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.

Senate Health Committee To Hold Zika Hearing On Feb. 24 At 10 A.M.

Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced Thursday the Senate committee overseeing public health policy will hold a hearing on the Zika virus on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. Chairman Alexander said: “Americans have many questions about the Zika virus, as we have watched news of its spread through Central and South America, as well as ... (click for more)

Dade County And The Arts - Dancing With Breast Cancer

In 2006, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had bi-lateral mastectomies. Now, almost 10 years later, I look back at how dance and art transformed my life-challenging situation into beauty. With the help and support of my friend and artist Mary Petruska, I decided not to do reconstruction. From a beautiful drawing of wild passion flowers by Mary, we went to tattoo artist Skip ... (click for more)

Cleveland School Board Votes 5-2 To Terminate School Director Ringstaff Over Twitter Messages

The Cleveland School Board on Friday fired Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of schools, for sending sexually explicit messages to an anonymous woman a year ago.  His termination is effective immediately and does not include severance pay.  The school board called an emergency meeting after Dr. Ringstaff, who is married, admitted to sending explicit messages to ... (click for more)

History Center Not Giving Out Any More Information On Past Spending Details, Current Status, At This Time

The president of the Chattanooga History Center, which has halted plans for a world class history museum near the Aquarium after raising over $10 million, said no other information will be provided at this time. Chattanoogan.com had sought details about prior spending and the salary of former executive director Daryl Black as well as the center's current status. Jo Coke said, ... (click for more)

A Missing Link In Chattanooga's Crime Prevention Program

I would like to begin by introducing myself. I grew up in Chattanooga and I love this city. As a child, the space program and lunar landings were in full swing. I dreamed of a progressive city. I grew up reading books about space, travel, and superheroes at the Bicentennial Library.  I am the only son of a local pastor and businessman. When I graduated from East Ridge High ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School’s Search Begins

Jonathan Welch, the chairman of the Hamilton County School Board, had no idea he would be giving himself a well-deserved treat some months ago when he promised his son they would go on a mission trip together. This week has to be the first time his phone hasn’t blinked overload since a December tragedy triggered a tsunami and repeated shock waves that crashed the Hamilton County ... (click for more)