Health insurance industry expert Bob Laszewski says between 70-85 percent of Obamacare “enrollees” have paid their first month’s premium. When insurers finally close their books he anticipates 10-20 percent will have their policies voided for failure to pay.
We’ve known for weeks that the enrollment figures offered by the Obama administration weren’t really enrollment figures. HHS counts anyone who placed a plan in their online shopping cart as enrolled even though insurance companies don’t count someone as enrolled until they pay their first premium. We also learned that those who don’t pay will have their applications voided and need to start the process over again. What we haven’t know is how many people would follow through and how many would be back to square one.
In a post published Sunday on his blog, insurance expert Bob Laszewski writes “The carriers I talked to at the end of last week report that anywhere
from a low of 70% to a high of 85% of new enrollees have paid so far.” We have already passed the deadline for payment but Laszewski says some insurers are giving people additional time to make payments. That leads him to estimate “there will be an overall 10% to 20% final attrition rate due to non-payment of premium.”
HHS reported that 2.2 million people had enrolled for private plans as of December 28th. Using Laszewski’s estimate, that means between 220,000 and 440,000 people will be dropped for non-payment. Either way the actual enrollment through the end of December would be under 2 million.
The remainder of Laszewski’s post is about a related issue. How many of the 2.2 million “enrollees” were previously insured versus newly insured. Laszewski points to a Wall Street Journal report over the weekend which found that just 11 percent were newly insured. This leads to a big question which Laszewski believes has the Obama administration “sweating bullets” about election day, “While we needed to do health insurance reform, why did we have to do it in a way that so disrupted the existing individual and small group market if the people it was supposed to benefit, the uninsured, weren’t going to buying it?”