END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

"But How many have actually PAID???" Redux

On Christmas Day I posted "New ACA Attack: "But how many have actually PAID???" in which I pointed out that unless there prove to be significant technical issues preventing large numbers of premium payments from going through, this is pretty weak tea in terms of being an anti-ACA talking point...or at least it won't have any teeth to speak of until after January 10th, the date which most insurance companies have agreed to extend their January payment deadlines out to.

However, in the interest of completeness, I did point out that in at least one case (Washington State), the enrollment numbers are indeed broken out between paid and unpaid; specifically, 65,000 out of 134,000 total enrollments had been paid, or 48.5%. The next day, Nevada's numbers came out and once again, 49% (6,219 out of 12,740) were paid. So the short answer I gave at the time was "almost half of enrollees have paid."

As I put it at the time:

The limited data available so far indicates that almost half of the 1.8 million have already paid. For those who haven't, most payments aren't due for another 2 weeks anyway, and seeing how most people don't pay their utility/credit card bills until shortly before they're due, what's your point?"

A week later, on New Year's Eve, the following was reported via WSJ Marketwatch: (h/t  jdld)

Normally, insurers require payment for coverage before the coverage begins. They count an enrollment as complete only when the first month’s premium has been received from a customer. As of Monday, however, only about half of enrollees billed for plans offered by more than 100 insurers in 17 states had paid their first month’s premium, said Mark Waterstraat, chief strategy officer at Benaissance, a third-party billing firm that works for those insurers.

Looks like I was correct: Out of over 2.1 million enrollees as of 12/31, about half (1.05 million) appear to have paid their January premium as of the end of the year. Presumably the other half are taking care of that this week. If most of them have their billing issues squared away 8 days from now, this talking point should really be dropped. If a significant number still haven't paid by then (and assuming that this is a higher ratio than the healthcare industry typically saw prior to the ACA), then it might have some substance, but again, this is all speculative until after the payment deadline is reached.