Yesterday, an insurance agent sent me the following email. He received it from a client whose new ObamaCare insurance policy had already lapsed. The agent sent him a notice to pay the premium.
- I cannot pay $200 a month. It’s cutting into my other bills. This is unaffordable from the insurance company. If you can find me something in the same range for less. I was paying I think $150 now $200. If you can’t I guess I’ll take chances on Obama care. Fred (not his real name)
This agent/client dialogue seems to be springing up across the state. In this past week, a Central Minnesota agent reported that six of his client’s policies had lapsed. A Metro area agent reported that 20 percent of his new ObamaCare clients had let their policies lapse.
The lapsed payments reflect early fallout that throws some cold water on the celebration recently staged by leaders at MNsure (Minnesota’s government insurance distributor), HeatlhCare.gov, and various other government agencies.
During the extended open enrollment last fall and this spring, ObamaCare critics questioned how many of the new health insurance enrollees would actually pay their premium. Estimates ran from 10-25% of those who never pay premiums, therefore making moot the celebratory claims of exchange managers and politicians.
Now it appears more fallout is occurring. Maybe a small percentage, but it is a sure thing – just a sure as the IRS losing emails that incriminate their leaders – that thousands of ObamaCare enrollees are, right now, without coverage once again. They have let their policies lapse.
Remarkably, given the anti-private marketplace bias of ObamaCare officials, those know-it-alls who see professional insurance agents as nothing more than unwanted overhead, will now have to hope those agents can persuade the lapsers to pay up.
But did I mention that those who signed up during open enrollment, and have since let their policies lapse, are prohibited by law to purchase coverage again until November 15, 2014? The same is true for anyone who does not get coverage from their employers – the law will not let you sign up for insurance until the next open enrollment period. That is, unless your income is less than 200% of Federal Poverty Guideline income – then you can sign up anytime.
Minnesota is, by the way, the only state with a Basic Health Plan – MinnesotaCare. It covers adults up to 200 percent of federal poverty guideline income, and children to 275 percent. It also requires those individuals to pay a meager monthly premium. I’m betting a fair percentage of those health plans have already lapsed, just like Fred’s.
See if any of the major media do the hard work of writing the story of the ObamaCare health plans already lapsing.