By Naomi Lopez Bauman -
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that 7,043 Illinoisans enrolled in the ObamaCare health insurance exchanges through the end of November.
But about 185,000 policies in the individual market have been canceled or terminated as a result of ObamaCare. The new health care scheme may cost more than 175,000 Illinois individuals and families health insurance coverage come Jan. 1, 2014.
In other words, about 26 Illinoisans have lost health insurance coverage for every ObamaCare enrollee so far. But even that number might be too optimistic.
That’s because instead of reporting on actual enrollments, the Obama administration is, instead, reporting on the number of people who have put a health plan in their checkout cart, but haven’t actually checked out.
The distinction is important. As anyone who has ever shopped online knows, putting something in an online shopping cart is not the same thing as actually buying it.
When looking at the number of policies that have actually been purchased, there may actually be hundreds who have lost coverage for every ObamaCare enrollee in Illinois.
According to insurance industry sources:
There is also a lot of worrying going on over people making payments,’ industry consultant Robert Laszewski wrote in an email. ‘One client reports only 15% have paid so far. It is still too early to know for sure what this means but we should expect some enrollment slippage come the payment due date.
Another consultant Kip Piper, agreed. ‘So far I’m hearing from health plans that around 5% and 10% of consumers who have made it through the data transfer gauntlet have paid first month’s premium and therefore truly enrolled,’ he wrote me.
In Illinois, only 7,000 people have “enrolled” in ObamaCare exchanges. If one assumes that 5 to 15 percent of “enrollees” have actually paid for their plan in Illinois, this enrollment level means that ObamaCare has, so far, expanded coverage to somewhere between 350 and 1,050 individuals and families.
Using these enrollment numbers, somewhere between 175 and 500 Illinois individuals and families have lost health insurance coverage for every ObamaCare enrollee. ObamaCare was touted as an effort to dramatically expand health insurance coverage. So far, it seems to be doing the opposite in Illinois.
Naomi Lopez Bauman is Director of Health Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute