Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 28, 2015

What Obamacare’s Latest Enrollment Numbers Mean

Although the latest enrollment number is a promising trend in the right direction, Jonathan Cohn cautions that it “doesn’t tell us … whether these people getting private (or public) coverage had insurance previously—or, if they had insurance, how much they were paying for it. It doesn’t tell us how many of these people have actually paid premiums, which is essential for coverage to take effect. It doesn’t tell us whether insurers have proper data on these people or what kind of access and protection the new coverage will give.”

But here’s what we do know: “First and foremost, that is a (mostly) functioning website.”

“More important, we know that many of the people getting insurance are very, very happy to have it.”

“The goal has always been to make insurance more widely available, so that more people had access to care and protection from crippling medical bills, while beginning the difficult work of reengineering medical care to make it more efficient. The new enrollment numbers should give us new reason to think it will.”


  • Brutus

    Original estimates indicated that very few people who already have coverage will be able to get it through the ACA. Without checking the numbers I believe only around 3% of the ACA enrollees would be expected to already have had insurance since they must meet fairly strict criteria in order to reject their plan and get one through the ACA. First and foremost you can only enlist if the premium for the person carrying the health insurance ALONE exceeds 9.5% of their income. We ourselves are forced to pay 25% of our income in premiums through our employer for our insurance since we have been forced into a gold plan but our employer still totally covers the policy holder. So we are not allowed to obtain a policy through the healthcare exchanges. So without seeing any additional hard core data, I would strongly suspect that very few of these ACA sign ups already had policies. You just can’t shop on the exchanges because you feel like it.

    Also, only two states report who has actually paid their premiums and they have both reported that around 48% of the enrollees have already paid their premiums as of a few days to a week ago. I further believe that people now have until 1/10/14 to pay. In addition most people tend to wait until the last few days to pay for a major expense so all indicators are that this too is most probably not a big issue.

  • Mike

    What we do know is 5 or 6 million people have lost their insurance. We do know that the administration projected 3.3 million not 1.1 million at this point. Therefore what we can conclude is that the ObamaCAre sign ups indicate a massive failure not that we did not know that already. What does it portend? Even the bogus lying numbers the administration put forward only work if 7 million mostly healthy people sign up. It means that we have a huge cost problem that will bite us in the taxpayer pocket book soon enough.

    • Lorehead

      That’s by a definition under which anyone with a different, or even slightly changed, insurance policy “lost” the old one, which is not very meaningful in this context. Also, two million people have signed up to private plans. The 1.1 million number is only those who signed up through the marketplace; I am not counted as one of them.

      • Mike

        Yep I lost my policy as did all of the independent blue cross policy holders in Georgia. The new policy I did not want cost $500 more per month. This is the same story with other policy cancellations. Many of those people cannot afford even the “bronze” plan under the exchange. Even in your numbers we are down 3 million. Next the 1.1 million in the exchanges have not paid for a policy, most of them, so far less than 1.1 million are insured. Epic lie.. Epic failure. As was quoted this weekend worst legislation in 75 years. 66% in a CNN poll want it repealed. CNN of all people

        • Lorehead

          It’s very silly to object that not everybody who signed up has paid the bill yet. Very few of those two million people are going to sign up and not pay. And your story is very different than mine; or most. If you had a medically-underwritten plan, well, hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, because those no longer exist for good reason. Otherwise, you almost certainly could have found a better one on the exchange than your insurance company offered.

          You’re not telling the truth about the CNN poll, or rather, you heard an urban legend and believed it because you wanted to believe it. Only 43% both oppose it and think it is too liberal, and the poll did not ask whether it should be repealed. (Edit: corrected the link, so that it is to the most recent poll.)

        • word2thewyz

          Georgia’s governor and state insurance commissioner have publicly boasted about how they were deliberately sabotaging the ACA in your state. How’s that working out for you?

    • word2thewyz

      We also know that 5 million people are being denied insurance simply because they live in GOP-controlled states that refused to expand Medicaid.

  • Gyst53

    Welcome to ObamaCare Cross & Shield. You are number 163. Please wait and a representative will be with you shortly after the Federal State Exchange medical review panel approves your treatment by a board certified Physician or Nurse Practitioner.
    Your patience is appreciated….
    Thank You

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