Report: Insurers fear they’ll have a net loss in enrollments for the year on December 31

posted at 6:01 pm on December 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

A week ago, Politico called this the worst-case scenario for ObamaCare. The odds were slim, they assured us, but not quite zero that the magical combo of millions of cancellations, endless exchange “glitches,” and panicky half-assed logistical complications designed to “fix” the problem would mean fewer insured Americans at the end of 2013 than existed at the start of the year. It was unlikely, claimed Politico, because the four or five million whose plans have been canceled had alternate routes to enrollment that didn’t involve Healthcare.gov. They could enroll directly with their current insurer in a new plan (although not if they wanted a subsidy, which are available exclusively on the exchanges) or they might even be automatically enrolled in a plan by their insurer in the interest of preventing a lapse of coverage. But it was, in fact, possible that the first week of January would bring news that ObamaCare had actually made the problem it purported to solve worse. That’s the worst-case scenario. It’d be a PR catastrophe.

Via John McCormack, Bob Laszewski says it’s not so unlikely anymore.

Insurers privately tell Bob Laszewski that they think more people will have lost insurance by January 1 than the number who have signed up for Obamacare by January 1.

“I was out making some client calls this week with a number of different carriers and they know exactly how many policies they canceled and how many who reupped. And they know how many people have come in through the exchange,” says Laszewski. “And I didn’t find one of them who thought they were going to be net ahead on January 1. They all think they’re going to net behind on January 1. That’s where it’s trending so far.”

So far, at least 4.8 million Americans have received insurance cancellations notices, but Laszewski predicts that the total Obamacare enrollment will be less than half that number on January 1.

“My guess is that we’ll have somewhere around a million and a half people signed up for Obamacare on January 1 in the states and in helathcare.gov,” he says. The big question then, he adds, is “why have we gone through this whole dislocation of the American health insurance system if only a million and a half to two million buy health insurance?”

Good question. Another question, via Guy Benson: How many people will be neither enrolled nor not enrolled come January 1? What I mean is, how many of them will be stuck in some sort of limbo where they tried to sign up but either got trapped in the Healthcare.gov Twilight Zone or tangled up in the endless red tape HHS has created for insurers? WaPo claims that the federal O-Care exchange is already looking at a backlog of 50-60,000 paper applications with the final 10-day enrollment crunch still to come. And that’s not all:

She and the other individual familiar with the system said that some of the 50,000 to 60,000 applications have not been completed because consumers did not provide all the required information, and workers from the outside company, Serco, have been unable to reach them by phone to fill in the blanks.

In other instances, paper applications were placed on hold until last week because parts of the online system needed to answer eligibility questions were not working well enough.

In still other cases, Serco workers ran into one of various computer errors when they tried to process a paper application, and that error has not been corrected.

Besides the applications in the backlog, there are roughly 100,000 paper applications that have been processed, but the consumer was not told of the results until recently. The applicants are supposed to be mailed notification letters, but none went out until recently and the vast majority still have not.

So, to sum up: Not only is some significant portion of the backlog destined to go unprocessed due to uncorrectable errors, but even the status of the ones that have been processed are still a mystery to most of the consumers who filled them out. Some of these people expecting to receive a “you’re enrolled” letter are going to get a letter instead notifying them that their application’s incomplete or that there’s some outstanding issue. How many will get that in time to correct the error before December 23? How much extra work will that mean for already overwhelmed insurers before January 1?

As a gloss on all this, go read this Peter Suderman piece at Reason. Per this week’s WSJ/NBC poll, support for ObamaCare is now running at 24/50 — among the uninsured. Go figure that HHS is suddenly in jeopardy of having more people lose coverage this year than sign up for it.


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Even though there will be fewer people enrolled, there will be fewer people without insurance.

We’ll just calculate it the same way we do the unemployment numbers.

/White House

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Change you can believe in….

Lean 404orward…

Athos on December 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I sure am glad I am exempt from Obamacare. Of course, being a veteran also exempts me. I wonder if I count as two people with insurance to make up for one person who lost his.

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Old and Busted: Universal health insurance
The New Hotness: Universal health un-insurance

Robert_Paulson on December 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

And yet, Jay Carney is still saying that there is no “Plan B.” By which I mean an alternative course of action and not some sort of abortifacient that would kill Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM

They created a big pot of fines(tax)money since the uninsured numbers are going to triple.

docflash on December 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

support for ObamaCare is now running at 24/50 — among the uninsured.

Most of the 5 million+ who became uninsured because of Obamacare probably aren’t too keen on it.

forest on December 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

The Adults are in charge.

Del Dolemonte on December 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Is it true that the EPA is going to start issuing permits to individuals to exhale CO2, and that only the ruling class and obamacare enrollees can get such permits?

