There are still key details that the White House hasn’t included in past enrollment announcements, and it didn’t this time either. The numbers still don’t say how many of the 8 million people have paid their premiums, because they’re not officially enrolled until they’ve paid. The best estimates from the insurance industry have suggested that anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent haven’t paid yet, though at least some of those have been trying and some will likely settle their bills.
And the numbers still don’t tell us how many of the new customers were uninsured before, and how many were just swapping out one health insurance plan for another.
In fact, the Obama administration didn’t release a full enrollment report on Thursday, as was widely expected. Instead, it just circulated the topline figures in the White House fact sheet, which gave health care experts — and the critics — less information to go on.
And when it did release the numbers, it played up the best ones. The number that leaked early in the day was the age mix: 35 percent of the people who signed up in the federal health insurance exchange were under age 35. But that figure includes children. The number that mattered more to most health care experts was the young adults age 18 to 34 — and 28 percent of the new customers were in that group.