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I signed up for ObamaCare on November 12 without any subsidies (I earn too much and I'm fine with the extra costs).  My total cost will be $695 a month for a gold plan.  Previously, my cost was $611 per month for worse insurance.

After signing up on healthcare.gov, I was told that I would need to wait for my insurer to contact me to make my first payment.  I was also told that I would NOT have insurance if the payment was not processed by January 1.

Waiting...waiting...waiting...nothing from Blue Cross.

Now, my current crappy insurance is also through Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  Recently they sent me a letter telling me that I could keep my existing plan, but of course I don't want to.  I have called them multiple times, trying to get them to accept payment for my ObamaCare plan.  They keep telling me that I will get a bill, and that they cannot accept payment for the ObamaCare plan now because they are backlogged.  They also told me that when I do receive a bill, the only acceptable form of payment is a check (slow!).

Now here we are on December 18, more than a month after signing up on healthcare.gov, without a bill or anything.  I really have to wonder if I will have insurance at all.  Even if I receive a bill tomorrow and send them a check back the same day, there is no guarantee they will process it by January 1.

Here's my cynical theory:  Insurers don't want to sign you up for ObamaCare.  They will drag this thing out until you are left with two choices:  accept your old plan or go without insurance.  That's what this fake "I want to keep my old plan" hysteria was all about.  The insurers created a fake uproar to try and encourage people to stick with the status quo.  Obama should have never backtracked; he should have forced people to accept the new plans.  Now insurers are playing games with existing customers.

EDIT:  Today I received a bill in the mail from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to renew my existing plan.  Ridiculous!  I filed a complaint with Sandy Praeger's office.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Get proactive - call! I signed up on covered CA on (7+ / 0-)

    12/4. Called Blue Shield on 12/11. They found my app and gave me the address to send the check to. Sent check on 12/14. Yesterday, I received the letters from Blue Shield. Friday, I will check with the bank to see if the check was cashed yet.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:44:53 PM PST

    •  I've done all that and MUCH more (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, peacestpete, ColoTim, Lujane

      Today I called both CoveredCA and Bluecross.  CovCA says they sent my application long ago.  Blue Cross says they don't have any record of it and it might be with a batch of "lost" applications.  

      Covered CA is Fubar.  

      Blue Cross is always suspicious.  

      I'm stuck between them for countless hours on the phone. M

      •  Did you do it online thru covered.ca or paper? I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane

        would withdraw the app. if I had done it online. If on paper - log on and create a new one.  

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 09:21:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Via phone (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, mrsgoo

          And I have a case number.  When I call covered CA, they say I am enrolled and recite all my info back to me including my monthly premium.  Which is all correct.  

          I don't believe I can have two accepted applications under the same social security number.  

          Covered CA has also sent me letters saying my SS number does not agree with the one I have on file and they ask me to send in a copy of my SS card.  When I called them, they told me the letter was a typo and I was enrolled, and that  my SS number was fine and they told me the plan I had selected and my premium amount.    

          A week later they sent me a letter saying I didn't have coverage because I had not yet selected a plan.  

          I Called again.

          They said it was a computer glitch and lots of people had received both the SS letter and the no plan picked letter.  The guy said not to worry and Blue Cross had already been given my application for the plan I had picked.  I was given Blue Cross phone number.  

          •  Similar experience, but ended well... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ruscle, mrsgoo

            I signed up on CoveredCA for Blue Shield. Had some complications with the SS letter and called; they sorted it out. A week later(ish) I got the same SS letter.  Sighed, figured I would call, but didn't find time for a few days... Then I found two envelopes on the same day in the mail, from Blue: one saying hey, we are processing your app, and the other dated the same day, saying "you haven't paid us yet!!"  They hadn't sent a bill separately. But in the latter they gave an amount and a routing number for their bank... So hopefully you will get something similar soon.

            Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

            by pam on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:25:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Send a check (15+ / 0-)

    via certified mail requiring a signature and return receipt.  It will cost about $5 but you can prove you paid for the coverage you signed up for.  They can't deny you if the check wasn't "processed" before Jan 1.  You just have to prove you sent they check by Dec 31.

    Insurance companies are evil and they can't be trusted.  

    Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

    by AppleP on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:51:21 PM PST

    •  An addtional thought (6+ / 0-)

      Have the bank make out certified funds check? (unless they require a personal check) Make 4 copies at the bank and ask them to notarize, at the bottom put
      cc: File
           Kathleen Sebelius
           Barack Obama
           DOJ

      It may be overboard. I'm just this way, I guess. I just got a request for a "survey" from blue Cross.. wanting all this info on what I know about the law and if I know there would be a penalty.. I ripped it up, placed the pieces in their prepaid envelope, sealed it and returned it, with a note saying, Now I returned this survey within 7 days as you requested, so forward to me the "Amazon gift card" you corrupt bastards promised!

      Seriously, though at least someone will know you mean to have the opportunity this law mandates, without lapse.

      Anyway, that's how I see things, glean from it if is appropriate to you.

      I would like to understand why they only take a slow check?  Anyone know?

    •  Jan 10th deadline for payment. (0+ / 0-)

      Insurance will be active from 1st.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:08:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  oops missed that little tidbit that you are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, codairem, blitz boy

    currently with them. We currently have Anthem and got the letter about our plan ending 12/31. Then some weird ass letter saying our new plan would be 1700 bucks! Yeah, screw you. And at the beginning of the month, I got a statement for January for the old plan rate. And nothing at all about this "new plan" they want to put us in. You're right - they may be playing games. I was bound and determined not to choose an Anthem policy.

    Did you tell them that you were an existing customer? Maybe call and just play like you're new to them.

    Good Luck!!

