About one in five Obamacare enrollees never paid their first month premium, meaning they weren't actually insured in January, The New York Times reports. Insurance providers across the country say anywhere from 70 to 95 percent of customers managed to pay their premiums by extended, mid-January deadlines. But in some cases, 25 to 30 percent of would-be enrollees — enrollees the government has been counting in its enrollment numbers — missed even extended deadlines.
This comes just two days after the Obama administration reached its first monthly enrollment target in January, signing up 1.146 million individuals when they expected 1.059 million. The administration has said it doesn't know how many people have paid since they haven't finished building the back end of the exchange (the part that pays insurers). But if, across the board, 20 percent of people haven't paid their premiums, then January enrollments would be under 1 million.
There are a few reasons people could be skipping out on their payments. They received the invoice late, or not at all. They couldn't get through on the phone lines. They spent the money on something else. Or, and this is the reason detractors of the health law will latch on to, they decided they just didn't want it.