Is 9% Good Enough?
Of 38 million Eligible for Coverage, only about 3.4 million who lacked prior coverage have actually activated their ObamaCare policy by paying
38 million Eligible for coverage ⇒
⇒ 8 million “signed up” ⇒
⇒ 6.8 million actually paid ⇒
⇒ 3.4 million did not have prior coverage
Many who were considered uninsurable now have affordable policies. But the Affordable Care Act has shifted the cost burden for those who already had insurance. More policies now have bigger deductibles and cost more. “In general, healthy people are paying more and unhealthy people are paying less,” says a source who supports and helped implement Obamacare but is disappointed with the results to date, “with those above-average [income] tending to pay more and those below-average [income] tending to pay less.” “Is the new law effective in reducing the number of uninsured? Yes, but so far not very,” he says. Key questions include:
- How many actually have enrolled?
- How many of those were previously uninsured?
- How has Obamacare affected the overall pool of uninsured?
- What percentage of eligible people have signed up?
- What’s the cost?
But the 8 million figure is overstated because it counted people who weren’t actually covered because they hadn’t paid their premiums, which Blue Cross, analysts and the government agree is in the 15 percent to 20 percent range. Estimates of how many marketplace enrollees were previously uninsured range from about one-third to more than half, depending on the survey and the methods used. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 43 percent of those who purchased insurance through the marketplace already had insurance; 57 percent are newly insured. “The enrollment figures for marketplace coverage will grow over time, assuming that the exchange insurance plans don’t fail as a result of adverse selection,” said the source who supports and helped implement Obamacare. “But the impact on reducing the uninsured so far is very disappointing.”