Twenty percent of consumers who selected a plan under ObamaCare failed to make a premium payment and therefore did not obtain the coverage they signed up for, according to insurance companies and industry experts surveyed by The New York Times.
On Wednesday, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department announced that 3.3 million people have enrolled in ObamaCare through January. If 20 percent of those failed to make a payment, that would reduce the number of ObamaCare enrollees by about 600,000, to 2.7 million.
The administration has been criticized for releasing enrollment figures that include people who have selected a plan, but have not completed the process by making their first premium payment.
Critics have warned that the administration’s numbers are inflated because not everyone who selects a plan will complete the final step needed to obtain coverage.
A CNN survey released last month also found that 20 percent of enrollees had yet to pay their first month’s premium.
HHS has said it is not breaking down enrollees by who has made a payment because they only have access to information about those selecting plans on the HealthCare.gov website, as consumers are expected to pay the insurers directly after enrolling.
The agency is presently developing a back-end system to track enrollees who have made premium payments.
After the problem-plagued launch of the HealthCare.gov website, the White House urged insurance companies to extend premium payment deadlines to accommodate those who had trouble accessing the site.
Many insurers have complied, even allowing for retroactive coverage for some consumers making late payments. However, the Times report indicates that many consumers failed to comply even with those extended deadlines.