Tuesday, February 9, 2016

House GOP Says Only 67% of Obamacare Policies Are Paid For - Philadelphia Data Tell a Different Story

How many people have really signed up for coverage under Obamacare? The administration says 8.1 million applied through the online exchanges. But a completed application doesn't translate into coverage unless the first premium is paid.

House GOP Says Only 67% of Obamacare Policies Are Paid For – Philadelphia Data Tell a Different Story

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How many people have really signed up for coverage under Obamacare? The administration says 8.1 million applied through the online exchanges. But a completed application doesn’t translate into coverage unless the first premium is paid.

A committee of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives reported data this week showing that only 67% of those who signed up actually paid up. That’s a much lower figure than the administration’s estimate of around 80%.

Are the new figures accurate? Almost certainly not for the Philadelphia area, at least based on preliminary information. Independence Blue Cross, which sells the lion’s share of exchange policies in this region, reports that 87% of those who signed up for coverage starting January 1 or February 1 have paid the first premium. It’s too early to tell how many of those who signed up after that will end up paying, but there is no reason to suspect the figure will be much different.

Perhaps Philadelphians are more conscientious about financial obligations than those who live elsewhere. However, it is also possible that the House data doesn’t tell an accurate story. Many of those who signed up late haven’t paid the first premium because it isn’t due yet. The 67% figure may simply reflect the timing of the premium billing cycle.

If that is the case, the public has even more disinformation about Obamacare to contend with.

 

Professor, Drexel University Kline School of Law & Dornsife School of Public Health
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Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, Drexel University Kline School of Law & Dornsife School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson College of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
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