Obamacare

Obama Administration Says 7.3 Million Paid Enrollments in Obamacare Exchanges as of August

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Whitehouse.gov

The Obama administration said this morning that about 7.3 million people were paid and enrolled in insurance through Obamacare's exchanges as of August 15.

The figure represents a decline of about 700,000 from the 8 million the administration said were signed up for coverage at the end of April. The decline stems from people signing up but not paying, or from choosing drop coverage.

This is the first time the administration has provided a paid enrollment figure. Previous estimates for Obamacare coverage have relied on the number of people signed up, not the number of people who finalized their enrollment by paying.  

The 7.3 million figure is not quite current; instead, it represents a "snapshot" taken on a single day in August, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told members of Congress this morning. 

Even still, that figure is likely to decline at least somewhat going forward. For one thing, it doesn't account for the 115,000 people who could lose their coverage at the end of September as a result of failing to verify their citizenship. Nor does it account for people who may choose to drop coverage after losing a subsidy because they failed to verify their income.

The figure is also potentially complicated by the 90-day grace period for premium payment the law requires insurers to abide by.

Tavenner's statement this morning said that, on August 15, "we have 7.3 million Americans enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and these are individuals who paid their premiums."

Presumably, then, these are all people who have made at least one initial premium payment. But we don't know for sure if they kept paying; it's possible that some of them paid once and then failed to pay. Insurance industry consultant Bob Laszewski has said that insurers expect a monthly attrition rate of 2-5 percent even after initial premiums are paid. 

That would mean that most people who signed up in the final enrollment surge at the end of March and had coverage begin in May would be in the window, as would the 910,000 people who signed up in the special enrollment period in April, many of whom didn't have coverage go into effect until the beginning of June

An August 15 snapshot could be capturing people who paid the first premium for May or June, and then missed later payments. Without recurring report on sign-up and payment trends, however, it's somewhat difficult to tell. 

As Reason's J.D. Tuccille noted earlier this week, the grace period built into the law makes it possible for someone to sign up for coverage, not pay premiums, and use the coverage at a doctor's office—eventually leaving the doctor on the hook for the bill.

Still, the new figure suggests that the large declines in enrollment reported by Aetna, a health insurer which indicated that it could see as much as a 30 percent drop in its Obamacare plans by the end of the year, are probably not representative of any larger trend. And they suggest that overall paid premiums are at least somewhere in the range of the 7 million (perhaps a little lower or a little higher) initially projected by the Congressional Budget Office. 

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  1. This is an awesome troll banishing spell post!

    Say, whatever happened to those 40 MILLYUNZ UNINSURED AND HAVING NO HEATHCAREZ!

    1. That was what I was wondering. 7.3 million sounds impressive if one has forgotten the number of people this was supposed to help get insured.

    2. Don’t worry. The number will increase shortly because of all the non-compliant insurance plans that will expire in December. I fully expect to get fucked good and hard on premiums based on my review of the available plans last year.

    3. The goal was to get 7 million signed up the first year. That goal was accomplished. There would be a lot more if more states had agreed to expand Medicaid. Some GOP governors are starting to come around.

  2. The Obama administration said this morning that about 7.3 million people were paid by the Obama administration and enrolled in insurance

    Better?

  3. As Reason’s J.D. Tuccille noted earlier this week, the grace period built into the law makes it possible for someone to sign up for coverage, not pay premiums, and use the coverage at a doctor’s office?eventually leaving the doctor on the hook for the bill.

    Serves the doctor right for being too greedy to provide free health care on his own.

    1. Do they actually drop people? Given the political importance behind the number of enrollments you’d think they’d follow the lead of local newspapers and just keep you signed up for years after you stop paying…

      1. Do they actually drop people?

        Hell yes the insurers drop people who don’t pay their premiums.

        There is no marginal cost to the newspaper of pretending you are a subscriber, in fact, it runs up their advertising rates.

        Insurance companies, on the other hand, have very real costs if they pretend you are insured by them.

  4. Of the 7.3 mil….how many had insurance of some type before O’care and how many of that 7.3 in Medicaid ?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

    1. “We’re sorry, but HHS does not collect that kind of data.”

      1. “We’re sorry, but HHS does not collect share that kind of data.”

        FTFY

      2. Yes, they do

    2. From memory, ~5M lost their insurance and had to sign up again, so that leaves 2.3M of the “40 millions!” who didn’t have insurance; 5%.
      Quite impressive for a program that’ll likely bankrupt the country, and kicked many premiums through the roof, right?

  5. Is improving the quality of life of 7 million people really worth the cost of your ideology being proved wrong again?

    1. Right! Because creating vast $100+ billion bureaucracies that jack up premiums for 200 million people and cut millions more out of their existing policies was totes the ONLY way to improving the quality of life of 7 million people, amiright?

      1. If any of that were true, the answer would be no. We could have just done single-payer and have even more of a life-quality improvement. But we can’t have nice things in this country, because it’s full of stupid people.

        1. Dropping the mask again today I see.

        2. “because it’s full of stupid people.”

