The White House is trumpeting the just released Obamacare enrollment numbers for 2015, claiming “about 11.4 million have [signed] up for private health coverage through the #ACA”:
But not so fast, Mr. President, as Forbes Opinion Editor Avik Roy explains:
Deceptive? From this White House? Tell us more…
An excerpt from Roy’s Forbes piece where he further explains why that 11.4 million number is deceptive:
Last night, the White House tweeted that “about 11.4 million Americans are signed up for private health coverage” through Obamacare’s insurance exchanges. President Obama claims that this figure proves that his health law is working. But once you unravel the spin, what the latest numbers show is that the pace of enrollment in Obamacare’s exchanges has slowed down by more than half. If previous trends hold, Obamacare exchanges have enrolled approximately more than 5 million previously uninsured individuals: a far cry from 11.4 million.
Only 84 percent of ‘signups’ enroll in coverage
As you may remember from our coverage of this issue last year, there are two important ways in which President Obama’s claims about Obamacare enrollment diverge from the facts. The first is that “signups” don’t equal enrollment.
In order to actually gain health insurance coverage—that is, a health insurer will pay for your health care claims when you go to the doctor—you have to pay the first month’s premiums.
Not everyone does. Last year, the Obama administration reported that about 8 million people signed up by “selecting a marketplace plan” on one of the Obamacare exchanges. By the end of the enrollment year, 6.7 million people were actually enrolled in Obamacare-sponsored private insurance plans: a retention rate of 84 percent.
That Obamacare lost some people over the course of the year isn’t anything to fret about. That 84 percent retention rate is fairly similar to that experienced by private insurers in the conventional, employer-sponsored private insurance market. But still, you didn’t hear the White House trumpet the 6.7 million number as loudly as they had the 8 million one.
Applying the same retention rate to the new 11.4 million figure leads to an estimate that Year Two of Obamacare will end up with 9.5 million enrollees: an increase of 2.8 million from the previous year.
The rest here.