Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

November 12, 2013 - 7:41 am

Later this week, when the Obama White House will report Obamacare enrollment numbers that include people who have not yet paid, it will be violating the instructions of the agency that is implementing Obamacare.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) operates the federal exchange and most state exchanges. It has published a Standard Companion Guide Transaction Information, which includes instructions on how the process is to be carried out and how enrollment is to be counted. CMS published the document on March 22, 2013.

Page 30 of that document includes an instruction which clearly states “Enrollment into the QHP is not effectuated until the initial premium has been paid.” “QHP” is “Qualified Health Plan” issuer. So according to CMS, a person is not enrolled until they have paid. The health insurance industry also does not count someone as enrolled until they pay.

The Obama White House, though, will report people who have dropped a healthcare plan into their exchange shopping cart, but not paid, as also enrolled. Among those may be reporters who were “enrolling” just to test out the exchanges, people who got to the shopping cart but either could not proceed forward due to website error, got sticker shock and bailed out, and any number of other reasons that they may stop at that stage.

Whatever the reason, by the instructions published by the CMS these people are not enrolled in Obamacare, but the Obama White House will claim that they are enrolled, and include them in its first enrollment numbers.

The enrollment number that the Obama White House will report will be phony.

h/t Paul

Update: Related — online retailers report that more than 67% of all online shopping carts are abandoned without the customer ever making a purchase. 56% of customers surveyed about abandoning online shopping carts say they were “presented with unexpected costs,” and 24% say that they abandoned their shopping cart because the website crashed. Both of those surely apply to many Obamacare “enrollees” who will be counted in the White House’s phony figure.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Once I saw that I was not going to be eligible for subsidies there was no longer any reason to continue on on the (Nevada) exchange. I simply went direct to one of the exchange insurers and got the policy in about 5 minutes. Ultimately it occured to me that there was no reason to even use an exchange certified insurer and after some searching found one (Assurant) with a local network for $200 per month cheaper.

The moral of my little story is that consumers will do what consumers always do - look out after their own best interests. If the government thinks they can really rig this game so completely they can corner us then they really are as incompetent as I thought they were. In my estimate we have not begun to see the extent to which this whole thing is going to collapse.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
So even the horribly disappointing enrollment figures are bogus. Does anything this admin put put bear any relationship at all to the truth.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
To be fair, absolutely nobody would have paid their premium yet, so we would have no idea of the status of Obamacare at all.

The Washington Post reported that in one exchange, about half of the people who put plans in their shopping cart later requested a bill from the insurance company. I think it is reasonable to propose that those who accepted a bill are serious shoppers who are very likely to successfully enroll.

So if you cut the figures you see from the government in about half, you'll probably get a reasonably accurate figure of the number of enrollees. The Post article said about 50,000 people enrolled from the Federal exchanges and another 50,000 from the state, so we can assume, overall, that probably only 50,000 Obamacare plan enrollments are going to stick.

I'm the first to admit there's a lot of stretch and guesstimating in these figures, but they are probably the best we can get at the moment. One thing for sure: this means Obamacare has been a disaster of unprecedented proportions.

David

Added: Here is the Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/11/who-counts-as-an-obamacare-enrollee-the-obama-administration-settles-on-a-definition/
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"nobody would have paid their premium yet"

Exactly. I've gone through three signups so far and no one wants money till the 1st of 2014. So I will go on shopping and signing up till the very end to get the best deal I can. Somehow I don't think they planned on that.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the person made a definite ireversable committment to buy a plan from an insurance company, basically equivalent to signing an enrollment contract, so that they would suffer a penalty if they then back out of it, I would count that as enrolled, otherwise not.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've never heard of an insurance plan that had any such irreversible commitment. If you stop (or don't pay) payment they cancel you, they don't take you to court to make you continue paying.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, the White House definition of "enrolled" is the same as their definition of engaging in interstate commerce: "Has breathed sometime in the last thirty days."
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All