Major Insurers To Testify That 10-20 Percent Failed To Pay Premiums By Deadlines


Three major health insurers had between 80 and 90 percent of Obamacare sign-ups pay their insurance premiums, according to testimonies prepared for a Wednesday hearing.

Executives from WellPoint, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield will testify to the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday regarding enrollment in Obamacare exchanges.

WellPoint and Blue Cross Blue Shield appear to have no new information to add from an Energy and Commerce Committee report released last week that found that by April 15, across all insurers operating in federally-run Obamacare exchanges, just 67 percent of sign-ups had paid their premiums, although the deadline to pay had not passed for all premiums.

The report was the first official data on the rate of premium payments from the federal government.

According to testimony from Dennis Matheis of WellPoint, the WellPoint data submitted to House Republicans indicated that when calculated, considering all those who signed up for coverage, roughly 70 percent had paid premiums by April 15, in line with Republicans’ overall findings.

When only exchange applications whose payment deadline had passed by April 15 were considered, WellPoint would only say that “ranging up to 90 percent” had paid, “depending on the state.”

Aetna’s Paul Wingle will testify that the payment rate, again among sign-ups whose payment deadline had passed by the third week of April, “has been in the low- to mid-80 percent range,” in line with ongoing industry estimates of a total  payment rate.

J. Darren Rodgers of Health Care Service Corporation, which does business as Blue Cross and Blue Shield in several states, cited payment rates as each month’s deadline passed.

By April 1, 83 percent of the company’s sign-ups whose deadline had passed had paid their premium. By May 1, that number dropped to 68 percent, again in line with House Republicans’ totals, but the payment deadline for all policies effective May 1 may not yet have passed.

The testimonies don’t vary much from House Republicans’ report, which included all 160 insurance carriers active in the federally-run Obamacare exchanges. The committee plans to update their report May 20, when final due dates for premium payments will have passed for most sign-ups.

The Obama administration has been mum regarding payment data for months. By the time insurance coverage became active in January, some sign-ups from the first three months of open enrollment who failed to pay their premiums could have been removed from the official sign-ups tally, but the Obama administration refused to do so.

Rodgers’ testimony includes payment dates beginning Jan. 1, however. Across Health Care Service Corporation sign-ups, 85 percent of those who applied for coverage beginning Jan. 1 paid their premiums by the deadline.

While updated data is clearly available from insurers, the Obama administration continues to tout that exchanges have signed up 8 million people.

The Energy and Commerce Committee will meet with the representatives of all three insurers and other industry officials Wednesday at 10:15 a.m.

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