This Obamacare Enrollment Assistance Group Got $200,000 In Federal Funds, Enrolled 1 Person

Earlier this summer, congressional democrats lost their collective minds when the Trump administration announced plans to cut Obamacare's marketing budget from $100 million down to $10 million (see: Democrats Furious After Trump Announces 90% Cut To Obamacare Marketing Funds).  Here was Chuck Schumer's response:

Now, per a note from MSNBC, we're getting some new data on just how effective Obama's $100 million marketing budget has been.  According to data supplied by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one group in South Dakota received $200,000 worth of federal funding and managed to sign up just one person.

A group that is supposed to help Native Americans sign up for Obamacare coverage in South Dakota received $200,000 in federal funds to support its efforts — and managed to sign up just one person in an Obamacare plan, the Trump administration said Wednesday.


The group, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, had better luck in North Dakota — where it assisted 67 people in shopping for and enrolling in an Obamacare plan that went into effect in 2017.


But in that state, GPTCHB received an additional $154,000 in federal cash for its efforts.


That works out to nearly $3,000 per Obamacare enrollee of GPTCHB's in North Dakota.


In both Dakotas, the group's work cost taxpayers $5,200 per enrollee, according to data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Of course, GPTCHB was not alone among so-called Obamacare Navigators in falling woefully short of its goals — or in getting a lot of federal money while doing so.  In fact, the top 10 Obamacare "Navigators" received a total of $2.8 million in federal funds and managed to sign up a mere 314 people...roughly $9,000 per applicant.

CMS said that besides GPTCHB, there were another 16 Obamacare Navigators that each had enrolled fewer than 100 people each for 2017 plans — at an average cost of almost $5,000 per enrollee.


And the 10 Navigators that received the most federal funds got a total of $2.77 million to sign up just 314 people in Obamacare plans, according to CMS.


Nationally, "Navigators received $62.5 million in federal grants to enroll 81,426 people — just 0.7 percent of total enrollees" in Obamacare plans, CMS said.


And 78 percent of Navigators failed to reach their enrollment goals "while spending $50 million," CMS said.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that $63 million was spent on signing up just 0.7% of total enrollees, former Obama spokeswoman Lori Lodes would like for you to know there are several reasons why you should doubt this hard data from the CMS and instead believe her propaganda.

"The value of a program should be judged by its results and not by the amount of money spent," said Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the parent of CMS.


"Last year, the Navigator program helped less than 1 percent of enrollees sign up for Obamacare at a cost of nearly $63 million," Oakley said.


Lori Lodes, a former spokeswoman for CMS in the Obama administration, said there are several reasons to doubt that the Navigator program is performing as poorly as the Trump administration suggests.


"This doesn't paint a full picture," Lodes said of CMS's data.

But sure, Obamacare continues to work fantastically and is clearly in high demand.


Escrava Isaura Bes Fri, 11/24/2017 - 13:42 Permalink

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Obamacare is not profitable. It reduces payments for services. Insurances, hospitals, and doctors don’t like that. The high cost ‘profit’ comes from insurance and Medicare Advantage. Here’s how it works: Health insurers made oodles of money in 2016, despite losing millions of dollars on Obamacare. The industry's net income rose to $13.1 billion, up 46% from a year earlier, according to a report from rating company A.M. Best. Companies saw improvements in most of their business lines, but much of the earnings boost came from higher profitability in their Medicare Advantage divisions and smaller losses in their Obamacare exchange products. "They did lose millions and millions" in Obamacare, said Doniella Pliss, associate director at A.M. Best. Insurers reported an underwriting loss -- when claims paid exceed premiums collected -- of $893 million in 2016, down from $2.1 billion a year earlier, in their commercial business lines, which includes Obamacare policies. Insurers were able to stem the bleeding by increasing rates, restricting provider networks and changing benefits packages. For instance, some insurers are reining in costs by restricting out-of-network access and monitoring patients more closely. Obamacare "is not eating into profits to the degree that it did in the prior year," Pliss said.   Where insurers did well was Medicare Advantage, where underwriting profitability soared 279%. Under Medicare Advantage, the federal government pays companies a fixed amount each month to cover Medicare-eligible Americans. Insurers are benefiting from an influx of younger, healthier retirees, better management of enrollees' health and more favorable contracts with providers. Medicaid, however, has been a more challenging area for carriers. Their underwriting earnings declined in this segment, mainly because new Medicaid expansion enrollees have been sicker. However, this business line should improve over time as consumers have better and more consistent access to care.  

