Report: Half of Obamacare 'Enrollees' Still Owe Their Premiums

Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 04:58 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The White House has been dealt a stunning new blow on Obamacare sign-up numbers with reports showing that only about half of the people "enrolled" at healthcare exchanges in various states have actually paid their premiums.

With the March 31 deadline for enrollment just seven weeks away, the number of sign-ups in federal and state marketplaces has slowed down to an alarming figure since the sudden surge in the latter part of December and early January.

But the bigger problem for the Obama administration is that roughly 50 percent of consumers who had supposedly enrolled for President Barack Obama's healthcare reform have missed their payment deadline for Jan. 1, according to Investor's Business Daily's website Investors.com.

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In Washington state, the exchange had set a goal of signing-up 340,000 participants by the end of next month, but little more than half that number, 170,000, had filled out the Obamacare forms.

But even more devastating for the proponents of the Affordable Care Act is that only 88,071 of those had paid their premium as of Feb. 1st, which is a little more than half the sign-ups, or a little more than 25 percent of the number that Washington had hoped to enlist by March 31 with their premiums paid up.

In Wisconsin, Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dan Schwartzer said only about half of the 40,752 state residents that signed up for health insurance through Obamacare by December 31 have paid their premiums and are currently receiving coverage, according to the ABC TV station WXOW19.

In Nevada, they had hoped to have 115,000 signed up for Obamacare by the March 31 deadline for individuals. But so far it looks like it's going to fall well-short of that goal with just 14,999 having paid their premiums by Feb. 1, which amounts to 66 percent of those who enrolled.

In Minnesota, Conservative Intelligence Briefing reported that 27,775 households had received private coverage from the MNsure exchange as of January 18. But only 14,500 have paid or have payments pending – a little more than half.

Minnesota, which has a goal of 67,000 sign-ups by March 31, has also been hit by a slow-down in Obamacare enrollments. After having soared by 4,000 a week for five weeks over December and early January, the rate has gone back to the November crawl of just 700 a week.

Investors.com says that the January data from New York, Colorado, Maryland and Kentucky also shows that the Obamacare sign-ups have slowed significantly in the second half of the month.

According to the report, the "spotty" payment rate may indicate that the demographics of paid enrollees "may be older and possibly sicker than even the national sign-up data have signaled."

Obamacare needs young and healthy customers to sign up with the state and federal healthcare exchanges to keep the cost down for older and less-abled consumers.

The White House had estimated that exchange sign-ups had reached the three million mark by January 23, an increase of 800,000 over December 28.

But the number is still far short of the seven million Americans that the president had hoped to enlist by the March 31 deadline of Obama's signature healthcare reform law.

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