Health insurers report 80 percent of signees are paying their premiums

BY Erica Werner, Associated Press  May 7, 2014 at 1:50 PM EST

WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies are telling Congress that more than 80 percent of people who’ve signed up under the new health care law have gone on to pay their premiums.

That’s in line with what individual insurers have said on earnings calls with analysts and elsewhere in recent weeks.

Company representatives were testifying at a House hearing run by Republicans who are skeptical of the Obama administration’s claims of higher-than-expected sign-ups.

A GOP report last week suggested the payment figure could be significantly lower — and that would undermine the administration’s claims. But Wednesday’s testimony from representatives of Aetna, Wellpoint and other insurers indicated otherwise.

Republicans say there still are questions, and they note that the administration hasn’t released its own payments data.

Democrats say the hearing is politically motivated.