3 in 10 Virginians haven’t paid their Obamacare premiums


NO PAY, NO PLAY: In Virginia, as many people as the populations of Charlottesville and Williamsburg combined hadn’t yet paid for health insurance as of April.

By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Buying something doesn’t work unless you pay for it, as Virginians who signed up for health insurance but haven’t paid will discover.

Roughly three in 10 Virginians who signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act haven’t paid their first month’s premium as of April 15, according to testimony given to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Commission, and therefore, their enrollment process is incomplete.

Since more than 216,000 Virginians had signed up for a health plan as of mid-April, that non-paying population of roughly 63,000 is larger than the populations of Charlottesville and Williamsburg — combined.

“The facts are the facts, and while the administration and its allies furiously try to muddy reality, the public deserves transparency,” committee chairman Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, said in a news release. “While the administration toasts to the law’s success with its Hollywood allies, declaring this conversation over, we will continue our pursuit for facts for the American people so we can finally have a full, accurate picture of this health care law.”

Sadly, Virginia fares better than the average. Nationwide, just 67 percent of Americans who signed up for a plan under President Barack Obama’s signature health care law have paid.

The higher price tag of insurance could be partly to blame.

While premiums have dipped for 64-year-old men and women in Virginia because of the ACA, younger men and women are paying more for health care coverage than before the act. For 27-year-old men, premiums are 55 percent higher now than they were before the ACA, according to the Manhattan Institute.

Young, healthy adults are the ones the Obama administration needs — and needs to pay — to make the law successful. Overall, young adults 18-34 accounted for 28 percent of enrollees in state and federal health exchanges, short of the administration’s original target of 40 percent.

— Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org, and can be reached at kwatson@watchdog.org, or on Twitter @kathrynw5.