Startling congressional testimony on Thursday revealed the Obama administration does not know how many people have Obamacare coverage because it has yet to build the systems necessary to determine the number of individuals who have paid their premiums to activate coverage.
During a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) asked Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deputy administrator and director for the Center’s Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight division Gary Cohen how many people have activated their Obamacare coverage by making their first premium payment. Cohen said no one knows, because that part of the Obamacare system has not been built yet.
“The most important number, as has been reported by many news outlets, is whether individuals have paid. Does the administration collect this information?” asked Harper.
“Right now we’re not, but we will be,” said Cohen.
“When?” asked Harper.
“As soon as that functionality is built,” said Cohen.
“So we don’t know at this point how many people have paid for coverage?” Harper asked.
“That’s right,” said Cohen.
Health insurance plans purchased through Obamacare only kick in once a customer pays his first month’s premium. The Obama administration claims over two million people have “enrolled” in Obamacare, but Cohen’s testimony makes it clear the administration lacks even the ability to know how many of those who put insurance plans in their “shopping carts” actually completed their purchase and paid their premiums.
Reports by the Wall Street Journal have suggested that numerous insurers have only received payments from half of those who signed up for Obamacare.