While the Obama administration still can’t say how many Obamacare enrollees have actually completed the enrollment process by paying their premiums, data from industry executives indicate that about one in five have missed the deadline to pay and so do not have coverage.
The New York Times reports that people failed to pay in many cases despite deadlines that were extended at the urging of the administration and aggressive efforts by insurance companies to follow up. “I think people are enrolling in multiple places,” Mark Bertolini, Aetna’s CEO, said in a conference call. “They are shopping. And what happens is that they never really get back on HealthCare.gov to disenroll from plans they prior enrolled in.” Aetna says that about one third of people who signed up for its plans failed to pay.
HHS has reported that 3.3. million people have signed up for health-care plans through the exchanges, but it’s unable to say, as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille put it, how many had “effectuated” coverage by paying for it. That’s because the government still has not completed the back end of the system that it will use to pay subsidies to the insurers.