February 14, 2014

1 in 5 who signed up for health insurance failed to pay the first premium.

And so, they are not covered (even though extensions were given). 
People could have many reasons for not paying their premiums. Some decided they did not want a health plan for which they had applied. Some never received an invoice from the insurance company, or received it late. In addition, phone lines of some health plans were overwhelmed.

Obama administration officials said they did not know how many people signing up for coverage had paid their premiums because the government had not finished building the “back end” of the computer systems needed to pay insurers.

64 comments:

TosaGuy said...

You mean Obamacare isn't free insurance?

Jim said...

Apparently, because of the way the system is set up, it appears that a significant portion of those who "haven't paid" are actually bogus enrollments all together.

For example, if you sign up for an Aetna plan on Healthcare.gov, but then find a better plan through Humana and sign up directly on their website; both companies will report an enrollment. However, that Aetna customer doesn't really exist.

So aside from those who: a) legitimately didn't pay the premium, b) bogus enrollments, and c) people whose policies had previously been cancelled because of ObamaCare - who's left that the ObamaCare supporters can claim are legimately "new" enrollees?

Given that Obama's top line number is 3.3 million and we know that approximately 4.7 million people lost their policies because of ObamaCare, that leaves...umm....NEGATIVE 1.4 million.

Now keep subtracting....20% of that 3.3 million are either bogus or non-payers, so now we're at...umm...NEGATIVE 2.1 million.

As of today then, more than 2 million people are out their previous coverage, and another 2.6 million who were either forced onto Medicaid or who are now paying higher premiums and deductibles with smaller provider networks to boot.

And we haven't even gotten started on the employer mandate stuff which will affect up to 80 million people that Obama just illegally delayed to avoid even more electoral pain for Democrats in the fall.

Yay, ObamaCare?

elkh1 said...

"back end" is ass, Obamacare is crap.

Ann Althouse said...

On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot. Credit where credit is due. (And bills, where bills are due: Will the second, third, fourth, etc., payments come through?)

Curious George said...

Nothing that an Obama speech can't solve.

jacksonjay said...


Stop Babbling!

What difference does it make?

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot. Credit where credit is due. (And bills, where bills are due: Will the second, third, fourth, etc., payments come through?)"

This is ridiculously dumb. Their is no bright side. The results to date lead to Obamacare cratering...too few young, too many women. who signed up is those that cost and are subsidized most. Death spiral.

PB Reader said...

I don't think there is any credit to be offered to Obamacare. Very few of those who enrolled and paid didn't have insurance before or were already eligible for Medicaid.

The whole purpose of Obamacare was to make insurance more affordable and reduce the number of people without insurance. It will end up failing on both counts.

I don't consider subsidies to be relevant to making insurance more affordable, that's just increasing government benefits.

Democrats will never admit to the devastating impacts of this program on people and the economy. They believe too strongly and facts don't make a difference.

John said...

"...government had not finished building the “back end” of the computer systems needed to pay insurers."

When was the last time the government finished ANYTHING?

They are not interested in RESULTS, just feeling good about the ATTEMPT.

Hagar said...

Obama's latest "tweak" delays implementation of the ACA (for the firms that take the gamble on being able to meet some IRS employee's notion of "legitimate business reasons) to 2016 - just before the next presidential election?

Anybody willing to take bets on how long this "tweak" stands still?

garage mahal said...

Insurance companies are outspending the Koch Brothers.

Companies such as Cigna and Kaiser Permanente poured about $40 million into television ads specifically related to Obamacare between Dec. 1 and Feb. 8, according to ad tracking firm Kantar Media. That is far more than AFP, which as of last week had dropped about $27 million on ads since August attacking politicians who supported the program. Link.

Drago said...

Ann Althouse: " That's a lot. Credit where credit is due."

Yeah, "that's a lot" alright.

I'll be most businesses are quite pleased when they can get 80% of their customers to actually pay for the goods and services obtained.

What's that?

That's insane?

Right.

But we must keep setting the bar lower for our preeeezy.

