ACA Agonistes
Attrition Puts Dent in Obamacare Sign-Up Numbers
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  • Andrew Allison

    MAY wind up seeing less long-term insured customers than the eight million number trumpeted by the law’s supporters?? There’s no question about it. My guess is that actual enrollment was about 90% of the sign-ups and the attrition rate is about 3%/month
    The cut-off date for sign-up was March 31, so Aetna presumably had 720,000 sign-ups at the end of March, not May 20. Three months later, it had less than 600,000 paying customers (apples and oranges alert). If the roughly 17,000 enrollees a month Aetna expects to lose in the second half is any guide, about 10% of the sign-ups were never enrolled (this is consistent with other reports). It is perfectly clear that the “8 million enrollments” claim is a figment of the Administration’s imagination.

  • Corlyss

    In other words, all the mechanisms for realizing new income to sustain the Rube Goldberg ACA (no insult to Rube Goldberg intended) have disappeared. That’s disaster writ large.

    • Andrew Allison

      Unhappily, there’s one mechanism (designed to sustain the private insurance industry) still in place. If the attrition rate and demographics of those insured (the halt and the lame) cause the insurance companies not have a 20% gross margin, the taxpayer will make up the difference!

      • Corlyss

        Do you know if it’s automatic or if the House has to appropriate the money first?

        • f1b0nacc1

          Actually it is a bit of both. The ‘loss corridors’ are automatic, but they won’t even begin to make up for the shortfalls we are seeing. On the other hand, the insurance companies have an excellent way to cope with this problem, they will simply raise the rates, something we are already beginning to see happen.

          • Corlyss

            We all know the whiny middle class ain’t gonna tolerate increases in premiums. They’re gonna race to their congressman and demand relief, just like they always do. In fact, just like they have done since the ACA was signed: that’s why the pols, who are not business-minded, keep tweaking the system to eliminate the painful parts of the ACA. They can see the voter rage train bearing down on them!

          • f1b0nacc1

            I agree with one exception: they are not ‘eliminating’ the painful parts of the ACA, they are postponing them. Think of this as the ACA version of Medicare’s ‘doc fix’….without it the whole thing is insolvent, but they keep putting it off anyway

          • Corlyss

            Precisely! The elected officials have no stomach for making people pay for anything! If they can’t screw it out of businesses, on the theory that no one, but no one, cares what government does to businesses. Which is a pity because the gov’t doesn’t create jobs. Only businesses create jobs.

          • f1b0nacc1

            There is a name for politicians who remind the voters about the costs of their goodies….
            Unemployed

        • Andrew Allison

          It’s automatic — the money is to be diverted from existing appropriations.

  • Boritz

    They just need to add this to the web-site without breaking it.

    Payment and co-payment are due at the time of service.
    Pago y co-pagos son debidos en el momento del servicio.

    • Corlyss

      Payment of premiums is the problem as I understand it. Are you saying that the users can become insured at the point when they seek service and they don’t have to pay premiums any other time? There’s a recipe for chaos. Insurance is not like the pure-d cock-up the DoJ Civil Service division and the revolting Southern Poverty Law Center have made of voting laws in this nation. Insurance is a business, not a public service.

      • Andrew Allison

        It’s worse than you think. Insurance companies are required to provided coverage for 90 days after non-payment of premium!

  • Corlyss

    Well, heck! They ain’t gonna be made to pay! They’re the Medicaid model.

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