Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ObamaCare Enrollment Is Shrinking, Top Insurers Say

By , INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY, August 11, 2014 - Aetna's (NYSE:AET) ObamaCare exchange statistics should clear up any doubt as to why the Obama Administration has been tight-lipped about enrollment since celebrating 8 million sign-ups in mid-April.

Reality, evidence suggests, could require quite a come-down from those lofty claims. The nation's third-largest health insurer had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, a spokesman confirmed to IBD. At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to "just over 500,000" by the end of the year. (link)

My Comment: I am not surprised.

In my job, I work in the non-profit sector serving primarily low income people. Part of what I do is budget counseling. The other day I had a client who had lost her job, who was enrolled in an Obamacare insurance plan that was $400 a month with a a $5000 deductible.  For a low income or no-income person that might as well be no insurance at all. A $5000 deductible may be a good plan for a middle class person who has assets that could be at risk and who was denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, but for a low-income person with no wealth at risk or for the previously middle class person who has not accumulated assets and has lost his job, he would be much better off using the emergency room and free clinics.

I have worked with low-income people for most of my life. Many do not even have auto insurance although they have a car and they drive and although the law requires it. Many smoke cigarettes and play the lottery and have cable TV rather than pay their utilities. Many live day to day and take what pleasures they can and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Sports starter jackets, a good cell phone, bling, and a nice tattoo are more important than health insurance. Most of the low-income I have served are simply not going to pay a monthly insurance premium.

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