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How many people “enrolled” in ObamaCare have actually paid their first month of premiums?
Hotair ^ | 12/05/2013 | AllahPundit

Posted on 12/05/2013 11:12:57 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Health-care reporters have been zeroed in lately on the 834 error rate, i.e. the rate of garbled or phantom enrollment data transmitted from to insurance companies as people sign up. WaPo claimed the other day that the rate is as high as one-third, but HHS, knowing a looming PR catastrophe when it sees one, has refused to give reporters a hard number. The media’s focus on that is all to the good — the higher the 834 error rate, the more chaos there’ll be next month in sorting out the big surge of applications in December — but there’s another key rate that’s being overlooked. Namely, what’s the rate of people who somehow, miraculously, have completed the sign-up process on but then failed to send a payment to their new insurer for their first month of premiums? I haven’t seen a single estimate of that yet even though it’s a crucial metric: If you don’t pay by New Year’s Eve, you’re not enrolled, even if you successfully signed up on the website. If there’s a huge nonpayment rate among new sign-ups, there’ll be a huge number of people who show up to see the doctor next month only to find, to their great confusion and annoyance, that they have no coverage because they haven’t paid yet.

That brings me to this new piece from CNN Money, from which I learned two important things. One: If you sign up but fail to pay by December 31st, it’s not a simple matter of your coverage being suspended until you pony up. Your enrollment is void and you have to re-enroll on the website in January. Imagine how well is likely to cope if, next month, there are suddenly hundreds of thousands of people flooding into the site trying to sign up again because they forgot to pay on time before. And two: At least one insurer out there is keeping tabs on its nonpayment rate and sharing that number with the media. And the results are … not good:

While the Obama administration has reported that more than 100,000 Americans picked plans in October, the first month of open enrollment, it’s not known how many of them have paid.

One insurer, Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana, has received payments from only about 20% of applicants, nearly all using the firm’s online portal, said Jim Brunnemer, the chief financial officer. It is sending invoices and email reminders to those who haven’t yet sealed the deal. If payment isn’t made by New Year’s Eve, PHP has been told by federal officials that it must void the application.

Another complication is that insurers also don’t have a lot of time to process applications and send out ID cards. The timeline, particularly over the holiday week, will prove “challenging” for some companies, one industry executive said.

Yesterday I guesstimated, based on the most recent enrollment numbers, that something like 1.5 million people will sign up by December 23rd. Not every insurer will have a payment rate as poor as the one in Indiana cited above, but even if you triple it and assume 60 percent are paying on time, that’s still 600,000 people — roughly the population of Washington D.C. — that went to the trouble of signing up and then, for various and unknown reasons, didn’t complete enrollment by tendering payment. Maybe that’s because they’re short on cash right now, maybe they meant to pay and simply forgot, or maybe they didn’t read the fine print and thought they wouldn’t be expected to pay until January. My guess is that most of them fall into the last group. Which means all hell’s going to break loose next month.

unless the White House comes up with another “workaround.” They’ve already proved that they’re willing to overpay insurers temporarily in the interest of kickstarting enrollment; why wouldn’t they also offer to cover the first month of premiums for new enrollees who forgot to pay so that the missing revenue is available to insurers? Enrollees could pay the feds back later, maybe by having the value of those premiums withheld from their tax refunds in April if need be. (That’s how the mandate penalty will be collected, after all.) Given how lawless O has been in suspending the employer mandate and un-canceling plans, and given his willingness to perform frantic triage on the law politically by extending deadlines regardless of the policy consequences, it’s hard to believe he’d allow the nonpayment problem to wreak havoc next month. That’s the last thing Democrats need once they’ve finally made it past December 23rd and caught their breath over the holidays. Obama’s going to do something to “solve” this problem too. With your money, of course.