GaltBlvnAtty on December 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

What I mean is, how many of them will be stuck in some sort of limbo where they tried to sign up but either got trapped in the Healthcare.gov Twilight Zone or tangled up in the endless red tape HHS has created for insurers?

Specifically the Little Girl Lost episode.

rbj on December 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Old and Busted: Universal health insurance
The New Hotness: Universal health un-insurance

Robert_Paulson on December 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

New slogan: Embrace the Suck

forest on December 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Just heard on Special Report (FNC): Øbama administration wants insurance companies to make coverage retroactive if applicant signs up after 12/31/2013 and, if necessary, grant full insurance coverage with a partial payment, in January.
.
Oh Boy! I want Barack Øbama to run my business! He understands transactions!
.
Stinkin’ Socialist!

ExpressoBold on December 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Some of these people expecting to receive a “you’re enrolled” letter are going to get a letter instead notifying them that their application’s incomplete or that there’s some outstanding issue.

In order to complete your application, please provide answers to the following:

1. What is the content of your dreams?

BobMbx on December 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

OT- On Special Report they just had a State Department spokesgoon talking about Iran. I swear to God she looked just like Jay Carney wearing a long blonde wig. The tell was they had the same glasses.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Yesterday, although I never heard Rush get to the specifics, he mentioned near the top of his show that someone (not sure who) was trying to pass off the idea that people who had their insurance cancelled were NOT uninsured.

Bizarro world.

Bitter Clinger on December 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

New slogan: Embrace the Suck

forest on December 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Thread winner,shut it down.

docflash on December 13, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Some of these people expecting to receive a “you’re enrolled” letter are going to get a letter instead notifying them that their application’s incomplete or that there’s some outstanding issue.

I’m waiting for the stories of folks who thought they were enrolled who are in horrific auto accidents during the New Year’s holiday- only to find out that they’re not covered but their cocker spaniel can come in for a PAP smear whenever he wants.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

O-Care ZerO-Care

dont taze me bro on December 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Do these insurers actually believe they are going to get paid?

txhsmom on December 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

So when the insurance company saw Obamacare as a huge monetary benefit to them in deference to the additional cost to the consumer they were all gung ho. Now, not so much. Welcome to Barky’s world of Hope and Change…SUCKERS!!!

Deano1952 on December 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

The carefree days of obozocare.

Flange on December 13, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Even though there will be fewer people enrolled, there will be fewer people without insurance.

We’ll just calculate it the same way we do the unemployment numbers.

/White House

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Units without a valid insurance policy for more than 30 15 10 5 days are classed as “no longer looking for insurance”, and are not counted as “uninsured”.

BobMbx on December 13, 2013 at 6:27 PM

A net loss Dec 31…hmm, gee, ya think?

jake49 on December 13, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Heh

gophergirl on December 13, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Insurers fear they’ll have a net loss

Supp’d with the Devil. Spoon not long enough.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 6:31 PM

So when the insurance company saw Obamacare as a huge monetary benefit to them in deference to the additional cost to the consumer they were all gung ho. Now, not so much. Welcome to Barky’s world of Hope and Change…SUCKERS!!!

Deano1952 on December 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

You’re not kidding.

They ended up as Lando Calrisian to Obama’s Darth Vader, praying he doesn’t alter the deal further.

Bitter Clinger on December 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Well,….Lean Forward, …and as Pelosium says, “Embrace The Suck”!!

canopfor on December 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Phase 1: Obamacare
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Universal Coverage!

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

They created a big pot of fines(tax)money since the uninsured numbers are going to triple.

docflash on December 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Yep, the government will make money off the uninsured now.
They can keep 1% of every uninsured that applies for a tax refund.
And if you have a regular job and no insurance – they will get the money
from you first – and then give it to welfare schulbs who smoke pot and watch TV all day – suckers.

redguy on December 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Do these insurers actually believe they are going to get paid?

txhsmom on December 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

That will be the next crisis…..

In 6-9 months many of the small carriers will be bankrupt because Obama stiffed them.

The Cloward/Piven strategy in your face.

redguy on December 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

New slogan: Embrace the Suck

forest on December 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Thread winner,shut it down.

docflash on December 13, 2013 at 6:22 PM

docflash:

Agreed,..d*mn it,..must learn to read comments,for no duplication!:0

canopfor on December 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Failure is not an the only option.

antipc on December 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Phase 1: Obamacare
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Universal Coverage!

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Phase 1: Obamacare
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Universal Coverage!
Phase 4: Doctors revolt
Phase 5: Doctor gulags set-up
Phase 6: Hospitals are nationalized.
Phase 7: Only elites get healthcare.
Phase 8: Peasant revolt
Phase 9: Hunger games

redguy on December 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

The really interesting number will the substantial increase in uninsured as as of January 1, 2015.

ElectricPhase on December 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

So when the insurance company saw Obamacare as a huge monetary benefit to them in deference to the additional cost to the consumer they were all gung ho. Now, not so much. Welcome to Barky’s world of Hope and Change…SUCKERS!!!

