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.

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