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.
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.