By Justin Sink - 02/14/14 12:00 PM EST
The White House on Friday said it doesn’t know how many enrollees of the 3.3 million reported enrollees in ObamaCare had paid their premiums.
"The contract between an individual and an insurance company is a private contract," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "That is something that is determined by the insurance company and the enrollee. Right now, insurance companies, for that reason, have the most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable information on the number of people who have paid their premiums."
The New York Times reported that around 20 percent of consumers who selected a plan under ObamaCare did not pay and thus failed to obtain coverage. If 20 percent of the 3.3 million who enrolled failed to make a payment, the number of ObamaCare participants would drop by about 600,000, to 2.7 million.
Critics of ObamaCare have accused the administration of inflating their enrollment figures by including people who had not paid their premiums.
But Carney, pointing to the Times report, said a "high percentage of people have in fact paid for their plans"
"I know there is a constant search for less than good news in the HealthCare.gov arena, but if you look at the data reported, it is overwhelmingly positive," Carney said. "And the predictions of failure and doom and gloom that we saw, understandably, perhaps, given how rocky the start was in October and November, have all come to naught. "
The White House spokesman said the government was also developing an automated payment processing system that would allow users to immediately pay their premiums — and let the administration to measure how many ObamaCare enrollees had actually gained coverage.
"And there's an automated payment system that will be coming online fully in the next several months, which will include in the flow of information, more specific timely data relating to the payment of premiums by enrollees provided by the insurance companies," Carney said.