          Leading by example, I see.

        3. Tony|9.18.14 @ 4:11PM|#
          …”We could have just done single-payer and have even more of a life-quality improvement.”…

          You mean like this, asshole?
          “Assistant Inspector General Concedes That VA Shenanigans ‘Contributed’ to Patient Deaths”
          https://reason.com/blog/2014/09…..ncedes-tha

          How ’bout YOU enlist to get that wonderful FedGov health care?

        4. ony|9.18.14 @ 4:11PM|#

          “If any of that were true, the answer would be no. We could have just done single-payer and have even more of a life-quality improvement. ”

          I’m trying to come up with an example to help you prove your assertion that single payer would “improve the quality of life” for Americans but the best I can come up with is the VA’s “quality of life” improving track record”.

          1. And I can simply point to the superior healthcare access and outcomes of every other advanced country on earth.

            1. Like in Britain, where the life expectancies are shorter?

              Or like in Canada, when they come to the US to avoid the long lines?

            2. Tony|9.18.14 @ 4:57PM|#
              “And I can simply point to the superior healthcare access and outcomes of every other advanced country on earth.”

              Yeah, and those who have skin in the game instead of being partisan assholes have something else to say:
              “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford soon will begin chemotherapy to treat a rare and aggressive cancer, a doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in the city said Wednesday.”
              http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/…..ord-cancer

        5. Jesus fuckin’ Christ Tony. How can you pack that much stupid into one post? Every single assumption, implication and assertion you just made is false. Every single fucking one.

          Go slug down a pint of drano you pinko POS.

          1. Truth is not whatever the partisan fat man says it is, buddy.

            1. Tony|9.18.14 @ 4:58PM|#
              “Truth is not whatever the partisan fat man says it is, buddy.”

              So you’re fat as well as stupid?

    2. Tony|9.18.14 @ 4:05PM|#

      Is improving the quality of life of 7 million people really worth the cost of your ideology being proved wrong again?

      When you subtract the number of people that already had health insurance from the 7.3 million we could have paid life time premiums for the remainder, left the rest of the people alone, and had money left over from the trillions that the CBO says this is gonna cost for just 10 years.

      Anyone who can defend this travesty of a law is an intellectual fraud.

      1. Anyone who can defend this travesty of a law is an intellectual fraud.

        Anyone who can defend this is certainly not an “intellectual”, at least not by objective and/or moral standards.

      2. Last time I checked, deductibles had gone up by 40%.

        The health insurance industry is seeking double-digit increases in premiums.

        He might argue that the Medicaid expansion has increased coverage for people who didn’t have any before–but that isn’t because of ObamaCare. That’s because of Medicaid expansion.

        1. Which is part and parcel of the law referred to as Obamacare.

          1. Then you should say you’re for expanding Medicaid and stop lying about supporting the rest of ObamaCare, you stupid motherfucker.

          2. Tony concedes that ObamaCare has made deductibles go up by 40%, he concedes that premiums are going up by double-digits next year–and then he acts like that being “part and parcel” of ObamaCare is somehow a good thing?

            What a fucking bonehead!

          3. Actually, Tony, the Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion was an entirely separate provision that just happened to be in the same bill, in effect. States can, and have opted out of Medicaid expansion.

    3. Tony|9.18.14 @ 4:05PM|#
      “Is improving the quality of life of 7 million people really worth the cost of your ideology being proved wrong again?”

      Don’t know, since you have yet to show even one person’s life has been qualitatively improved, nor have you shown that ideology has been proven wrong.
      Other than that, did you have something to say, asshole?

  6. “The figure represents a decline of about 700,000 from the 8 million the administration said were signed up for coverage at the end of April. The decline stems from people signing up but not paying, or from choosing drop coverage.”

    Either that, or maybe a lot of them were just racists.

  7. I refuse to even debate the left about Obamacare anymore. Before being implemented I remember telling people that premiums will skyrocket and quite a bit of people would be dropped from their current plans. When this actually happened with maybe one or two exceptions my progressive friends either moved the goal posts or doubled down on the law. If it was reversed and the GOP implemented this plan the NYT and MSNBC would find every opportunity to bash the GOP about this.

  8. So 7.3mm people have paid their insurance.

    I thought they weren’t able to track that, so how do they know?

    Does that include Medicaid? It shouldn’t as drafted, but these are lying weasels, so I’d like it to be explicit.

    And is this a statement that, as of 08/15, that many people were currently paid up, as in, had paid up their premiums through August?

    Why is this number so far out of line with what the insurers (who really do know) have been reporting?

    1. “Why is this number so far out of line with what the insurers (who really do know) have been reporting?”

      Because the Obo admin lies everywhere and always.

  9. OOPs. Most of the people who signed up actually paid. On to another rw anti-ACA talking point.
    FYI, the fact that all who signed up didn’t pay is neither unusual or surprising. Circumstances change – someone or their spouse may have gotten a job with insurance. They may qualify for another group health plane that is cheaper. People change insurance all the time when circumstances change. This is nothing new or unique to Obamacare.

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