It was previously suggested here that "you don't know how many of the 2.1 million have enrolled, but most likely well less than half" (emphasis mine) with the oft-repeated claim being that a majority of people who selected Obamacare plans would not make the necessary premium payment to complete the purchase of those plans.
Those assertions were based on preliminary numbers and/or what I personally would consider bizarre assumptions and extrapolations. We now have more data from the insurance companies themselves (note that this information was never available to the WH, contra some suggestions), and in fact the rates of payment are already much higher than "well less than half" and are more like 80%, even before the January 31 date that some insurers have set as the deadline. From CNN (emphasis again mine):
Around one in five people who picked health insurance policies on the state and federal exchanges last year haven't paid their first month's premiums, according to insurers polled by CNNMoney. These folks will likely see their policy selection canceled and they'll be left uninsured. Some 2.1 million people signed up for a plan in time for their coverage to start January 1, according to the Obama administration. But with the payment deadlines stretching until January 31 at the latest, anywhere between 12% and 30% of those folks still haven't paid up, insurers say. [...] The true enrollment figure likely won't be known for a few weeks.
The idea that most people going to the trouble of choosing the best plans for their needs would then turn around and not pay the premium never made sense to me personally and presumably we can now all agree that it is conclusively and empirically incorrect. Jordan's estimate of a "8%-25%" dropout rate looks like a very reasonable prediction. It started to become quite clear that "earlier estimates" were wildly wrong and that at least "70% to 85% of selectees [were] enrolling" by mid/late January, but it's worth asking why and how this idea that most signups would not convert into coverage persisted to that point. My own opinion, take it for whatever it's worth, is that there are many sources out there with analysis and estimates that are critical of Obamacare but that don't hold up under scrutiny. I base that opinion on either clicking through to the primary numbers in some cases, when I've had the time and motivation, or on trying to work out whether the suggested scenario makes sense or else feels contrived and unlikely. Ditto for any given anecdote that gets a lot of media play. Having said that, most of us don't have lots of extra time to run down every claim that gets pushed our way, so it is always appreciated when a skeptical vetting is conducted prior to these claims being deployed.