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.

Tennessee To Receive $13.8 Million Aimed At Prescription Opioid Crisis

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. has announced that the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will be awarded $13.8 million through the 21st Century Cures Act to help combat the prescription opioid epidemic in Tennessee. This is the largest single federal funding increase for opioid treatment in the state’s history. In his ... (click for more)

17th Annual Bunny Hop! Benefits Chambliss Center For Children

The 17th annual Bunny Hop! event to benefit Chambliss Center for Children will be held on Friday, May 5.  The family-friendly fundraiser will be held in the First Tennessee Pavilion from 6-8:30 p.m. "Parents can enjoy an evening with friends and festivities while their kids take advantage of the numerous activities for children. All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend, ... (click for more)

City Vows Lincoln Park To Be Preserved Despite Major Road, Sewer Projects

City officials vowed on Tuesday that Lincoln Park will be preserved despite a major road extension and sewer relocation planned nearby. Maura Sullivan, the city's chief operating officer, said the Trust for Public Land will hold public meetings geared around ideas for refurbishing the African-American park that once featured ball fields, a swimming pool and other attractions. ... (click for more)

Teen Shot At Brainerd Tunnel; Gunshot Came From Passing Vehicle

A teen was shot in the Brainerd Tunnel on Tuesday afternoon. He was identified as Adrian Williams, 19.   Chattanooga Police responded at 3:16 p.m. to a shots fired call at the 2600 block of Bailey Avenue (the tunnel).   At the same time officers were arriving on the scene, the victim walked into a local hospital suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot ... (click for more)

Don't Clog Up The Last Remaining Semi-Unobstructed Route Into Town From North Of The River

The proposal to turn Hixson Pike in Riverview into a more pedestrian friendly street is more than absurd.   Let's be honest. This is the last semi-unobstructed route into town from north of the river, due to I-27 construction and the bike lane/parking lot that is North Market Street.  So, now the businesses in Riverview would like parking on this main artery? ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A One-Sided Opportunity

State education commissioner Candace McQueen has apparently fallen and hit her head. She most certainly needs to be examined after she came to Chattanooga on Monday and told the Times-Free Press about an exciting “partnership.” Are you kidding me? Despite the newspaper’s editors actually touting the venture as “promising,” the lady is clearly dancing by herself. With her Achievement ... (click for more)