Sarah Kliff could barely contain her joy while exclaiming unto all the world in her Washington Post article about a supposed "December Deluge" in which "1.1 million have enrolled in healthcare.gov" since the beginning of October. However, a very important word is missing in her story. The P-Word as in "PAID." Yes, according to Sarah, over a million "enrollees" have deluged the federal exchange website but is it unreasonable to wonder how they could have paid their premiums since, as yet, that website has no payment system set up.
However, far be it for me to spoil her party mood so let us now join Sarah exuberantly celebrating her "deluge" statistics which very conveniently doesn't mention PAID enrollees:
More than 1.1 million people have enrolled for private health insurance through HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration announced early Sunday. More than 975,000 of them signed up this month, prior to the Dec. 24 deadline. In other words: Enrollment in the federal exchange was about nine times as high in December than all of October and November.
If you add in the state enrollment data that Charles Gaba has been keeping an eye on, you see enrollment growing from 90,000 in October to just about 2 million through late December.
Whether this is good news depends a bit on the context you put it in.....
Um, how about the context that your deluge stats don't mention PAID enrollees? Why? Perhaps because that would involve having to discuss the inconvenient "glitches" about how hard it is to actually pay the premium or the reluctance of sticker shock "enrollees" to pay it. A small hint of this difficulty is demonstrated in another article that Kliff wrote with Juliet Eilperin. Following the expected celebrations about the "deluge" numbers comes this downer about actual premium payment:
David and Karen Hart live in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., and both are self-employed. Their existing Blue Cross Blue Shield policy was canceled in the fall and then reinstated, but they picked a new plan on HealthCare.gov and paid for it on Dec. 19.
When he noticed that their payment hadn’t been deducted from their bank account, David Hart called Florida Blue on Dec. 27; he was told that the government’s computer system had canceled their plan. His wife spent more than four hours on a federal hotline Saturday, at which point she was told the insurer had jettisoned their policy.
Such stories are not at all unusual. In fact we have the case of notorious DUer William Rivers Pitt of the Rindge, NH area who recently posted at the Democratic Underground about his "success" in signing up for ObamaCare...except for one not so tiny detail:
Well, I just had my first experience with the Healthcare.gov website...
Creating a user name and account: easy.
Plowing through all the questions: easy.
Yes, Will. All so "easy" until...
Alas, I logged out to track down some personal info, and when I tried to log back in, it said the system was currently down.
...but then, Ermahgerd! A phone number: 800-318-2596
And it's toll-free, too!
So I'll be calling in the morning to finish the process.
No. Big. Deal.
No. Big. Deal. Except did Will ever finish the process? Although over two weeks have passed since this posting, there has been only silence from Pitt on this matter. Perhaps Ms Kliff could check with Pitt on his "enrollment." It could be he is only waiting 24 business hours for his payment to go through.