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:54:03 PM PST

  •  Tried Praeger's office yet? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye, blitz boy, gffish, mrsgoo, ColoTim

    My own experience in Kansas is that my current group insurance plan I get through my employer meets all criteria for plan coverages, so I am not really looking to change.  

    But last I heard Sandy Praeger's office was trying to help move things along a little bit.  Things kinda suck for us here in Kansas anyway, since Brownback and the legislature said they didn't want none of that gubmit money!  Praeger wanted to set up exchanges but they sent the money back and wouldn't let her do it.

  •  Insurers SUCK (13+ / 0-)

    I support the admin and their ACA efforts. But I sure wish we had healthcare reform WITHOUT relying on these vultures.

  •  There may be more of you out there (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blitz boy, bear83, mrsgoo, ColoTim

    contact the Kansas Division of Insurance and file a complaint against them.  If that does not work for you, lawyer up and sue their sorry asses.  Go get'um tiger

  •  You may want to write your State's insurance (7+ / 0-)

    Commissioner.

    Another suggestion would be to write a letter to the editor to a local paper and/or contact a reporter who is writing about these issues.  Maybe a little sunshine on their practices will encourage them to stop.  

  •  It might really be incompetence (7+ / 0-)

    Here in Kentucky, Kentucky Health Coop (the new non-profit) is slow as can be processing ANYTHING.  My son still hasn't received a bill from them, and they too will only take a check.  THEN they'll send the insurance card. Sheesh.  This is bugging the heck out of me, but he isn't concerned.  Invincible, you know.

    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

    by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 06:41:41 PM PST

  •  Similar for me with BCBS of NC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blitz boy, mrsgoo, ColoTim, Lujane

    I have been paying for a plan through BCBS of North Carolina.  I chose a plan through healthcare.gov which is also through BCBS of NC.  I was going to pay online, but it said since I already had a BCBS plan, I was done.  My current payment is drafted from my account.  

    Nothing has happened yet.  No confirmation...nothing.  I will try to call them tomorrow.  I signed up Dec. 15th.

  •  Thanks (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Larsstephens, mrsgoo, ybruti, ColoTim, Lujane

    Thanks for all the tips everyone. I will be using many of them over the next few days.

  •  I suspect incompetence not intent (5+ / 0-)

    I've paid my first month's premium -- did that when I signed up more than 8 weeks ago -- and have a confirmed enrollment and all that. But Blue Cross still doesn't have me in their computer. I spent a couple of hours today on the phone with both Blue Cross and the exchange, and keep getting assurances that by the end of the year it will all be sorted out and I'll get my membership card and all that.

    At least here, the billing is coming from the exchange, not directly from Blue Cross. And they will happily take payment by automatic deduction from my bank account, which I can set up online.

    Have you checked online (in the exchange) to see if there's a message or bill for you? That's how it's working in RI; I can look in my account and the notices are there, confirming my enrollment and confirming that I've paid the initial premium.

  •  Think. (0+ / 0-)
    Recently they sent me a letter telling me that I could keep my existing plan, but of course I don't want to.
    So pay it and keep it for January.

    Pay your new policy effective for February 1st by January 15th.

    End of problem.

  •  And that's what happens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade

    When you put the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse, which is exactly what Obamacare does.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 08:02:05 PM PST

    •  Not exactly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, ybruti, ColoTim, blitz boy

      What you're describing is the pre-ACA world.  Now at least the whole country is watching the fox.

      One of the best things about the ACA is that health care and insurance is now a matter of public policy and a political issue.  That means things can't be done in the dark anymore.  The country is getting a huge education in what health insurance is and what constitutes good coverage, something most people have been clueless about.   It will be a slow process, but we will get to a better place eventually.  After decades of darkness, there's light at the end of the tunnel.  

  •  I signed up with BCBSKS also (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, mrsgoo, ybruti, ColoTim

    I was waiting for an email with info re: how to pay.  Didn't receive one so I called them last weekend.  They confirmed I was enrolled, said they'd send out billing statements 30-45 days after my signup, and that I would have a certain amount of time to pay after that (I don't remember the exact number of days).  She provided me my account number and confirmed service would begin on January 1.

    I would definitely recommend calling and speaking to a representative.  

    "If you want me to treat your ideas with respect, get better ideas." John Scalzi

    by SoCalJayhawk on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 08:03:09 PM PST

  •  perhaps you should seek assistance from your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, mrsgoo

    State's insurance commissioner?  Seems to be an unethical and perhaps illegal more e by the company.

  •  What's amusing about some of the comments is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros

    they are, in effect, saying that the insurance co's should have understood this would be a clusterfark, and should have hired extra folk to scrub the 834s they received, hired extra folk to process payments, hired extra folk to verify the subsidies (if any), and so on. AFTER, of course, they were lead to believe healthcare.gov would provide an end-to-end service.

    Silly insurance companies.

  •  I also have not gotten my (0+ / 0-)

    bill from BC/BS in Texas yet, but I did get my healthcare cards today in the mail and my plan package last week. So keep at them and think of all the others who are finally getting healthcare that has caused Kansas BC/BS to be so backlogged  :)

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:19:12 PM PST

  •  It is reported that the insurance industry (0+ / 0-)

    plans to spend half a billion dollars on advertising for new customers in the next few months. So on the one hand, we have the marketing people salivating over millions of new policies to sell, and people who are supposed to be signing you up and getting you squared away acting as though they are determined to drive you to the competition. Just like in the bad old days, except that then there wasn't any legitimate competition.

    Disclolure: My wife worked for BC/BS when they were non-profit, before they turned evil. She later worked for Stanford Hospital and Packard Children's Hospital, which is right next door.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:36:49 PM PST

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