About Those 7.3 Million Obamacare Enrollees

Published September 24, 2014

There are a handful of blogs that anybody seriously interested in following health care policy should read regularly. At the top of that list is Health Policy and Markets, the blog of insurance expert Robert Laszewski. Last Friday he had some pretty interesting comments on reports that 7.3 million Americans remained enrolled through Obamacare’s exchanges:

The administration finally released the Obamacare enrollment count this week.

Like everything else about their scorekeeping we got a number. Just one number. A number that was conveniently better than we had expected. And, we got no real context for the number or any of the back-up information.

I thought this quote in a Politico article was telling:

The figure is complex to unravel. The number came from the health insurers, who told the Obama administration every month how many people are covered by Affordable Care Act plans. A CMS official said Thursday that in prior monthly reports, the numbers varied widely, but recently stabilized.”

So this tells us a couple of things:

  1. The carriers have been reporting the number of people they have been insuring in the exchanges to the Obama administration for months.
  2. The monthly enrollment numbers have “varied widely.”

The whole post is worth the read, if you want to understand at least one of the games the Obama administration is playing in order to pad enrollment numbers. The “7.3 million”