KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Report Finds Two-Thirds Of Enrollees Have Paid Premiums

The Obama administration questioned the accuracy of the numbers, saying they do not reflect reports from insurance companies themselves, most of which have indicated that 80 to 90 percent of enrollees have paid up.

The New York Times: Not All Health Care Premiums Are Paid Up, House Panel Says
A House committee said Wednesday that only two-thirds of people signing up for private health insurance in the federal exchange had paid their premiums by April 15. Without payment, consumers will not have coverage. The Obama administration questioned the accuracy of the numbers, but provided none of its own. Republican leaders of the panel, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said they had obtained the data from all insurance companies participating in the federal marketplace (Pear, 4/30).

The Wall Street Journal: Report: Two-Thirds of Insurance Exchange Enrollees Paid Premiums
Around two-thirds of people who had picked insurance plans through paid their first month's premium by April 15, according to a report released Wednesday by Republican lawmakers using data from insurers. The GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee asked for payment data from 160 health plans selling policies in the Affordable Care Act's federal insurance exchange. The committee's leaders said that responses showed that across the 36 states served by the federal exchange, 67% of people who had finished the sign-up process had made the premium payment to insurers and had been enrolled in coverage as of April 15 (Radnofsky and Mathews, 4/30).

The Associated Press: GOP: Health Signups Lagging
House Republicans issued a report Wednesday saying that one-third of people who signed up for health insurance through new federal exchanges hadn’t paid their first month’s premium as of mid-April, which could undermine the Obama administration’s claims of robust enrollment under the new health law (4/30).

CBS News: Many Obamacare Enrollees Haven't Paid Their Premiums Yet - Why Not?
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said as much herself: "You are not fully enrolled [in Obamacare] until you pay your premium." Yet data collected by the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee shows that as of April 15, just 67 percent of enrollees in the federally-run Obamacare marketplace had paid their first month's premiums. There are a variety of factors that explain why more than 30 percent of enrollees have yet to pay (Condon, 5/1).

Fox News: House GOP: Just 67 Percent Of Federal ObamaCare Enrollees Have Paid Premiums
Just 67 percent of Americans who purchased insurance through federal-facility ObamaCare exchanges have paid their premiums, according to information insurers participating in the program gave to Congress. The information was compiled by the GOP-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce, as Americans wait to learn enrollment details from the Obama administration, two weeks after the April 15 enrollment deadline. However, Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Wednesday night, "These claims are based on only about half of the approximately 300 issuers in the federally-facilitated marketplace and they do not match up with public comments from insurance companies themselves, most of which indicate that 80 to 90 percent of enrollees have paid their premium. Additionally, given the significant surge in enrollments at the end of March, it stands to reason that not all enrollees would have paid by the date of this so-called report since many people’s bills were not even due yet” (4/30).

CQ HealthBeat:  With Eyes on Health Law, Appropriators Aim to Block Census Changes
House appropriators would block a planned change to the Census Bureau’s questions on health insurance, amid GOP concerns that it could mask the effects of the health care law on the insured population.The draft fiscal 2015 spending bill for the Commerce Department, Justice Department, and science agencies would instruct the Census Bureau to continue using the same health insurance questions it has used in previous years for its annual population survey. The House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee approved the bill Wednesday (Ethridge, 4/30).

Meanwhile, Republicans plan to focus on health law criticisms in confirmation hearings of the president's nominee to head HHS -

Reuters:  Republicans To Push Anti-Obamacare Message In U.S. Senate Hearings
Republicans are relishing the chance to use confirmation hearings for Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Barack Obama's nominee as U.S. health secretary, to re-energize their election-year attacks on his signature healthcare initiative. Republicans, who are seeking to take control of the Senate in the Nov. 4 congressional elections, view a pair of Senate hearings for Burwell as their best chance to put a spotlight on Obamacare since the program's botched rollout in October (Morgan, 5/1).

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