To not set the bar lower would be "ugly" and uncalled for and racist and "War on Women" and all the rest.

80% payment!

Woohoo.

Happy Days are here again!

Drago said...

garage: "Insurance companies are outspending the Koch Brothers."

Would that be insurance company spending that was "requested" by Sebelius of the very insurance companies over which she has tremendous political and policy power?

That money?

Nice little insurance company you've got there.

Say, would you mind kicking in another 5 to 10 million for advertising?

Oh no, it's not "required" mind you, it's all, you know, voluntary.......

J Lee said...

Did the 20 percent know that they had to pay? Or did they hear five years of claims that the government was going to provide 'free' health care through the Affordable Care Act and thought all they had to do to be covered was just sign up, and Uncle Sam would take care of the bills from now on?

garage mahal said...

Nice little insurance company you've got there.

LOL

SteveR said...

Having been down the healthcare.gov path a few times, its very easy to understand how someone can enroll and not pay. Its not like buying a car on a lot, or even like buying something on Amazon. Its just another click in a long series of clicks, nothing stands out.

Brennan said...

Ann: 80% is what the private insurers report as paid.

I'm curious as to how the Wonk Bloggers are accepting this statistic even though it comes from private enterprises and not the all knowing, trustworthy, US Federal Government.

I do enjoy having Uncle Sam have to admit "You didn't build that and we didn't build it yet either."

rehajm said...

The payers are the 'adverse' in adverse selection.

This is not good news.

FullMoon said...

Anti smoking ad in California claims 1 in 5 deaths are caused by cigarette smoke. Coincidence?

MadisonMan said...

It was built broken.

How many actual companies would be broke if only 80% of their customers paid their bills?

Althouse, I don't think an 80% payment rate is anything to pat Obama on the back about.

n.n said...

The revenue stream is weak but progressive.

Livermoron said...

Ms. Althouse once again demonstrates why she is in academia and not in business.
Or in private practice.

Titus said...

shocking

Trashhauler said...

None of the bad news matters. The numbers will catch up. The President will keep changing things until they get it right. All is well.

All the carping bastids are racist!

Unknown said...

"On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot. Credit where credit is due. (And bills, where bills are due: Will the second, third, fourth, etc., payments come through?)"

Maybe that's sarcasm. Or irony (credit where credit is due, signing up...on credit). Followed by a simple (implied) thought experiment: 1st bill, 80% pay and that's good so 2nd bill 64% should pay, 3rd bill 52% pay, 4th bill 41% pay, etc.

eelpout said...

How many actual companies would be broke if only 80% of their customers paid their bills?

I bet Amazon would be thrilled with 80% of people buying something that was put in the checkout cart.

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:

"On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot. Credit where credit is due. (And bills, where bills are due: Will the second, third, fourth, etc., payments come through?)"

Most people who predicted that Obamacare will be a disaster were probably shocked at the disastrous rollout of the program. The government is even more incompetent that the conservatives predicted. The real damage from the program will not take effect until the program is fully operational and may take a few years to be fully developed.


Original Mike said...

"Having been down the healthcare.gov path a few times, its very easy to understand how someone can enroll and not pay. Its not like buying a car on a lot, or even like buying something on Amazon. Its just another click in a long series of clicks, nothing stands out."

I have a hard time understanding how so many who signed up didn't pay, but SteveR may be onto something. I wonder how many didn't know they "signed up".

Humperdink said...

"On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot. Credit where credit is due. (And bills, where bills are due: Will the second, third, fourth, etc., payments come through?)"

80% payment rate? Incredible. If this happened in my business, I would be out of business in about 5 months.

Humperdink said...

Maybe I could get the Bernanke to hire on as my VP of Finance.

eelpout said...

80% payment rate? Incredible. If this happened in my business, I would be out of business in about 5 months.

People that didn't pay for insurance aren't getting any insurance until they do pay.

Bill S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"People that didn't pay for insurance aren't getting any insurance until they do pay."

Not according to Dear Leader.

