33% of Obamacare enrollees too ignorant, incompetent to pay premiums?

33% of Obamacare enrollees too ignorant, incompetent to pay premiums?

There are a variety of factors that explain why more than 30 percent of enrollees have yet to pay. To begin with, it’s worth noting that millions of Americans waited until the final weeks and days of the open enrollment period (which closed on March 31) to sign up for Obamacare. Many were allowed to finish the enrollment process after March 31, due to the flexibility the Obama administration granted. Consequently, many Americans on the new marketplace simply didn’t owe any premiums by April 15. …

Even so, the nature of the individual health insurance market — factors like the fluidity of the marketplace and consumers’ lack of familiarity with the system — make it difficult to collect premiums from all enrollees. …

“You have to recognize it’s a new payment for many people, and it’s not uncommon for people to miss that first payment or be confused about when to pay it,” [said Marc Boutin, executive vice president of the nonprofit National Health Council]. From here, “I think the numbers are just going to go up.” …

Those who do want to pay for their Obamacare coverage may not have a convenient way to do so.

“A high proportion of the people that are low-income and uninsured don’t have checking accounts, don’t have credit cards,” Jost noted. “One thing Congress could do to help out, or the insurers could do, is create ways for people to pay their premiums in cash.”

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