"But how many have actually PAID???" Part III
As a follow-up to Friday's news that Idaho has hit around 20,000 private enrollments comes this story about the status of those enrollments from the actual insurance companies' perspective. While the major thrust of the article is the unusually long payment deadline extensions that have become necessary due to the technical and paperwork confusion caused by the Federal HC.gov exchange, as contributor Witgren notes, there's two important points which are quite telling.
First, in Idaho, at least, it appears that at least 75% of those 20K people have made their first payment. While you can certainly spin this as being "25% are deadbeats" if you want to, this certainly goes a long way towards disproving that the "OMG!! NOBODY IS ACTUALLY PAYING!!!" meme that the ACA opposition has been shouting about.
Secondly, it appears that, according to the insurance companies themselves, having a large percentage of new policy purchasers not make their payment until the last possible moment is standard for the industry as a whole, and has been for a very long time.
Not that this is likely to stop the "But how many have PAID???" meme from being repeated ad infinitum, but I thought it was worth at least putting out there.
“We got slammed at the end of the year,” said Karen Early, spokeswoman for Blue Cross of Idaho.
The company — one of four selling health insurance plans to individual Idahoans on Your Health Idaho, the new state-run exchange — was receiving 2,000 calls per day as December came to a close, she said.
But about 25 percent of those who have signed up hadn’t made their payments as of Jan. 9, she said.
About 75 percent of BridgeSpan’s new enrollees had paid their premiums by Friday morning, “which correlates with our historical receipt of payments and the fact that there is a portion of people who wait until the very last minute to pay the premium,” Benjamin said.