By Naomi Lopez Bauman -
The Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that 2.1 million have enrolled in a private insurance plan in the ObamaCare exchanges and at least another 3.9 million are eligible for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. While the announcement was thin on details, it is safe to assume that these statistics follow the administration’s misleading pattern of defining “enrollments” as individuals and families who have placed a plan in their shopping cart, but have not necessarily purchased a plan.
The distinction is critical. As anyone who has ever shopped online knows, putting something in your shopping cart is not the same as actually purchasing it.
In Illinois, only about 7,000 people had “enrolled” in ObamaCare exchanges through the end of November. Even if, as the administration claims, enrollments are almost six times the combined October and November enrollment total, that would mean Illinois is likely still below 50,000 enrollments – far short of the 100,000 year-end goal for the state.
But that 50,000 estimate would still not tell you the number of people covered. Only the number of people who have actually paid for a plan can tell you who is actually going to be covered. That is why it is time to come clean on:
- How many of the new enrollees were among the 185,000 individuals and families in Illinois who had their policies canceled as a result of ObamaCare?
- How many of the new “enrollees” have actually selected and paid for a plan as opposed to merely putting a plan in their shopping cart?
- What are the demographic characteristics of these enrollees? In other words, are young people enrolling in the exchanges in sufficient numbers to support a healthy and robust insurance risk pool?
It is time for a New Year’s resolution for ObamaCare; it is time for the administration to #ComeClean on ObamaCare enrollments.
Naomi Lopez Bauman is Director of Health Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute