More evidence has emerged that the 8 million Obamacare enrollees touted by the administration as a sign of the health care law's success may fall short of the hype.
Aetna, the nation's third-largest health insurer, anticipates that only 70 percent of those who enrolled in their plans through the federal marketplace to be fully enrolled and paying premiums by the end of 2014, Investors Business Daily reported.
That's on top of the numbers obtained by Congress that indicate that at least one in five customers who enrolled through the Obamacare marketplaces are not yet paying customers.
“While the Obama administration was quick to celebrate the end of the first open enrollment period, the reports have since disappeared,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement Tuesday. “It's clear that not everyone who signed up has completed and continued enrollment, and the latest stats from a top insurer could suggest a startling trend. Our efforts for greater transparency will continue.”
After the administration didn't provide the number of paying customers to the committee, the committee got the information directly from the insurers and found just just two-thirds of enrollees in the marketplace had paid their first month's premium by April 15. That increased to 80 percent by May.
Still, the projections by Aetna and other companies reported by Investors Business Daily suggest a decline in paying customers by the end of the year.
“The White House that once proudly trumpeted transparency has now gone silent when it comes to how the president’s health law is actually working,” Upton said.
Specifically, Investors Business Daily reported that Aetna – which participates in Obamacare exchanges in 16 states and the District of Columbia – anticipates the 720,000 that initially signed up for an Obamacare approved plan will fall to about 500,000 by the end of the year — a 30 percent decrease.
And it's not limited to one company, as other companies have reported attrition. The financial newspaper said that if a 30 percent decline is representative of the market, than the total enrollment for Obamacare plans on the marketplace will fall to 6 million or less.
Cigna executives have said they expect number of paying customers who had enrolled in the exchange to drop from 300,000 to 280,000 by the end of the year.
Washington state is the only state that didn't report sign-ups to the Department of Health and Human Services until customers paid an initial monthly premium. In that state, Investors Business Daily reported, the number of enrollees dropped from 164,062 on April 23 to 156,155 on June 1.