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People purchasing new plans on the health insurance exchanges have just been given an extension on their first payment deadlines, courtesy of the insurance industry. The sign up deadline is still December 23 for plans beginning on January 1, but now the first premium can be paid as late as January 10, with coverage retroactive to January 1, AHIP announces.
Health plans across the country are voluntarily giving individual market enrollees who select a plan by December 23 more time to pay their first month’s premium.  Consumers must still pay their first month’s premium before coverage takes effect, but those who pay their premium by January 10 will now be able to have coverage retroactive to January 1.

“Our community is taking an important step to give consumers greater peace of mind about their health care coverage,” said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni.

The health insurance industry is very much looking forward to having all these new customers, apparently. The new payment deadline doesn't do much about the deadline that's just a week away for actually enrolling. The additional flexibility, which includes an additional pay period for many people, could encourage more people to sign up.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 01:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 01:32:37 PM PST

  •  Nyuck Nyuck.......wait til the insurers start (6+ / 0-)

    advertising!!...I think Ezra Klein said it's just around the corner.

  •  As soon as I finally had (10+ / 0-)

    my plan with Ocare done I called my insurer on the open market, same as the one under ACA. They told me a couple of weeks ago that they would change my coverage to the ACA plan, will keep my number and they will use the same direct deposit withdrawing the same day, few days past the first. Makes sense

    This was the least cumbersome and painful part of the whole paperwork or ework about the ACA.

  •  I just paid today . . I had to call Humana (17+ / 0-)

    When I signed up a week ago at, the "Pay Now" button wasn't working. So I figured somebody would contact me to get my money.

    When no one did, I called Humana's customer service today--they pulled up my enrollment, took my money over the phone, and set up recurring payment on my credit card.

    So I'm good to go for Jan 1.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 02:24:19 PM PST

  •  Well that will be helpful for IBM (0+ / 0-)

    Since our Executive Director has resigned because she took her $136K salary on a two week vacation to Costa Rica about the time all the problems they'd been sweeping under the rug for 2 months hit the fan.  

    If things are going swell, you don't need 90 folks from IBM to come on board about 2 weeks before people are supposed to get insurance.

  •  Whitehouse and Democrats should start talking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, FiredUpInCA, cocinero, asterkitty

    about how 10-20% of those who are counted as enrolled through Dec, will not follow through and make their first payment on time.  This will not be a failure of ACA, it is just normal behavior when people sign-up for private insurance.

    Our side needs to introduce this first in public discussions, otherwise the media and others who oppose ACA will jump all over people being UN-enrolled and the story will be this is further proof Obamacare has failed.

    People will not follow through on their payment for an extremely wide range of reasons, spanning from "I was just testing the website" to "my spouse was hired by a company that provides insurance, after we enrolled so we no longer need it" to "we decided we could not afford it" to "I forgot to pay" to "we purchased directly through an insurance company"

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 02:43:54 PM PST

    •  The administration should also start laying some (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, True North, rabel

      pipe that they don't need to reach 7 million enrolled for the program to work.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:55:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So true - Dems need to get the word out (0+ / 0-)

      It is so true that Democrats need to seize the narrative - it is easy to gripe about technical problems and frankly I expect these to get WORSE, not better, until things settle down. I am envisioning that when medical providers start billing under the new policies, there will be whole new technical problems arising. Instead of letting the fact of technical issues provide more fuel for the right's attacks, we need to find ways to get the word out as to the overall positives.

      So, how do we do that?

      Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

      by Ginny Mayer on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:18:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile, some interesting nuggets (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    asterkitty, bear83, jrand
  •  Just sent our payment in yesterday. (10+ / 0-)

    My son has insurance.

    Thank gawd (and Obama/Dems).

  •  This is awesome! Nothing like hearing the week (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, asterkitty, jrand

    before Christmas that you have MORE time to pay a bill :)

    actually - it doesn't apply to me because I have Medicare, but I'm just so happy for all the people who are getting breaks from the ACA! And I'm really happy when I think about what all that extra money sloshing around in the economy will do for indie art & other small businesses (like mine :)

    Off to tweet & facebook this!

    Last call to shop indie 4 the holidays at my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet! Order by midnight 12/19 for Christmas delivery

    by jan4insight on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 04:41:26 PM PST

  •  like one should ever trust the insurance companies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sotiredofusernames, asterkitty

    their gyrations with late payments are odious, never trust them..if it works, great, but don't be surprised otherwise.

    Interesting to see how they deal with ACA late payments with mandated insurances. Their behavior up to now has been to cancel and harass and insist on a modality where once canceled have to have new other words a new excuse to jack your premiums because...prexisting conditions that weren't a 'problem' until your mail wasn't stamped or received until/...see, your fault entirely so suck it hippie.