In reply to by Bes

RafterManFMJ hedgeless_horseman Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:46 Permalink

Who cares? Honestly, who gives one fuck about a blown 100 million? Blow a trillion on a plane that doesn’t fly, billions to Israel, - honestly I’m pretty fatigued over this nickel and dime fraud; at least some of these ‘navigators’ may have dumped some fiat into their local economies.

Again, who gives a fuck? It’s like getting shot in the chest with a .308 and your worried about a splinter that your cousin got.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

woody188 NickPeeMe Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:49 Permalink

Right, Trump stole the profits from Fannie/Freddie to prop up the ACA. No wait, that was Barry Soetoro!The thing was a failure from the get go. Failed to sign up the young and healthy even with an extra tax on IRS slaves day every April. Failed to get enough providers to accept their mandated services pay. Failed to control costs of any healthcare.They couldn't even set up a website without spending over $2 billion dollars.Well they did get one thing right. Medicaid costs have skyrocketed with the Medicaid enlistment portion setting up states that accepted the ACA with the mandatory Medicaid increases for bankruptcy.Heckuva job!

In reply to by NickPeeMe

FORD_FIESTA Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:09 Permalink

"The value of a program should be judged by its results and not by the amount of money spent," said Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the parent of CMS.That's all you need to know, as to why this Country is going down the Shitter, and needs to be flushed soon. Your fedgov is waaaaay beyond over the edge. Fuck these people,,,,,Fuck paying taxes.  

Endgame Napoleon FORD_FIESTA Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:44 Permalink

Meanwhile, I, a multi-licensed insurance agent and a college grad who has never failed to meet my quotas in any type of sales job, am unemployed. The unlicensed navigators did not meet their goals. After working as a temp for health insurers, I am not surprised. As in many other insurance settings (not all, but many), the staff was mom-dominated. The moms were unlicensed, and they enjoyed the generous excused absenteeism for working moms that is the norm across the lower quarters of the financial services industry.

It is hard to meet your quota — ever — when you take whole mornings, whole afternoons, whole days and whole weeks off, watching each other’s backs and saying it is for kids, while kicking the hardworking agents out the door when they are even hired. Moms mostly hire fellow moms. Unlicensed people mostly hire unlicensed people, and licensed owners looking to save money often hire unlicensed moms, granting absenteeism privileges instead of pay that covers rent.

Employers can do that because the moms are either married, with a spousal income that covers rent, or enjoying a wide range of welfare products that boost up their low wages—from free EBT groceries, to subsidized rent, to $6,318 in child-tax-credit money each April

So, I just put another charge on my credit card, paying the state another tidy sum of money to renew my licenses, taking even more tests, while unlicensed Obamacare navigators managed to sign up almost no one, though they accepted regular paychecks.

Even worse than my experience, agents who took advantage of the industry’s pyramid-style “opportunities” for licensed agents, spending money for leads and paying the twice-as-high SS taxes of self-employment for years to build up a book of business on straight commission, lost all of that to Obamacare.

Their hard-won policies were ceded to these babyvacationing navigators who, in addition to regular paychecks, likely had benefits to reward them for their absenteeism and lackluster effort when at work. But I am sure they were all “culture fits” who squealed with the right amount of glee during all-important Halloween dress-up days and baby-mommy-look-alike-bulletin-board-decorating contests. The mommas do that in the insurance back offices as well, in between long jaunts of excused absenteeism and internet baby-pic posting in their cubicles.

I feel sorry for almost anyone who gets fired, and in some offices, a few hard workers might have survived the mom gangs. But I have seen enough absentee momma bullies in this industry, particularly in the large-scale offices, to say: Thanks to Trump for saying you're fired to this group of unlicensed insurance agents.

In reply to by FORD_FIESTA

RafterManFMJ Endgame Napoleon Fri, 11/24/2017 - 14:28 Permalink


Read voxday’s post about the anal rape of Canadians small towns... great article

Eventually you’re going to learn not to play. I have. I’m having a one-off nice refund this year and I can tell you true I’m going to buy a van or box truck and get out of the game.

TIred of working shifts, breathing hexachrome - all so my child’s birthright can be expropriated for a bunch of ... human shit.

Naw dog, I’m out.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

CompassionateC… Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:13 Permalink

It's money well spent.  This $200,000 probably went to a poor oppressed Jewish person who suffered so much during the Holohoax.  Obamacare has been a great success for those who matter, let's make sure that tRump doesn't ruin it!

