Enrollment Figures Still Unclear; Administration Remains Silent

August 12, 2014

Upton: “It's clear that not everyone who signed up has completed and continued enrollment, and the latest stats from a top insurer could suggest a startling trend.”

After months of asking administration officials to share a complete picture of enrollment under the president’s health care law, Energy and Commerce Committee leaders sent letters to the insurance providers themselves in an effort for greater transparency. The committee found that only 67 percent of enrollees in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace had paid their first month’s premium as of April 15, 2014, a necessary step to ensure completion of the enrollment process and continued coverage. An update to that data found that 80 percent of those who selected a plan in the FFM had paid as of mid-May. Although enrollment statistics continue to change, the administration stopped issuing monthly enrollment reports at the end of the first open enrollment period. However, new reporting from Investor’s Business Daily may provide a window into what has happened in the months since the administration’s last report. The paper reports that one insurer, Aetna, anticipates only 70 percent of those who selected a plan to still be fully enrolled and paying premiums by the end of the year.

“The White House that once proudly trumpeted transparency has now gone silent when it comes to how the president’s health law is actually working. While the Obama administration was quick to celebrate the end of the first open enrollment period, the reports have since disappeared. It's clear that not everyone who signed up has completed and continued enrollment, and the latest stats from a top insurer could suggest a startling trend. Our efforts for greater transparency will continue,” commented Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).    

August 11, 2014

Obamacare Enrollment Is Shrinking, Top Insurers Say

Aetna's ObamaCare exchange statistics should clear up any doubt as to why the Obama Administration has been tight-lipped about enrollment since celebrating 8 million sign-ups in mid-April.

Reality, evidence suggests, could require quite a come-down from those lofty claims.

The nation's third-largest health insurer had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, a spokesman confirmed to IBD. At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to "just over 500,000" by the end of the year.

That would leave Aetna's paid enrollment down as much as 30% from that May sign-up tally.

"I think we will see some attrition ... We're already seeing it. And we expect that to continue through the end of the year," CEO Mark Bertolini said in a July 29 conference call.

It's not clear how representative Aetna's experience is of broader exchange trends, or whether its projection may be too conservative. (If it were representative, a similar 30% decline would drop ObamaCare enrollment to 6 million or less.)

Still, as one of ObamaCare's largest players, participating in exchanges in 16 states plus D.C., Aetna's experience provides a pretty good window into what is happening across the country, and there are other indications that enrollment has turned down.

Cigna said that it expects its individual market customers, including more than 100,000 in the exchanges, to "move from 300,000 down to 280,000 in that range," Cigna CEO David Cordani said in a conference call.

Other major insurers danced around questions about attrition on recent earnings conference calls, but none denied that it was occurring. …

Read the article online HERE.