Covered Calif. Extends Payment Deadline After Enrollment Surge

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On Saturday, Covered California extended until Jan. 15 the deadline for consumers to pay their first month's premium through the exchange, AP/U-T San Diego reports (AP/U-T San Diego, 1/5).

Editor's Note: Check out today's "Capitol Desk" post for more information on the extension.

Background

According to AP/KPCC's "KPCC News," about 400,000 individuals signed up for health coverage through Covered California by the end of last month, overwhelming the exchange's website and call centers ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 1/5).

Many consumers who were part of the late surge have not yet received invoices for payments.

Details of Extension

The exchange's 11 participating health insurers agreed to extend the payment deadline to Jan. 15 to make it easier for individuals to pay their first round of premiums (Seipel, Contra Costa Times, 1/5).

In addition, the delay will give health care organizations more time to process the influx of paperwork (AP/U-T San Diego, 1/5).

Covered California said that consumers' payments must be obtained by insurers by Jan. 15, as opposed to being postmarked or in transit by that day (Contra Costa Times, 1/5).

However, Ken Hunter -- senior vice president of insurance exchange operations at Kaiser Permanente -- in a release on Saturday said that company's recent enrollees "should not be concerned" if they have not yet received an invoice, noting, "As long as payment is postmarked or submitted online by Jan. 15, Kaiser Permanente will honor their membership retroactive to Jan. 1."

Kaiser said that it still is processing late enrollment files and that the company will mail invoices starting this week (Terhune, "Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 1/4).


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