    I want these people to have a red x branded on their foreheads, the sooner we eliminate these companies in there current and past forms the better. Single payer/Medicare buy in for all. with the subsidy structures being instituted.

    We haven't paid or even been covered yet and we have to already try to change to another carrier because BC doesn't have a contract with the best and most popular and perhaps expensive hospital/clinic in town...they used to when we had to pay $600 a month...motherfuckers and father stabbers.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:04:22 PM PST

  •  So excited!! (8+ / 0-)

    OMG! I was finally able to sign myself and family of four up today,  I didn't use the entire subsidy and we still will be saving $300/month, with a lower deductible, out of pocket expenses, and a better co-insurance, way better policy than what we had! There were some hiccups along the way, I won't deny it, but it was well worth the effort to just keep at it. Because of pre-existing conditions and operating a farm, my family has been tossed around like rag dolls for ten years so I'm still pinching myself and saying, is it real? Then I think well, I received my receipt for payment to begin coverage on Jan 1, so it must be real.

  •  ins. co. moves probably sound the death knell to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, jrand

    GOP efforts (including the Koch Brothers) to destroy the ACA. So what happens to the Republican Grand Strategy of Nov., 2014 being all about evil Obamacare?

    •  we'll help them by nominating Hillary in '16 so (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, cocinero, bear83, jrand

      they can blather about blowjobs and killing Foster all over again.

      Maybe the Goppers can nominate Jeb, so we can have a Bush v Clinton rematch and relive more of the 90's.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:18:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It will go on, and on, and on, and . . . ! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There is an old formula for always managing to get one's own way, or particular results desired.  And, the Teabaghead/Republiklan folks in Congress are certain to use is - just as Bawling Baby Boehner has used it some 45 times already.

      It's very simple.  Just do the same thing, over, and over, and over, and . . . again, and again, and again, and . . . until you get different results - the ones you want, that is.

      After all, the Teabaghead/Republiklan party is determined to make President Obama a "one term President"; and it WILL!  OR . . . ?

  •  What happens after Jan 1? (0+ / 0-)

    When is the next enrollment period after January 1st?

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:18:45 AM PST

  •  So which GOP governor will be the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, cocinero, asterkitty

    first to stand in a Doctors office doorway after Jan 1 and block a kid from getting his first checkup under Obamacare??  Because states rights, tyranny, etc..

    "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around..."

    by cgvjelly on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:22:01 AM PST

  •  Such nice people! Praise be! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:22:56 AM PST

  •  Deductibles and Co-pays going up under Obamacre? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sotiredofusernames, bear83

    I have just read the changes to my health insurance starting January 1st. The deductible is going up to $4,900 starting Jan 1st. My co-pays are going up.  I will have to pay $295 a day co-pay for each of the first five days in the hospital. Do I blame Obamacare for high deductibles and higher co-pays. I can't, these are the changes to my Medicare. The GOP would have you believe that there were no deductibles before Obamacare and no co-pays before Obamacare.....

  •  And the 15 or so hours i have spent (0+ / 0-)

    trying to sign up will not matter a bit because the web site of Maryland is still glitchy and I still can't get on.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:27:00 AM PST

    •  Try ehealthinsurance to see who providers are (0+ / 0-)

      I have played "secret shopper" using ehealthinsurance to see what is offered at what price in what states. So I plugged in the Bethesdsa, MD zip code and two providers came up  - Kaiser and CareFirst Bluechoice. If you're not in Bethesda, obviously, you'd plug whatever your zip code into ehealthsurance. But the point is, you can find out who the providers are and what they're offering, and then go directly to them -and they no doubt have sales representatives who will help you (or, just use ehealthinsurance). Good luck with this!

      Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

      by Ginny Mayer on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:09:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  would have done that long, but.. (0+ / 0-)

        you can only get subsidy if you go directly through the state website! I am supposed to get $259.00 a month subsidy.

        if you get insurance without the subsidy attached, you give up those funds period, or at least that was what 2 of the nameless state drones told me.

        fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

        by mollyd on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 12:01:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If they would just send me a bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Signed up before Thanksgiving and the CoveredCA website said the insurance company would be contacting me about payment options. Haven't heard a thing in the 3 weeks since. I checked the CoveredCA website and there is a link to the insurance company payment page but I'm probably gonna have to call them to make sure what to do.

  •  Thank you President Obama and Team (6+ / 0-)

    I was going to post this as a diary, but who needs another "I just signed up for insurance on and it was easy and I like what I got" diary? Not now. If everyone did there could be more than 20,000 a day now, or so they tell me.

    So the timing of this news piece is kismet.

