A whopping 70 percent of the people whose premiums were paid by the original March 31 deadline will get a federal subsidy, says state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. In a news release, he broke down the numbers from a survey of the five health insurers doing business in Georgia through the federal healthcare marketplace.
The insurers received 221,604 applications for policies. But premiums were received for only 107,581 of the policies — or 48.5 percent — covering 149,465 lives. Of those insured persons, approximately 104,242 — or 69.7 percent — “will be insured by policies which will receive a federal subsidy,” Commissioner Hudgens said.
Even if all the applicants wind up paying premiums and being covered, the total is little more than one-half the 400,000 Georgians the insurance department has estimated could lose their health care policies because they did not meet Obamacare mandates. There are no figures on how many have lost policies and obtained new ones either from private insurers or through the federal exchange.
But national surveys show what is happening. Only 27 percent of those signing up for coverage on the individual marketplace were previously uninsured, according to a survey by McKinsey. Another finding: Only 53 percent of previously uninsured individuals who enrolled on exchanges had paid their premiums — versus 86 percent of those who were previously insured. A survey by RAND Corporation indicated similar percentages.
That is not how Obamacare was supposed to work. It purportedly would provide coverage for the uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office originally estimated that by far the majority of people eligible for subsidies would be previously uninsured. However, the vast majority of people getting coverage under the law were previously insured — many of them getting a better deal with subsidies they now qualify for. But young people face higher premiums and rate hikes — making the “affordable” health care law a bad joke. McKinsey found that “affordability” was the main reason people gave for not signing up under Obamacare.
Meanwhile, the deadline for enrollment is a moving target with the Obama administration deciding before March 31 to give extra time to people who say that were unable to enroll by that date. The Washington Post reported that federal officials said all consumers who had begun to apply on the government website but did not finish by the deadline would “have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.” No specific date was given.
Under the new rules, which change at the whim of the president, people can qualify for an extension simply by checking a box on Healthcare.gov indicating they attempted to enroll before the deadline. “This method,” the Post said, “will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.” Indeed, the purpose is to sign up people, never mind the truth.
As in: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”