/ethnicity, Federal Poverty Level (FPL), consumer type, metal level, Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR), and Applied Premium Tax Credit (APTC) are made available.
Data were obtained from the Multi-Dimensional Insurance Data Analytics System (MIDAS), which serves as a central repository for capturing, organizing, aggregating, and analyzing CMS’s Marketplace data. The data represent the number of unique individuals who have been determined eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan and have selected a Marketplace plan for 2015. The datasets do not include plan selections from the District of Columbia and the 12 states that have State-based Marketplaces.
The 9.63 million plan selections for these 38 states were aggregated by county according to the home address provided by each Marketplace applicant. There are 2,601 counties represented in this dataset. Metrics with 10 or fewer plan selections were suppressed due to privacy concerns. Counties without any data on total plan selections (i.e., counties with 10 or fewer plan selections in total) accounted for less than 0.1 percent of the total 9.63 million plan selections, although a higher share of plan selections were suppressed for individual metrics. The percentages of total plan selections suppressed for other metrics were: 0.2 percent for plan selections by APTC; less than 0.1 percent for total plan selections by CSR; 0.4 percent for plan selections by metal level; less than 0.1 percent for plan selections by consumer type; 0.3 percent for plan selections by Federal Poverty Level (FPL); 0.3 percent for plan selections by race/ ethnicity; and 0.3 percent for plan selections by age category.
The variables include:
County: The County FIPS Code for the home address provided by the Marketplace applicant.
State: The state of residence selected by the Marketplace applicant.
Plan Selections: The total number of unique individuals who have a non-canceled plan selection with March 2016 coverage for the 38 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform, including the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, State Partnership Marketplaces and supported State-based Marketplaces. Plan selections occurred during the open enrollment period from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015, including additional special enrollment period activity reported through February 22, 2015.
Metal Level: A consumer’s metal level corresponds to the plan policy that he or she selected. Metal level is based on plan level reference data. Metal levels include Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Catastrophic plans. Catastrophic plans have the lowest premiums, but the highest deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses, while Platinum have the highest premiums and lowest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. A consumer must have the option of selecting at least a gold, silver, or bronze plan.