    First, finding out I have all the until Jan 10 to make my payments and get coverage retroactive to Jan 1 is the icing on the cake of a couple of hours I ENJOYED signing up and completing the application for health insurance and dental insurance at

    I was one of those people who tried to sign up the first week. Straight away I realized they had some big problems. So, as I suspect will eventually come out, like most people I decided to wait until all the dust had settled and study up on my options.

    The storm and fury that commenced in the National Corporate Media about Obamacare soon there after was galling and wildly unreal. Who, except for the very anxious, signs up for something as important as their Healthcare Insurance without some study and contemplation? Especially people like my wife and I who have not had health insurance for decades.

    Thanks to the folks at Healthsherpa, and of course Kaiser News we were able to get a clear idea of the plans we could choose from. So, today when we signed up the registration process and application it was intuitive, logical, and error free. The end result is we have highly affordable medical and prescription coverage with low deductibles and reasonable annual out of pockets expenses in a PPO plan with a well regarded insurance provider that includes all the basics in the ACA plus a couple of nice extras.

    Now, because we are in a Republican run state (PA., and not for much longer) we are not getting the state based competition between insurance carriers like you see in MA. So we had to get Dental on a separate plan, but it was perfectly reasonable coverage at an affordable premium.

    Bottom line: Affordable health care including dental and some vision with no pre-existing conditions, no annual caps, no lifetime caps, and all the essential preventative care covered for no cost. Put it this way -- in all of the years we went without coverage I would think from time to time what would be a plan I could afford and what would it have. A silly pipe dream. Today, that dream came true, and it was better than I dared hope.

    Someone pinch me.

    Thank you President Obama; the Democrats of Congress who voted for the ACA; the Supreme Court for upholding it as Constitutional Law, the geeks who took a stinking pile of code poop and turned it into a silk purse -- and especially to millions of my fellow American citizens who voted, and will continue to vote to make this beloved country a better place to live for everyone

  •  That's good news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That is good news. I signed up in late November and got the packet - including instructions on paying - from the provider on December 16 (not unexpectedly - when I signed up they said I'd receive something in mid-December). I went online to pay and found the insurance provider's system wasn't working properly. I figured countless people got their materials at the same time I did and the system was bogged down. It's okay now but the point is ... as this was only a week from the deadline, I wondered how much concern was out there about the last minute rush and glad to see it's been extended out, as I have no idea how state and federal sites are working but even the provider was bogged.

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:47:55 AM PST

  •  This Is The First Positive Move I've Seen (0+ / 0-)

    Its amazed me that the health insurance companies have been allowed to play both sides of the fence. On the one hand drastically increasing the negative aspects of the ACA and yet at the same time standing to benefit with millions of new customers. So this is at least the first positive move I've seen on their part.

    Unfortunately, however, it also might have a lot to do with the 15,000 applications for health care insurance on that went mission during the rocky roll out

    Collect Different Days

    by Homers24 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:50:45 AM PST

  •  Joan, could you use the better picture (0+ / 0-)

    of the revamped site - check it out - straightforward.

  •  I signed up on December 4th (0+ / 0-)

    and I am still waiting for my insurance card and first bill to come in the mail. Last week Independence Blue Cross said we had until December 27th to pay, and that my envelope should be in the mail "any day now".

    Between the holidays and the last-minute rush this whole thing is a major traffic jam. Does this mean that even if I am enrolled and I don't receive the card and bill on time that I am not covered until January 10th? Retroactively... but does that mean if I have an emergency on January 2nd I'm not going to get taken care of?

    So many details...

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:14:54 AM PST

  •  I signed up on Tuesday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and made my first payment today over the phone with Blue Cross/Blue Shield!  yippee!!  Didn't have any problems at all although the website still needs to be a little more user friendly.

  •  I signed up for a new ACA BCBSTX policy on 12/16. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm already on BCBS, with a payment due by 1/1. So I tried to call to cancel that and find out where I needed to send my new ACA policy premiums. (MUCH lower!)

    BCBSTX has a lousy phone menu. I waded through options for "Health professionals" "Enablers"....never heard a menu selection called "Customers." I ended up waiting to talk to someone for a half-hour, finally dumped out of that dead-end corner, wandered around the menu a bit more--BTW, I never did hear a single selection for "new ACA policy holders"--finally gave up, went to the BCBSTX website and saw that they've hired 500 new CSR to handle the load. Nothing about the extension to 1/10....but they did have a Q &  A page and there was something about how, if your couldn't get through now, just call back at the end of the month.

    I kept thinking, "What if I was seriously ill or hurt and really needed to talk to these people?"

    Lie there and bleed, baby!  

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 11:43:32 AM PST

  •  the chicago (0+ / 0-)

    mafia are at it again, upsetting the cons and the apple cart.

  •  Positive Comment on "Obamacare" (0+ / 0-)

    Here is a link to our local rag:
    Good to see some positive feedback!

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