Report: Just 67 percent of federal Obamacare exchange signups have actually paid

A report released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee finds that just 67 percent of people who signed up for health insurance coverage on the federal Obamacare exchange have actually paid their first month’s premium.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), requested specific enrollment data in March from each of the health insurance companies participating in the federal exchange, including age demographic breakdowns and the number of paid enrollments. The data show that out of the 3.65 signups through the exchange, just 2.45 million (67 percent of all signups) had paid their first month’s premium through April 15.

“In a sad reversal away from its vows of transparency, the Obama administration, from inside the Oval Office on down, has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep basic details of the health law from the public,” Upton said in a press release. “Tired of receiving incomplete pictures of enrollment in the health care law, we went right to the source and found that the administration’s recent declarations of success may be unfounded.”

President Barack Obama declared last month that 8 million people had signed up for coverage through the state and federal Obamacare exchanges in the extended open enrollment period. The administration has not yet released figures to show how many of these purported enrollments have actually been paid.

“We need a complete picture of how this law is working,” said Upton. “We will continue to strive for transparency and hold the administration accountable for this law’s shortcomings and broken promises.”

The committee released the state-by-state breakdown of the data (right) received from insurers, which reflects the enrollment picture as of mid-April. The committee found that just 25 percent of paid enrollments came from the 18 to 34 year-old demographic, far below the 38 percent the administration claimed was needed for the risk pools to be sustainable.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing, “PPACA Enrollment and the Insurance Industry,” on Wednesday, May 7, in which members will have the opportunity to ask health insurers participating on the federal exchange about the enrollment numbers.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Philip Klein reports, pushed back on the committee’s report, noting that some health insurers have publicly reported payment rates of 80 to 90 percent. “[G]iven the significant surge in enrollments at the end of March,” said HHS spokesperson Erin Shields Britt, ”it stands to reason that not all enrollees would have paid by the date of this so-called report since many people’s bills were not even due yet.”

The administration, of course, could shine some light on the matter if officials would simply release the tangible data that they have from insurers that participated in the state and federal Obamacare exchanges. Until then, there are more questions than answers and an administration that has a big credibility problem.

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