Back to the 834 problem, though. To prepare for today’s daily media conference call with HHS, watch Bob Laszewski’s interview with Megyn Kelly from last night. The key bit is the end of the clip when Laszewski insists, contra the White House’s claims that they improved the back end of as part of the big site upgrade before the November 30th repair deadline, that the 834 error rate was just as high on Monday of this week as it’s been in the past. If he’s right and that doesn’t change soon, insurers will have an unholy mess on their hands next month in sorting out hundreds of thousands of indecipherable enrollments. But look on the bright side: Even a low rate of accurate data is better than zero — which is what it is right now for Medicaid enrollments transmitted from to the states. Stay tuned.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: healthcaregov; obamacare; premium

1 posted on 12/05/2013 11:12:57 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind


Obamacare: You’re not insured until you pay

2 posted on 12/05/2013 11:16:26 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("Of the 4 wars in my lifetime none came about because the US was too strong." Reagan)
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To: SeekAndFind

If they did it through the federal site, none, because that problem-plagued site is only a partially functional site with no payment collection mechanism. It is a bogus shell site just to provide the administration some numbers they can boast about. Even with that, they couldn’t get that right. What incompetence!

3 posted on 12/05/2013 11:21:16 AM PST by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters for Freedom and Rededicaton to the Principles of the U.S. Constitution...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama will pay for them with your money

4 posted on 12/05/2013 11:28:33 AM PST by molson209 (Hillary Clinton)
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To: SeekAndFind

and the answer is....

5 posted on 12/05/2013 11:31:21 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: SeekAndFind

“paid ??? Have I paid ???

but this is ObamaCare. Its free...”

6 posted on 12/05/2013 11:33:33 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: SeekAndFind

Fast answer - darned near nobody has actually been put on the rolls as “insured”, except those who got in on Medicaid.

7 posted on 12/05/2013 11:34:34 AM PST by alloysteel (The Internet, a most exquisite system by which to confound and muddle any reasonable dialogue.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The answer is none. The back end code to pay the insurers has not been written. Therefore no payments have been made for the policies. I think there will be a lot of people in 2014, assuming they are covered; but will not be covered.

8 posted on 12/05/2013 11:35:04 AM PST by duckman (I'm part of the group pulling the wagon!)
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To: duckman

So these people not covered will be penalized for not being covered? Good thing all their info was entered into the system, it will be easier to extract the penalty from their account until they are covered. At least they won’t have to enroll again. Right?

9 posted on 12/05/2013 11:42:21 AM PST by Antihero101607
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To: molson209
Obama will pay for them with your money"

Where does he get that money? Under what appropriation? Maybe the House shouldn't (or didn't) appropriate for that.

10 posted on 12/05/2013 11:48:41 AM PST by Bobby_Taxpayer
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To: SeekAndFind

Good luck recovering ‘payment’ from the indigent. Those of us who pay our taxes will pick up the tab. Come to think of it, that’s another great reason to Go Galt.

11 posted on 12/05/2013 11:49:43 AM PST by tgusa (gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger .......)
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To: SeekAndFind

As for the reason why people didn’t pay when they signed up, it could be that after giving all their vital information short of their blood type, they might have assumed the insurance company would just debit the amount owed from their bank account. From what I’ve heard, when signing up you have to give your bank account info.

12 posted on 12/05/2013 11:50:09 AM PST by Shannon
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To: Tennessee Nana

RE: but this is ObamaCare. Its free...”

Of course if you’re a beneficiary, it’s free.... but SOMEONE has to pay... Guess who?

13 posted on 12/05/2013 11:50:42 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“Other peoples’ money” The Obamanauts are still waiting for those of us who pay taxes to sign on.
In any event, Barry will charge the expenses to the US Treasury and they’ll present us with the bill.
If they’re waiting on me they’d better be patient. I’m not even paying any “penalty”.

14 posted on 12/05/2013 11:59:33 AM PST by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: duckman

Maybe some of the state run sites accept payments, not sure though.

15 posted on 12/05/2013 12:16:53 PM PST by matt04
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To: SeekAndFind

LOL let’s set up a fake website to take Obamacare payments.
I bet we’d collect a few bucks....

16 posted on 12/05/2013 12:20:04 PM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: matt04

Does the Obamacare website accept foodstamps as payment ?

17 posted on 12/05/2013 12:21:48 PM PST by Col Frank Slade
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To: SeekAndFind

They made it so people would have to come up with a huge insrance premium right before Christmas. So, they can either buy insurance when no one is sick. Or they can buy Christmas presents. I have a feeling a lot of people spent all their money on Black Friday.