John said...

“I think people are enrolling in multiple places,” he said in a conference call. “They are shopping. And what happens is that they never really get back on HealthCare.gov to disenroll from plans they prior enrolled in.”

All this "enrolling" wouldn't be a way to inflate the 'success' of the ACA, would it? I couldn't possibly imagine a room full of "shoppers", "enrolling" for others, just to quiet the critics.

You have to forgive me - I've been living in Illinois for several years now - land of the "walking dead" voter.

eelpout said...

"Under federal rules, people must pay the initial premium to have coverage take effect."

Humperdink said...

eelpout said: "Under federal rules, people must pay the initial premium to have coverage take effect."

Under federal rules?

That's the biggest laugh I have all day. Have you been on Mars for the last 6 months?

gregq said...

Note that this is "20% of the people that the companies have been successfully informed about. So those whose forms were screwed up by the Exchange don't count. Those who put a plan in their shopping cart ("picked a plan") don't count.

So this doesn't mean that "80% of those the Obama Administration says have enrolled" actually have insurance. It means that less than 80%, and possibly much less than 80%, have insurance.

And no, Ann, with 5.5+ million people having lost their insurance coverage because of ObamaCare, getting less than 3 million signed up and paying for new plans is NOT "a lot".

khesanh0802 said...

Ann;

I refer you Jim @12:21. His comments are much more accurate than your "Holly-go-lightly" approach.

If you can't won't pay the first bill after all the work to sign up, bills two, three etc. are unlikely to be paid.

gregq said...

garage mahal said...

Insurance companies are outspending the Koch Brothers.

Companies such as Cigna and Kaiser Permanente poured about $40 million into television ads specifically related to Obamacare between Dec. 1 and Feb. 8, according to ad tracking firm Kantar Media. That is far more than AFP, which as of last week had dropped about $27 million on ads since August attacking politicians who supported the program.

Just curious, Garage, do you think it's a "good" thing that the insurance companies are outspending the Koch Brothers? I thought you didn't like it when companies spent money on politics?

And it's amusing to note that even with all this pro-ObamaCare spending, people still hate it even more.

The Godfather said...

I'm so old I've been against Obamacare since it was Hillarycare, and the FUBAR roll-out -- right after Obama and all enlightened people applauded the defeat of the dastardly Republicans who wanted to delay the implementation of the mandate -- really made my day (week) (month) (months) (year?).

But people like me and other commenters need to keep our eye on the ball. Even if Healthcare.gov had worked like a charm (the federal government DOES sometimes do something right), even if they could sucker enough young people into the system to make it viable, we would still be against it. Why? Let's not forget the answer to that question.

gregq said...

eelpout said...

I bet Amazon would be thrilled with 80% of people buying something that was put in the checkout cart.

Nice try, but no dice. The companies don't hear about someone until the really do chose a plan, not just put it in their cart. So this is, at best, equivalent to Amazon having 20% of their "sales" having their credit cards bounce.

garage mahal said...

Interesting:

In Q1 2013 the average shopping cart, basket and booking abandonment rate among top 200 retailers was 73.6% (up from 70.7% in Q4 2012). Worse than that, a study by SeeWhy reports that 99% of visitors won’t buy on their first visit.

MadisonMan said...

How many actual companies would be broke if only 80% of their customers paid their bills?

I bet Amazon would be thrilled with 80% of people buying something that was put in the checkout cart.

Which relates to my comment how, exactly?

Would Amazon be thrilled if only 80% of those who put something in their checkout cart actually paid?

garage mahal said...

Would Amazon be thrilled if only 80% of those who put something in their checkout cart actually paid?

Hell yes, considering 70% of people that put something in their checkout cart *don't* buy anything.

Michael in ArchDen said...

Garage posted, "
In Q1 2013 the average shopping cart, basket and booking abandonment rate among top 200 retailers was 73.6% (up from 70.7% in Q4 2012). Worse than that, a study by SeeWhy reports that 99% of visitors won’t buy on their first visit."

