Why hardly anyone signed up for Obamacare
It may seem surprising that just 106,000 Americans managed to enroll in Obamacare in October. That is, until one considers human nature.
This post comes from Jonnelle Marte of Marketwatch.
It may seem surprising that just 106,000 Americans managed to enroll in Obamacare, choosing a health plan through the new state or federally run insurance exchanges. That is, until one considers human nature.
Though the enrollment is about 1.5% of the 7 million people expected to buy coverage through the exchanges next year, and well below expectations for the first month, experts say there’s reason to think our procrastination may be as much to blame as bad programming.
People typically approach healthcare open enrollment in waves, with a burst of people, usually about 15% of participants, signing up at the start of the enrollment period and then a huge rush of purchases happening toward the end of the period, says Tony DeNucci, a managing director with Towers Watson, a professional services company. “There are people who aren’t paying attention and don’t want to deal with it until the last minute,” says DeNucci.
The type of person who enrolls in next year’s insurance plan six weeks in advance is also the type of person who files their tax return in January. About 22% of people make insurance decisions in the last two days of open enrollment periods, health officials said during a media call Wednesday. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, also attributed some of the delay to the idea that consumers often take their time making health insurance decisions. “Insurance is very different than buying a toaster,” Sebelius said during the call. “As more people shop and talk things over with their families we expect these numbers to rise.”
Even people who signed up for insurance on Oct.1—to the extent that they were able to given technical setbacks on HealthCare.gov and some of the state-run exchanges—won’t be covered until Jan. 1, and won’t have a premium payment until roughly Dec. 15. It wouldn’t be surprising, financial experts say, if many people were waiting to get closer to that moment of gratification to take action. “People are often reactive rather than proactive,” says Taylor Gang, a principal at Evensky & Katz, a wealth management firm based in Coral Gables, Fla.
The hundreds of thousands of people who moved to sign up for insurance as soon as open enrollment kicked off on Oct. 1 were likely those who needed it more urgently, either because of a health condition or because they wanted to know if they will receive federal subsidies to lower insurance costs, says Robert Laszewski, a health insurance consultant at Health Policy and Strategy Associates. The rest may drag their feet, he says. “People will wait,” says Laszewski. “The real test for Obamacare will not come until people can expect a smooth experience on the website, through the community navigators, and in the call centers.”
Insurance activity can pick up in the middle of an open enrollment period if companies send out reminder messages, Towers Watson said. Officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said earlier this week they are attempting to boost enrollment by emailing roughly 275,000 people who struggled to create accounts on HealthCare.gov because of technical issues to come back to the site and try again. Officials also said they would reach out later to people who were able to create accounts but haven’t picked a plan.
The majority of Americans who chose insurance plans through the public exchanges, or 75%, did so through state-based exchanges. Only 26,794 people signed up through the federally run exchanges on HealthCare.gov. Enrollment was defined as people who selected plans on the website whether or not they made their first payment. Health officials said people who are having trouble signing up for insurance through the public exchanges can sign up directly through insurance companies. Some people who think they may be eligible for subsidies but are struggling to complete their applications can sign up directly through their insurer and apply for subsidies later. Open enrollment ends March 31.
More from Marketwatch:
- Obamacare could be blocked in 34 states
- Obamacare penalties to be delayed
- HealthCare.gov contractors face Congress
1. The site is a nightmare to navigate.
2. The cost of having the Democratic "sin" coverage is too great.
3. You can't purchase just what you need.
4. Whatever the Fed touches goes to hell in a hand basket.
5. People don't like to be "forced' to do anything.
What a totally slanted "wishful thinking" article. Get a clue - Obama can't make a better pizza than Papa Johns. The people just don't want his product at its price. Even outlawing the competitors recipes and penalties to those that don't buy enough of his pizza isn't working. His only customers are those that can buy his pizzas at well below cost and sometimes they get to take his pizzas home for free. OOOPS - are those really customers or is this just more of the same old "I'll give you free stuff (that I'll take from your neighbor that has more than you) if you vote for me."
Wake Up America.
1) an idiot promoted it and signed it into law
2) idiots voted for it and did not read it
3) the government did not listen to the people
4) it forces us to buy something we dont want or need
5 the law puts government in the middle of a personal choice and over rules your freedoms of choice for you and your family
6) as usual with anything doing with the government it costs way more than planned
7 it removes personal responsibility for the so called greater good)
8 it is unconstitutional on its face no matter what the supreme court said. the government has the right to tax but not for something they do not provide. since the insurance is handled thru a third party the government is not allowed to tax for it as they are not providing the servce or goods
9) clueless people voted for it and exempted themselves.
there are many more reasons but I guess the bigest one is the fact that the majority of peple did not want the law and the congress and senate who passed it had no clue what was in it (aka pelosi).
kill the law and start over letting the people bvote on this item specifically
ObamaCare was designed to fail so that Single Payer can be rammed down our throats!
It was never about healthcare, is has always been about power.
1. Initially the people without a job and no money...will sign up quickly for the health care subsidy.
2. Many people won't sign up and will just want to wait and see if Obamacare will fail time-wise and be delayed or they think costs will come down after more people sign up.
3. A huge amount of people (young and old) will research Obamacare and weigh things out and figure out it's cheaper to pay the small fine and wait until they need healthcare because now there's no pre-existing conditions. It's like paying a very small monthly amount $5. (instead of $70.) to drive your car, and then after the accident you buy the insurance to cover costs of the repairs and injuries.
..In the end Obamacare WILL FAIL and will go the way of the "Pet Rocks". I can see it now, "branded" we'll see our old former president in 2030, and he'll be remember, associated and talk of in regards to his failed Obamacare plan he tried to push through. Gosh, I feel bad for him. It sucks.
I don't like Obama, he is a lair and I want him impeached!! However, no bodies all bad. Obama has done a couple of good things, although I don't think he no it. Racism in America is going to become part of history. The only people who want racism is Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the NAACP and that is because they make money from racism. The other thing is obamacare is destroying socialism, liberalism and this government can solve all ideology. The American people want to be responsible themselves, their families and their government.
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