White House press secretary Jay Carney on Friday said the administration would be able to provide “concrete and timely” data on how many Obamacare enrollees had paid their premiums after a new online system was up and running.
“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 told reporters.
“CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] will have concrete and timely data on those who have paid,” he continued.
The Obama administration earlier this week said that 3.3 million consumers had signed up for Obamacare on federal and state exchanges through Feb. 1 and touted the spike in enrollments after the botched rollout of the healthcare.gov website in October.
But the figure is still short of their targets and critics say the administration has failed to provide information on how many enrollees have actually paid their first month’s premium — a step necessary for coverage to kick in.
Health and Human Services has pressured insurers to grant consumers extra time and assistance to get their premium payments in.
The administration is developing a new online system that will help how many people have actually paid for their insurance.
Carney said the system would “return information, provide more data to CMS about who more specifically has met their premiums, what percentage of enrollees have met their premiums.”
He said that until the system is set up the best source for that information is from insurers, whom he said “have the most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable information.”
But Carney dismissed concerns that the percentage of paid enrollees is low.
“I think it was a New York Times article — reported that a very high percentage have been meeting their premium deadlines,” he said.
“Citing a recent report, that figure is 80 percent or above for the major issuers that are cited in that newspaper article,” he added.
“I know there is a constant search for less than good news in the healthcare.gov arena,” said Carney, “but if you look at the data reported, it is overwhelmingly positive.”