- CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting on Thursday that as of August 15, 7.3 million individuals with ACA plans were up to date on their premiums. In the reverse: 700,000 of the 8 million enrollees announced in April have stopped paying their premiums.
- 7.3 million, or 91%, is a much larger number than anyone had estimated. Setting aside dire prognostications from the Republican camp, even administration officials had the paid percentage pegged at 80% to 85%, or between 6.4 and 6.8 million people.
- The administration said that although it has no current figure for enrollment, the 7.3 million figure would likely rise as a result of enrollees who paid up after August 15. The figure also does not account for people who enrolled in a marketplace plan and either didn't pay their premiums or paid and then canceled coverage.
As with any nationwide figure about the Affordable Care Act, this 7.3 figure is more symbolic than actionable. Yes, this is a major victory for pro-Obamacare pundits and probably a frustrating blow to the conservatives who have been demanding the figure as the piece of evidence that might sink the legislation. But given the fragmented, state-by-state nature of coverage, the percentage of paid-up enrollees is likely to vary pretty dramatically from market to market.