18 posted on 12/05/2013 12:51:22 PM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: matt04

What happens when people who paid are not reimbursed for their premiums, when the ‘law’ is gutted?

They will not have insurance OR their money!!

19 posted on 12/05/2013 12:51:50 PM PST by SMARTY ("The test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms." H. Amiel)
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To: SeekAndFind; All
Tangent to this I spoke to my Insurance Agent Gnome who sells, auto, home, mutual funds, life, health etc...

They are busy..

People realize they have to "buy" something so rather than go to the unsafe "exchanges" they are buying a policy in the private sector.....

Gee, what a concept...

20 posted on 12/05/2013 1:09:54 PM PST by taildragger (The E-GOP won't know what hit them, The Party of Reagan is almost here, hang tight folks....)
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To: SeekAndFind

I said the other day that Jan 1 would be fun...

but I think it will be sad but interesting...

picture the usual scenario...

you go to a doctor, give them your insurance card, they no doubt check to maker sure its current etc,

the doctor doctors you, and your insurance company is billed and the doctor paid...

that’s generally what use to happen or will until Dec 31, 2013..

now its Jan 3 2014...

Your boy falls and breaks his arm sledding on the long hill behind your neighborhood..

you take him to your doctor or maybe the ER...

“Insurance card ??? are you signed up with AffordableCare ???”

Oh yes sez you, “I completed everything in October”

“Did they send you a card ?”

“well president Obama didn’t mention a card. He just said we could sign up”

“did you have a card last year ??? you wrote here that little Bobby was hospitalized last June how was that paid ???”

“well yes but that was under the old system I had XYZ insurance company then we had them for years”

“well when you completed your application for AffordableCare did an insurance company bill you, or give you a receipt or send you a card???”

“Well yes I got a webpage that told me Thank you and that I was successfully enrolled. That’s what the president said. we can be enrolled. I haven’t had anything else since”

“well Mister Stupid we will have to bill you for the care your child gets today. A broken arm is not a preexisting condition.”

21 posted on 12/05/2013 1:12:20 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: duckman
The answer is none.

I believe you are correct - but only for the reason that coverage doesn't start until Jan 1, 2014.

Thus, the first premium will not be owed until Jan, 2014.

Someone please correct me if I've got this wrong...

22 posted on 12/05/2013 1:22:05 PM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Bobby_Taxpayer

“Where does obama get that money”? Remember this bit from about 4 tears ago or so?.... On the street reporter: “And where did obama get the money”? Fat ass ghetto slob welfare queen: “I doh noes iz stash eyes guezz but ‘e gonna giv it ‘ta uz, thaz whys wezze luvs ‘im...OBAMA...OBAMA...thaz why wezze voted for ‘im!!!!”

23 posted on 12/05/2013 1:37:18 PM PST by bobby.223 (Retired up in the snowy mountains of the American Redoubt and it's a GREAT life!)
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Just another reason to not sign up.

24 posted on 12/05/2013 3:13:25 PM PST by matt04
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To: jonno
As the CNN article linked above states, the first month's premium has to be received and processed by the effective starting date of the policy. The actual due date in my experience has always been by the third week of the preceding month, but in this case some insurers are accepting up to the last day of December.
25 posted on 12/05/2013 3:22:34 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

Reminds me of the mortgage crisis. “You mean I have to pay that money back? I thought that they jus’ gave you da house.”

26 posted on 12/05/2013 3:36:16 PM PST by GeorgeTex (Obama-The Ultimate Terrorist Weapon.)
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To: steve86

Thanks Steve.

I wonder what will happen to those policies that have not made the initial payment by the end of December.

A grace period? Wait until the next open enrollment period?

What a screwed-up system...

27 posted on 12/05/2013 5:40:32 PM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: jonno

As the law stands now the policy must be cancelled (just like any health insurance policy) if payment has not been made by initiation date. This would require re-enrollment from scratch.

But the administration is already talking about bailing out the insurance companies for the first few months of unpaid premiums so who knows.

28 posted on 12/05/2013 5:46:39 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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