NYT: 20 Percent Of Obamacare Enrollees Haven’t Paid Premiums


Of the millions of Americans who have signed up for health coverage under Obamacare, about 20 percent haven’t paid their premiums — and therefore their insurance might not be effective, the New York Times reported.

Reporters have been looking for a solid number on premium payments, which Obama administration officials have thus far been unable to provide. The Times surveyed an extensive list of insurance companies to come to its estimate.

Responses from individual carriers ranged from 70 percent to 95 percent of those enrolling also making their first premium payments.

Premium payments are necessary for coverage to begin. The Obama administration has urged insurance companies to give Obamacare enrollees flexibility in making their first payment.

Industry and regulatory sources were unavailable to provide TPM with an estimate of how many people didn’t make their premium payments for coverage prior to the health care reform law.

What does it mean? Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, offered the following perspective to the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

This puts a number on what was already known, that the actual count of people who end up getting insured by exchange plans is somewhat lower than the reported figure of how many have picked a plan. I don’t think it changes anything about how the law is working, both the things going well and the challenges ahead. There’s really no material difference whether total enrollment ends up being seven million, six million, or 5.8 million this year. A key aim next year and beyond will be to ramp it up, as was always expected.