Only 67 percent of those who have signed up for health insurance coverage through the healthcare.gov website have paid their first month’s premium, the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Wednesday, citing data from multiple insurance providers.
This means that only two-thirds of sign-ups are formally enrolled in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
And of the 67 percent who have paid, only 25 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34.
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations plans to hold a hearing next week with representatives from the insurance industry to discuss the enrollment data.
The figures come after House Energy and Commerce Committee members sent letters to insurance providers requesting enrollment data that included demographic breakdowns and figures on who has paid their premiums.
The most recent figures date to April 15, 2014, more than two weeks after the official deadline for the open enrollment period.
“Due to the administration’s repeated and unilateral extensions and changes, as well as the fact that many insurers have reported that individuals will still have time to pay their first month’s premium,” the committee has requested that insurers providers in the federally run exchanges to provide updated enrollment figures by May 20, 2014.
The president and his allies have stated repeatedly that approximately 8 million Americans have “signed up” for Obamacare. However, as noted by the committee and several analysts, “sign-ups” are far different than “enrollments,” which require actual payment.
Insurers told the committee that as of April 15, only 2.45 million consumers had paid their first month’s premium, well below the president's touted 8 million figure.
“For months, the committee and members of the press have urged the administration to provide rudimentary details about enrollment under the law, including information regarding the makeup of the risk pool and who had actually paid for their health care plans,” the group said in a statement.
White House officials insisted for months that the requested information was unavailable, telling members of Congress that they’d have to ask insurance providers for the data.
So members of Congress did.
“In a sad reversal away from its vows of transparency, the Obama administration, from inside the Oval Office on down, has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep basic details of the health law from the public. Tired of receiving incomplete pictures of enrollment in the health care law, we went right to the source and found that the administration’s recent declarations of success may be unfounded,” committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said.
“We need a complete picture of how this law is working. We will continue to strive for transparency and hold the administration accountable for this law’s shortcomings and broken promises," he added.
Here’s the committee’s breakdown of 67 percent who have paid their first month’s premium:
- Under 18: six percent;
- Ages 18 to 25: 10 percent;
- 26 to 34: 15 percent;
- 35 to 44: 16 percent;
- 45 to 54: 23 percent;
- 55 to 64: 29 percent;
- 65 and older: 1 percent.
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