Health insurers: Payment rates higher than GOP report suggests

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 so far.

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. The insurance representatives stressed that better data will be available in the weeks to come.

"These are dynamic figures and do not reflect final enrollment numbers, as some enrollees have not yet reached their payment due dates," Paul Wingle of Aetna said. Given that millions of Americans only enrolled in Obamacare in the final month of the open enrollment period, their first premiums may not be due yet. The GOP report, meanwhile, only looked at premiums collected by April 15.