Miss Expectations CompassionateC… Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:53 Permalink

Meet the 26 accused in Lakewood fraud probe: Who they are, what charges they faceTwenty-six members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood have been swept up on charges of benefits fraud following a multi-agency investigation. At present, thirteen couples have been accused of wrongfully collecting a total of $2.4 million in public assistance by under-reporting incomes. Most of the charges have been filed in state court, though some federal charges have been filed as well.The social services programs involved include Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as food stamps), Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Hurricane Sandy relief, Section 8 housing, Social Security and the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund.Zalmen and Tzipporah SorotzkinThe rabbi of Congregation Lutzk, at 520 New Egypt Road, has been charged with his wife of second-degree theft by deception, and is accused of wrongfully collecting $338,642 in Medicaid, food stamp, Housing and Urban Development and Supplementary Security Income benefits between January 2009 and April 2014.The couple live in a home built last year at a net value of $885,100, according to tax records. The home, which is owned by the synagogue and classified under "church and charitable property," had a taxable value of $18,212.88 in 2016, records show.…

In reply to by CompassionateC…

Endgame Napoleon CompassionateC… Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:56 Permalink

The money probably mostly went to a few managers, although many of the salaried sales managers are paid low amounts as well for taking on the responsibility, so maybe not. There are franchises that cost licensed people between $10,000 and $150,000. But most of insurance is a pyramid scheme, where about ten people the agent does not even know take a cut of each $250 to $800 straight-commission sale, gained by tons of relentless cold calling, calling a bunch of warm leads that cost a lot of money [and/or] a lot of running around and gas expense. But the unlicensed mom gangs in the call centers sell policies, un-energetically, in between bouts of absenteeism, collecting a regular paycheck and benefits, with a couple of licensed signers on hand to make it legal. The important thing is do you fit in their back-watching momma work clique?

In reply to by CompassionateC…

truthalwayswinsout Fri, 11/24/2017 - 13:04 Permalink

Same scam as voter registration. People who campaign get jobs and start companies and then get the money to live very well until the next campaign starts. It is all part of the scam.

honestann Fri, 11/24/2017 - 13:11 Permalink

When I read the first little bit of this article, my brain spewed out an interesting idea.  Why don't Native American tribes... which I think are more-or-less considered sovereign fictitious entities (like any "government") create huge income streams by selling membership to their tribe for $10K to $25K (to citizens of the USSA)?Then these people could ditch their slavery to the USSA and operate on the "reservation" (whether they live there or not).I guess I'm not sure what subtle problem with this might exist, but maybe someone else here in ZH does.

JRobby honestann Fri, 11/24/2017 - 13:31 Permalink

You have to go through a "formal process" with The State Department renouncing US Citizenship to end your tax liability.And you would still be within the continental US earning $$$ which has other tax implications. As you might have noticed, they did not give Native American's the best pieces of land. But there are some nice ones depending on where you want to live and if you would be welcomed.

In reply to by honestann

RafterManFMJ honestann Fri, 11/24/2017 - 14:32 Permalink

The real problem is they would simply drink away any increased income; from anecdotal evidence even tribes blessed with massive incomes they don’t earn drink themselves senseless.

I’ve been told you dont end up on a reservation (gas station for example) after dark unless getting repeatedly stabbed by a drunk is your fetish.

In reply to by honestann

honestann RafterManFMJ Sat, 11/25/2017 - 15:06 Permalink

I spent some time inside reservations while I was in the USSA.  Okay, only two or three months, but my impression was, people who aren't arrogant jerks are not in any more danger there than anywhere else.  In fact, I'd say much less than in most cities in the USSA.Also, there's nothing magic about the land inside reservations that make someone drink, or drink more.  I never drank alcohol, and never felt any desire to drink alcohol when I was inside the reservation.  Just because some people fall into bad habits (usually due to their situation), doesn't mean other people with other attitudes and ways of living will do the same.One reason a tribe should consider what I said is to help create job opportunities by attracting clean businesses into their reservation.  That would give more opportunities to become productive, which would eventually lead to fewer drunks, less violence and generally better conditions.PS:  I filled up at gas stations in reservations many times, and usually after dark.  I never felt afraid or threatened.  Then again, I am simple, friendly and straightforward to people, I look them straight in the eye, pay attention to what they say, and have simple conversations.  I suspect that's part of the reason I never get in trouble.  I'm not sure why arrogant, disrespectful people expect to be treated great by people they disrespect.

In reply to by RafterManFMJ

peippe Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:26 Permalink

I am really sorry, but I've been wandering the Dakotas pretending to be Jake Cloudbear & various other aliases, signing & resigning up for Obamacare at various stops. It's become a habit of mine. Jokes on them. haha. 

Muppet Fri, 11/24/2017 - 18:21 Permalink

My fam's lowest cost Obamacare choice for 2018 is $2150 per month with $11K deductible.  Thats up from $1550 per month and $7k deductible.   We are a fam of 3.  As Dana Carvey would imitate Geroge Bush "Not gonna do it.  Not gonna."