GOP: Health signups lagging - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

GOP: Health signups lagging

Updated:
WASHINGTON - House Republicans issued a report Wednesday saying that one-third of people who signed up for health insurance through new federal exchanges hadn't paid their first month's premium as of mid-April, which could undermine the Obama administration's claims of robust enrollment under the new health law.

But administration officials, outside experts and even the health insurance industry immediately questioned the report, offering the latest skirmish over questionable claims and counterclaims that have come to characterize debate over President Barack Obama's signature health law.

The report by House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans said 67 percent of people who had signed up for health insurance through federal marketplaces had paid their first month's premiums as of April 15. That was far lower than the numbers emerging from individual insurance companies, which have been reporting payment numbers in the range of 85 percent and above. Wellpoint reported on an earnings call Wednesday that some 90 percent of people signing up for insurance actually had paid.

Administration officials, insurers and others were quick to point out that because the GOP data cut off in mid-April, it didn't capture a surge of health law sign-ups in March prior to the end of the first open enrollment period.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the Energy and Commerce chairman, said he was summoning insurers to a hearing next week to testify about Affordable Care Act enrollment.

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AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson in Chicago contributed to this report.

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