Most healthcare enrollees are current with payments

Republicans claimed last week that only 67 percent of people who enrolled for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act paid their premiums. The insurance companies, however, are reporting significantly higher numbers.
By Aileen Graef  |  May 7, 2014 at 4:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- Major insurance companies are reporting that 80 to 90 percent of those who enrolled in the marketplace healthcare exchanges are current with their premium payments.

That number is significantly higher than the 67 percent Republicans were reporting had paid by April 15. The discrepancy was due to the survey excluding those who had until the end of the month to pay their premiums. The Republicans who took the survey simply asked insurance companies who had paid and who had not without factoring in payment periods.

In their prepared testimony for a Congressional hearing Wednesday, one of the country's largest insurers, WellPoint, said up to 90 percent of those who signed up for plans in the first enrollment period have paid their first premiums.

"We are seeing strong membership growth and large percentages of our newly enrolled customers are successfully paying their premiums by the due date," wrote Dr. Dennis Matheis in his testimony.

Paul Wingle, Aetna's executive director of individual business and public exchange operations and strategy, is set to testify that Aetna has seen a little more than 80 percent of their enrollees pay their premiums. When asked to comment on how this number contradicts the GOP survey, Matt Wiggin, a spokesman for Aetna, said the testimony speaks for itself.

The insurance companies warn that some of the more than 8 million people who have signed up for insurance on the healthcare exchanges may be duplicates, but that still does not support the 67 percent number the Republicans reference. An unnamed employee of one of the insurance companies surveyed called the GOP number "incredibly rigged" and a "joke."

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