Health Insurers: No Payments from Thousands of Obamacare 'Enrollees'

Health Insurers: No Payments from Thousands of Obamacare 'Enrollees'

Healthcare insurance companies are announcing that they are having trouble getting paid by the thousands of new policy holders who signed up through the new healthcare exchanges, resulting in far fewer enrollees than expected.

Despite this news, Obama’s former campaign sent out a fundraising email urging supporters to “Spread the good news! ” and claiming that six million Americans had “already signed up for coverage thanks to health reform.”

“More than six million Americans already have coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act–including 2.1 million who signed up for private plans on the health insurance marketplace. Nobody can deny that fact,” Erin Hannigan said in a January 10 Organizing For Action email.

Despite the bravado that “no one can deny” OFA’s claims, well-known statistician Sean Trende noted that at least one of the administration’s claims is suspect. Obama has said that four million Americans had enrolled in Medicaid. Trende says this is “doubtful.”

In a lengthy January 7 piece at RealClearPolitics, Trende wrote, “It s a virtual certainty that the number of enrollments attributable to Obamacare is an order of magnitude less than the 4 million sign-ups implied, and the number of people [on Medicaid] who would actually lose their insurance if Obamacare were repealed is probably around 200,000 to 300,000.”

It is sure that the administration is counting many who signed up for a plan through the exchanges, but this hardly counts for actual, paid policies.

Regardless of what the real numbers are or are not, insurers have not received actual payments to assure that policies have really been bought. 

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 10, “A big gap between the roughly two million people the government said selected plans in the marketplaces and those who actually pay–the final step to getting coverage–could pose a fresh challenge for the Obama administration.”

One of the major stumbling blocks that insurance companies are facing is that the various exchange websites are still not working well enough to finish enrollments. Further, in many parts of the business sector, confusion over Obamacare still reigns.

Finally, the Associated Press reported on January 2 that millions of Americans who thought they signed up for Obamacare are still unsure if they have a new policy.