A major insurer said that 15 to 20 percent of its new Obamacare customers have not yet paid their first premium, meaning these new sign-ups are not actually enrolled in health insurance plans.
The claim comes from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association whose members participate in exchanges in nearly every state, National Journal reported.
Approximately 80 percent of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s members, known as “Blues” plans, have paid their first month's premium, according to a BCBSA spokeswoman.
As noted by National Journal, the BCBSA data gives us a small idea of who is covered by the Affordable Care Act, something the Obama administration has not been able to do since enrollment first began on October 1, 2013.
“The Blues' experience is in line with anecdotal estimates from other insurance executives, who indicated earlier in the enrollment process that they received payments from about 80 percent of people who selected their plans,” the report states. “The Blues' latest estimate includes policies that took effect Feb. 1 or earlier.”
“Some health care analysts have suggested that the payment rate could improve later in the enrollment window, as plans had more time to track down consumers who hadn't paid,” the report adds.
However, until insurers report these final payment numbers, we won’t be know how many people are actually enrolled in plans under Obamacare.
For its part, the White House took a “victory lap” Tuesday after it announced that approximately 7.1 million people had signed up for coverage. However, the White House couldn’t say how many people have actually paid.
People are not enrolled in a plan until payment has been made. So until those numbers become available, we won’t know how many people are actually covered by Obamacare.
“If the nationwide payment rate, across all carriers, remains at 80 to 85 percent, the 7.1 million sign-ups Obama announced Tuesday would translate into somewhere between 5.7 and 6 million people who are actually covered,” National Journal reported.
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