That is interesting. Any chance they broke out the numbers of things one is legally required to buy, versus things you can choose to buy?

Humperdink said...

If General Motors had firm commitments from 2,500,000 customers for new cars, but only sold 2,000,000, would they be jumping for joy?

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot.


Really? Barack Obama says 5 million people are too few to worry about.

Marshal said...

garage mahal said...
Would Amazon be thrilled if only 80% of those who put something in their checkout cart actually paid?

Hell yes, considering 70% of people that put something in their checkout cart *don't* buy anything.


Amazon didn't report items left in the cart as sales did they? I don't think there's ever been anyone who could understand so little about so much.

Jason said...

And now it has come to pass that California is recruiting illegals to sign up for Obamacare.

And Rep. Joe "You Lie!" Wilson was right all along.

Craig Howard said...

And so, they are not covered (even though extensions were given).


How are you so sure of that? Obama hath not yet spoken on that particular topic.

Drago said...

Marshall: "Amazon didn't report items left in the cart as sales did they."

You just flummoxed our resident marxists.

Note my original comment at 1:02pm: "I'll be(t) most businesses are quite pleased when they can get 80% of their customers to actually pay for the goods and services obtained."

Again for the slow: "..actually pay for the GOODS AND SERVICES OBTAINED."

Obama has already signaled that those who have not paid have to be accepted.

Even better, we have already seen how many doctors and their practices who opted out of dear leaders obamacare somehow, magically, still show up in lists as available to patients under obamacare.

I'm sure that's just a li'l oversight.

Nothing to be concerned about.

Your practice shows up as available under obamacare.

The patient selects this pretend choice and then tries to get an appt with the doctor.

obama has already said that these patients need to be accepted.

How much longer before obama "interprets" his infinitely elastic legislation to mean that doctors, any doctors, better accept these patients?

Drago said...

Marshall: "Really? Barack Obama says 5 million people are too few to worry about."

But, but, THOSE 5 million are important.

Not like those others.

BTW, guess what's going to hit next in the obamacare exchanges?

If you guessed "minimum service Catastrophic Plans" you'd be right!!

You know, those plans that garage and obama and Inga and Biden and the entire left called "substandard" and "junk" plans?

Well, they are coming back baby and they are better than ever, except now it's all due to dear leader, thus those plans are wonderfully, exceptionally and magnificently COOL.

Just like preeezy.

They'll just call them "Copper plans" which totally totally makes them different than those previous catastrophic plans.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303874504579373342002006318?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303874504579373342002006318.html

Owen said...

Godfather @4:49-- what you said. This is all about the principle. Why do we want some faceless rule-bound bureaucrat deciding our fate? What value does she add to the decisions we make about our future? How can she know us and our hopes? ...The budgetary waste is inevitable, is massive and is merely the downstream effect of our having imagined that the bureaucrat could do a better job than we ourselves.

kentuckyliz said...

So Obamacare has made our workplace plans suck, and some people with chronic health problems can't afford the huge co-pays and deductibles in the crap plan that they could afford the employee contribution for...and some people are deciding that work is for suckers. They're quitting and going on welfare and social security disability. That's the only way to get ahead nowadays. (for some people)

Here's my gripe: given that we have shockingly giant copays and deductibles, and you can't plan the unforeseen serious illness/accident things in life, WTF is the deal with Section 125 FSA flexible spending accounts having to be spent this year or forfeited to the IRS? Make them like HSA's--no such deadline, and you can accumulate a large savings account and even invest some of it after a while. We all should have these health IRA's, even if it's for end of life care. That's a huge price tag and usually late in life enough for investment to grow your DCA contributions. Isn't that better than the rationing of death panels?

Fuck em all. Obamacare has stuck me with a $4k+ bill for advanced imaging that I have to have repeated in April. Have to do it because it's cancer care. Not something to skimp on. If you stay alive, your finances suck, but if you try to be conservative about your finances, you end up dead and finances don't matter any more.

I hate our overlords.

kentuckyliz said...

