BlueCross Extending Deadline For Marketplace Payments

Thursday, December 19, 2013

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has extended to Jan. 15 the premium payment deadline for consumers who have selected a Health Insurance Marketplace plan by Dec. 23. The coverage for those plans will be effective Jan.1.

Previously, the deadline for payment on these plans was Dec. 31, but technical issues with the heathcare.gov website prompted BlueCross to extend it to Jan. 15 to help reduce the possibility of gaps in coverage. Many other health insurers have extended first premium payment deadlines to Jan. 10.

“Many people pay their premiums by check through the mail, and with postal volume high this time of year, we felt it important to give our Marketplace customers a cushion with a Jan. 15 deadline,” said Kelly Paulk, director of product strategy for BlueCross. Patients who receive pharmacy or medical bills between Jan. 1 – 15 will later submit them for payment.

For those who bought health insurance on healthcare.gov, here are some helpful tips to confirm you are enrolled in a plan with coverage starting on Jan. 1.

  • If you have enrolled in a plan and paid the first month’s premium, you should receive welcome materials from the insurer within a week to 10 days.  If not, call the Marketplace customer service line at 800 318-2596, to verify you completed your enrollment.
  • Confirm you’ve made payment. When applying through healthcare.gov, you should be directed to the insurer’s website to make arrangements for your premium payment.  If not, call the insurance company directly to make payment. Making payment is necessary to put coverage into effect.
  • You’re just not sure you completed enrollment. It usually takes two business days/three over weekends for your information to be transferred to and uploaded by the insurer. If you enrolled in a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee plan, you can call 800-459-6363 to verify that we received the enrollment information.
  • You haven’t started shopping yet. If you want coverage by Jan. 1, you have to enroll in a plan by Dec. 23 and make payment before Jan. 15 so time is getting tight. Also remember that signing onto healthcare.gov from your own computer is not the only way to shop for coverage unless you specifically want to check to see if you qualify for a premium tax credit. You can call BlueCross to shop at 800-459-6363. You can also call the Marketplace directly at 800-318-2596 to enroll over the phone. There is a list of certified brokers and of certified application centers on BlueCross’ website bcbst.com/knownow. While Dec. 23 is the deadline for coverage effective Jan. 1, marketplace open enrollment continues through March 31.

Richard Ervin Named Executive Director Of Life Care Center Of Ooltewah

Life Care Center of Ooltewah is welcoming a new executive director, Richard Ervin.  “Richard has years of experience in long-term health care,” said Carolyn Freeman, vice president of parent company Life Care Centers of America’s Cumberland Region. “He’s dedicated to serving our customers.”  Mr. Ervin comes to Life Care Center of Ooltewah from Holston Manor in Kingsport, ... (click for more)

Gregory Sutton Joins Tennessee Oncology

Tennessee Oncology  announced the arrival of Dr. Gregory Sutton, a medical oncologist who cares for patients at Tennessee Oncology Chattanooga’s Medical Park II location at 2200 East Third St. in Suite 100. “Dr. Sutton is a great addition to our growing network of physicians committed to caring for cancer patients within their community and close to their home,” said ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)