As The Obama Administration “Touted” The Number Of ObamaCare Enrollees, Many See “Warning Signs Amid The Statistics.” “The Obama administration’s most recent tally of enrollees under the Affordable Care Act highlights the wildly divergent views of the program’s success status. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) touted figures released Wednesday as reason for optimism, while others see only warning signs amid the statistics.” (Sharyl Attkisson, “On ObamaCare Enrollment, Insurers Don’t Share Government’s Optimism,” CBS News, 2/13/14)

The Lack Of Young, Healthy Enrollees Will Increase Premiums For Everyone

The Number Of Young Adults Enrolling In ObamaCare “Is Well Below The 38 Percent” Projected By The Obama Administration To Achieve A Health Risk Pool. “U.S. government data released this week show the demographic of adults aged 18-34 rose only slightly by the end of January to 25 percent of total enrollment in private ObamaCare plans. That is well below the 38 percent that administration officials have talked about achieving to give insurers a strong mix of healthier members, whose premium payments help offset the cost of older, sicker policyholders.” (David Morgan, “ObamaCare Enrollment Push for The Young Enters 11th Hour,” Reuters, 2/14/14)

  • Only 25 Percent Of ObamaCare Signups Are Young Adults. “But only 25 percent of those enrolled were between the ages of 18-34, well below the 40 percent benchmark the administration set for the age group. Younger, healthier enrollees are necessary to subsidize coverage for older enrollees.” (Zeke Miller, “ObamaCare Enrollment Still Lagging With Young People,” Time, 2/12/14)

Insurance Industry Representative Robert Laszewski: “There Is No Way You Can Get A Good Spread Of Risk With Such A Small Percentage Of The Total Eligible Signing Up.” “But the rosy portrait shatters under an alternate interpretation by insurance industry representative Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates. ‘They made a big deal about the age results,’ said Laszewski after reviewing the HHS numbers. ‘But the greater challenge for them is the low number of people enrolling. There is no way you can get a good spread of risk with such a small percentage of the total eligible signing up.’” (Sharyl Attkisson, “On ObamaCare Enrollment, Insurers Don’t Share Government’s Optimism,” CBS News, 2/13/14)

  • Laszewski Said The Enrollment Number Don’t Look Great As Only A Fraction Of The Previously Uninsured Have Enrolled. “‘Looking at the total of 3.3 million, netting out the non-pays, and listening to the anecdotal carrier reports, it doesn’t look like we have more than a fraction—certainly something less than 10%— of the previously uninsured,’ said Laszewski. (Sharyl Attkisson, “On ObamaCare Enrollment, Insurers Don’t Share Government’s Optimism,” CBS News, 2/13/14)

“The Concern Is That The Fewer Young Adults Sign Up, The Higher Insurance Costs May Have To Rise For 2015.” (David Morgan, “ObamaCare Enrollment Push for The Young Enters 11th Hour,” Reuters, 2/14/14)

  • If The Trend Of Young Adults Enrolling Continues, The Nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation Said Premiums Would Rise 2.4 Percent In 2015. “Analysts at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation maintain that even if youth enrollment remains unchanged at 25 percent, it would add only 2.4 percent to 2015 premiums because the law compensates insurers for unexpected losses.” (David Morgan, “ObamaCare Enrollment Push for The Young Enters 11th Hour,” Reuters, 2/14/14)

A Source Involved With ObamaCare Implementation Called The Number Of Young Adults Enrolling In ObamaCare As “Progress” But “Roughly 40 Percent Of Enrollments Are Needed “To Help Achieve A Balanced Risk Pool.” “CBS News also received a guarded analysis from a source involved in implementation of the Affordable Care Act who supports ObamaCare. The source said the bump of young invincibles to 27 percent of January enrollees was ‘progress,’ but added ‘they neglect to point out that they need roughly 40 percent to help achieve a balanced risk pool’ necessary under a successful business model.” (Sharyl Attkisson, “On ObamaCare Enrollment, Insurers Don’t Share Government’s Optimism,” CBS News, 2/13/14)

And People Aren’t Paying Their Premiums On Time, Possibly Skewing White House Enrollment Figures

“One In Five People Who Signed Up For Health Insurance Under The New Health Care Law Failed To Pay Their Premiums On Time And Therefore Did Not Receive Coverage In January.” “One in five people who signed up for health insurance under the new health care law failed to pay their premiums on time and therefore did not receive coverage in January, insurance companies and industry experts say. Paying the first month’s premium is the final step in completing an enrollment. Under federal rules, people must pay the initial premium to have coverage take effect. In view of the chaotic debut of the federal marketplace and many state exchanges, the White House urged insurers to give people more time, and many agreed to do so. But, insurers said, some people missed even the extended deadlines.” (Robert Pear, “One-Fifth Of New Enrollees Under Health Care Law Fail To Pay First Premium,” The New York Times, 2/14/14)

The Obama Administration Defines An ObamaCare Enrollee As Someone That Has Selected A Health Plan – Not Someone Who Has Paid Their First Month’s Premium. “The administration has been criticized for releasing enrollment figures that include people who have selected a plan, but have not completed the process by making their first premium payment. Critics have warned that the administration’s numbers are inflated because not everyone who selects a plan will complete the final step needed to obtain coverage. … HHS has said it is not breaking down enrollees by who has made a payment because they only have access to information about those selecting plans on the HealthCare.gov website, as consumers are expected to pay the insurers directly after enrolling.” (Jonathan Easley, “Report: 20 Percent Failed To Pay ObamaCare Premiums,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 2/14/14)

  • Insurers Only Count Enrollees That Have Already Submitted A Payment. “Health insurance plans only count subscribers as enrolled in a health plan once they’ve submited a payment. That is when the carrier sends out a member card and begins paying doctor bills.” (Sarah Kliff, “Who Counts As An ObamaCare Enrollee? The Obama Administration Settles On A Definition,” The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog, 11/11/13)

 

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