The Obama administration made its sixth update of the year on Obamacare enrollment Monday — without ever revealing how many customers have paid.
A blog post from Marilyn Tavenner, director of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, boasts 5 million sign-ups so far. The administration has updated the enrollment tally twice a month since millions of customers were required to pay their premiums, but officials have declined yet again to disclose payment information.
Monday’s unscheduled update revealed that the administration can now count 5 million selected plans on Obamacare exchanges across the country — 1 million in California alone. It’s a desperately needed coup for the administration, which is two weeks away from the final enrollment deadline.
But like Tavenner’s other surprise enrollment updates, the blog post is devoid of details or statistics. Instead, it’s chock full of stories about those who were so happy to receive Obamacare that they cried.
Official monthly enrollment announcements merit a conference call with media and a formal state breakdown from the Department of Health and Human Services. But detailed demographic information wasn’t released until mid-January — over halfway through the open enrollment period.
The late release emphasized the administration’s failure to enroll nearly enough of its key demographic, healthy people aged 18 to 35. Through February’s end, Obamacare exchange customers were only 25 percent “young invincibles” — leaving very little time to meet the administration’s prior minimum target of 39 percent.
As of January, customers that paid have been using their Obamacare insurance. But the Obama administration continues to say it doesn’t know how many have paid their premiums.
The best estimates come from consulting firms’ studies of data from insurance companies. Goldman Sachs’ latest indicates that 80 percent of the number the White House has advertised will follow through and purchase their coverage; McKinsey estimates only 77 percent. Such a record would bring that 5 million down to 3.85-4 million instead.
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