I think they should have plans like the list of anniversary present materials. I'm on the Paper Plan. LOL

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Since the revenue stream is weak, we can infer that the condition was misdiagnosed or the wrong treatment was prescribed. Either way, this is evidence of malpractice. Where are the lawyers when you need them? Where are the investigative journalists exposing a scheme to fleece Americans?

Is it possible that they don't understand that economic development is principally a local and regional process? Is that why they didn't conduct their experiment in Detroit or Chicago, because they need to exploit the "infinite" leverage of the federal government?

SOJO said...

There were also billing issues. Some paid the premium but kept getting form letters telling them they had not; others filled out their payment form, but we're never billed on their visa. This is despite phone calls to rectify the situation.

Jim said...

Ann Althouse said...

"On the bright (for Obama side), 80% have paid. That's a lot. Credit where credit is due."

Not so fast.

How many of that 80% are Medicaid enrollees? Because they're counting those people in the "paid" column despite the fact that they haven't paid anything and never will.

How many of those Medicaid enrollees would have enrolled in Medicaid just as a function of time regardless of ObamaCare's existence? The vast majority of them.

So, once again, starting at the 3.3 million and subtracting non-payers to get to 2.64 million. Now subtract all the Medicaid enrollees who would have enrolled anyway. Now how many people are actually being covered as a result of ObamaCare?

Before we even calculated the Medicaid enrollees, ObamaCare was responsible for a NEGATIVE 2.1 million, and further subtracting normal Medicaid enrollments only puts that number farther into the red.

So please tell me again "where the credit is due".....

Michael K said...

"How much longer before obama "interprets" his infinitely elastic legislation to mean that doctors, any doctors, better accept these patients?"

Don't worry, that's coming .

"Covered California announced it will discontinue posting of a provider director on its website until further notice, after finding some errors in the physician lists," the exchange said in a prepared statement issued Thursday night.


"While the combined provider directory was a useful service for many consumers, some enrollees located physicians thought to be in their plan and subsequently discovered they were not," the exchange said.


They've also removed the hospital list.

The Godfather said...

Thanks, Owen (7:41 pm). Yes, it "is all about the principle." Yes, we do not "want some faceless rule-bound bureaucrat deciding our fate". We want to live in a country where each of us is our own master. Even if Big Brother could take care of us better than we can ourselves, we don't want to be subjects.

It's true that Big Brother can't take care of us better than we can ourselves, but if we aren't committed to taking responsibility for ourselves, we can be fooled.

What was so fundamentally dishonest about the sale of Obamacare was the repeated claim that we could keep what we had if we wanted to, that we would be given additional options to consider, and that those of our brothers and sisters who were unable to obtain health insurance would be able to do so. None of it was true.

You know the old saying about the greatest lies: The check's in the mail, I'll respect you in the morning, and I'm from the government and I'm here to help you. Obamacare is the trifecta of lies.

Unknown said...

====Would Amazon be thrilled if only 80% of those who put something in their checkout cart actually paid?

=====Hell yes, considering 70% of people that put something in their checkout cart *don't* buy anything.


They wouldn't announce adding an item to the cart as a sale like Obamacare does, that's for damn sure.

stlcdr said...

There's a difference between the 'real world' shopping cart and 'virtual' shopping cart.

Putting stuff in a virtual shopping cart is the same as putting stuff on a list of things you want to buy. Like a wish list, but not quite.

The next step is commitment to buy. Then buying it. Then paying for it.

20% went through all these steps, and did not pay. As already mentioned - the credit card payment bouncing.

There are two types of people, I believe, in the 20%: those who didn't think they had to pay, and those who have no intention of paying.

There's a reason the Obamacare website did not take a card payment at 'checkout': primarily, if people new they had to pay for it there and then, they would not do it. The 80% who follow up demonstrates that most people are honest and really do want to pay their bills, even if they put themselves in a position where they can't. Sadly, it isn't more than 80%. This is not a 'bright side'.

RecChief said...

They don't know. Either a lie or incompetence. No other option