Deano1952 on December 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Suckers who have it coming.

Consumers can’t get away from the system or they’ll be fined; insurers can get into another business if they really want. Those who are relatively free, and who helped others to become un-free for their own profit, now fear their rewards will be less than expected. Boo hoo.

They were for the whole thing, including people being kicked off good, affordable plans now called “substandard”. They thought state-enforced robbery would profit them, so to heck with freedom. How can anyone pity these thieves?

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 6:44 PM

They don’t fear, they know. This is just their way of letting the rest of us know without openly challenging the idiot they stupidly got into bed with.

NotCoach on December 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

More coverage for less money.
Happens every time I try it.

It was designed to fail. Near future push….single payer.

If the R’s somehow win the senate in 2014, the media will scream about how there are SO many uninsured. People are suffering.

Now’s the time to twist.

WryTrvllr on December 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Capistrano has the swallows in March, and we’ll have Democrats hair on fire in January.

NotCoach on December 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Phase 1: Obamacare
Phase 2: ? Jackboots
Phase 3: Universal Coverage!

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

kcewa on December 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Who is “Serco”, and what are the chances they start filling in missing information under pressure from above, kinda like Census Bureau Household Survey workers?

BKeyser on December 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

They thought state-enforced robbery would profit them, so to heck with freedom. How can anyone pity these thieves?

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 6:44 PM

They were threatened with worse if they didn’t go along.

kcewa on December 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

canopfor on December 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Good to see you friend..Hope all is well with you and your family..:)

Dire Straits on December 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM

They were threatened with worse if they didn’t go along.

kcewa on December 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

That’s pretty funny. What would be worse than the mathematical certainty of going out of business?

ElectricPhase on December 13, 2013 at 6:55 PM

♫ I’ll be dropped by Kwimmas…♫

viking01 on December 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Who is “Serco”, and what are the chances they start filling in missing information under pressure from above, kinda like Census Bureau Household Survey workers?

BKeyser on December 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Serco is a large contractor that exists almost exclusively on Federal Government Contracts, mostly from DOD sources, but they do have other branches. They had the contract with the Navy to issue ID cards for awhile, not sure if they still do.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

It must be worrisome for the insurance companies. Hopefully they will pad costs to cover any eventuality and continue on as they have become accustomed to.

BL@KBIRD on December 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Ensuck the brace.

TXUS on December 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

ObamaCare…..the gift that will keep on giving through November 2014.

GarandFan on December 13, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Insurers fear they’ll have a net loss…

…tough shit!

KOOLAID2 on December 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM

The health insurance companies were fully signed up, actively cooperating members of the Coalition of the Stealing.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Easy peasy, just have a presidential dictate to say all are enrolled.

Always remember and remind all you see that this destruction and death is totally owned by the democrats. Not one single republican voted for this and they have done (until yesterday) to stop the death and destruction brought forth by the democrat party and Obama.

jukin3 on December 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Per this week’s WSJ/NBC poll, support for ObamaCare is now running at 24/50 — among the uninsured.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chuck Schick on December 13, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Easy peasy, just have a presidential dictate to say all are enrolled.

jukin3 on December 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 8:03 PM

That’s what happens when you put a bunch of fat headed beurocrats in charge of something they know nothing about, led by a community organizer in chief whose greatest accomplishment this year is being named the biggest liar. Next year he’ll be nominated for the most classless selfie ever taken.

scalleywag on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 PM

You think that’s a dip of snuff under his lower lip?
.
.
.
It gives a “high” when things are down.

avagreen on December 13, 2013 at 8:43 PM

I wonder who carries his spit can?

avagreen on December 13, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Looks like he really needs to take a spit.

Really, really bad.

avagreen on December 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM

And yet, Jay Carney is still saying that there is no “Plan B.” By which I mean an alternative course of action and not some sort of abortifacient that would kill Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM

There was no “Plan B” for the website rollout either – not needed! All is well! The country is in the very best of hands!

Do not panic. Do not take off your shoes. Jobs is on the way!

Adjoran on December 14, 2013 at 12:50 AM

There are the two major year end holidays Christmas and New Years. Many people take extra time off around these holidays, including planned vacations, and many others take days off so they don’t lose sick, vacation, or personal days. The end of December is a well known unproductive period of time for many, many employers. There is not going to be much gain in rectifying this mess in balance of December.

Viator on December 14, 2013 at 2:59 AM

As Ace says, stories like this give me a huge schadenboner.
And I haven’t forgotten about the insurance companies who got into bed with Marxist dogs, thinking they would reap huge profits, only to get a bad case of fleas.

DRayRaven on December 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Report: Insurers fear they’ll have a net loss in enrollments for the year on December 31

Intended consequence.

rukiddingme on December 15, 2013 at 2:56 AM