POLITICS: PennAve

Only 67 percent of Obamacare enrollees have paid premiums

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Politics,White House,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,Obamacare,House of Representatives,Health Care,PennAve,Kathleen Sebelius

Updated with response from Health and Human Services.

Only 67 percent of Obamacare enrollees have paid their first month's premium, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which plans to hold a hearing next week with insurers.

The number, collected by the panel from insurers beginning in March, is far lower than the figure provided by former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said up to 90 percent of enrollees had paid their premiums.

The data provide a picture from insurers about who has enrolled in healthcare.gov as of April 15.

According to the health insurers, only 25 percent of those who have enrolled and paid their premiums are in the critical age range of 18 to 34. The enrollment of young people is lower than the 40 percent the administration said would be needed to help keep insurance premiums stable.

House Republicans had been seeking enrollment data from the Obama administration but have complained that they are being stonewalled by the White House.

According to the White House, 8 million people have signed up for private health insurance in the exchanges and 28 percent of those on the federal exchanges are between the ages of 18 and 34.

“In a sad reversal away from its vows of transparency, the Obama administration, from inside the Oval Office on down, has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep basic details of the health law from the public,” Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement. “Tired of receiving incomplete pictures of enrollment in the health care law, we went right to the source and found that the administration's recent declarations of success may be unfounded. We need a complete picture of how this law is working. We will continue to strive for transparency and hold the administration accountable for this law's shortcomings and broken promises.”

But HHS spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt disputed the numbers, who said the numbers provided to the committee by insurers is incomplete and perhaps inaccurate.

"These claims are based on only about half of the approximately 300 issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace and they do not match up with public comments from insurance companies themselves, most of which indicate that 80 to 90 percent of enrollees have paid their premium, Britt said. "Additionally, given the significant surge in enrollments at the end of March, it stands to reason that not all enrollees would have paid by the date of this so-called report since many people’s bills were not even due yet."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., released a statement as well.

“These numbers stand in stark contrast to the White House's previous assertions,” Cantor said. “While the administration was eager to declare that Obamacare's mandate had worked, it has so far not provided any substantive data to back that up. If President Obama disputes the information provided by the insurance companies, he should direct HHS to immediately release complete enrollment data, including how many people were previously insured."

Below is a breakdown by age from the information the panel received from insurers.

Under age 18: 6 percent

Age 18 to 25: 10 percent

Age 26 to 34: 15 percent

Age 35 to 44: 16 percent

Age 45 to 54: 23 percent

Age 55 to 64: 29 percent

Age 65 and older: 1 percent

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