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Healthcare.gov - my bumpy ride
Old 11-18-2013, 08:43 AM   #1
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Healthcare.gov - my bumpy ride

Since October 1st I have been trying to complete my application and enroll in a Bronze plan with a subsidy in my state of NH. The good news is I am almost there (I hope), but it has been one bumpy ride.

After creating 3 usernames I was finally able to complete an application and be approved for a subsidy. The final step was to pay the insurer. I clicked on the pay button and my popup blocker stopped the process. At that point my application was stuck as some menu items like authorized users, reporting a life change etc did not work. I could never get back to the make a payment screen/stage. Multiple chats and calls to both Healthcare.gov and Anthem BC/BS went no where.

Yesterday at the advice of a friend who is having similiar issues I logged in using Firefox as my browser and my menus in Healthcare.gov were working again. I could not find a pay for it screen so opted to cancel my selection of insurance plans and then reselect it. This brought me to the "enroll" button and then the pay for it button. I made sure popups were allowed and then tried to pay. I was taken to an Anthem BC/BS page that said access was denied, essentially a broken link. My friend got to the same point and page.

This morning I sent screenshots of what I encountered and reported my experience to the NH Insurance Commissioners office. I got a very quick reply and spoke to them on the phone. They are contacting Anthem BC/BS on my behalf and said they would get back to me.

Has anyone else run into a problem with making payment, particularly to Anthem BC/BS?

I am hoping the NH Insurance Commission can break the log jam for me.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:00 PM   #2
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Shotgunner,

My sympathies. I'd like to ask here, if anyone knows if you can pay by check if you use the online federal system to enroll.

And good luck, shotgunner. My turn next....
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
Shotgunner,

My sympathies. I'd like to ask here, if anyone knows if you can pay by check if you use the online federal system to enroll.

And good luck, shotgunner. My turn next....
I enrolled Saturday night, got an e-mail confirmation from BCBS on Sunday morning. Haven't paid yet. This morning I got a call from BCBS TX confirming my application information and my enrollment in their plan. She said I should expect some information in the mail including the bill for the first month's premium. If that's the case I'm sure they will accept a check.

I had a "pay now" link on my initial enrollment but it didn't work.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I enrolled Saturday night, got an e-mail confirmation from BCBS on Sunday morning. Haven't paid yet. This morning I got a call from BCBS TX confirming my application information and my enrollment in their plan. She said I should expect some information in the mail including the bill for the first month's premium. If that's the case I'm sure they will accept a check.

I had a "pay now" link on my initial enrollment but it didn't work.
It would appear there may be differences between the states when it comes to "enrolling" after "completing" an application. Although the pay link did not work, I never received an e-mail from Anthem BC/BS leading me to believe my application remained in limbo. Chats/calls to Healthcare.gov advised me to call Anthem, multiple phone calls to Anthem proved fruitless, so when I got Healthcare.gov application working again I decided to call the NH Insurance Commissioner with the idea they could get through to Anthem BC/BS easier than I could.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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It would appear there may be differences between the states when it comes to "enrolling" after "completing" an application. Although the pay link did not work, I never received an e-mail from Anthem BC/BS leading me to believe my application remained in limbo. Chats/calls to Healthcare.gov advised me to call Anthem, multiple phone calls to Anthem proved fruitless, so when I got Healthcare.gov application working again I decided to call the NH Insurance Commissioner with the idea they could get through to Anthem BC/BS easier than I could.
Yeah, it sounds to me like the data exchange between the Marketplace and BCBSTX was "clean" in my case, even if the link to pay didn't work. Sounds like yours is still in the ether or didn't get exchanged completely and correctly. What a fiasco.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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What a fiasco.
Yes, what a fiasco. I am guessing I have spent well in excess of 40 hours of messing with the website, filling out the forms, chats, phone calls, e-mails etc. I think am getting close and at this point it is starting to feel like I am going to get it done just out of principle. Given the effort I have expended it is little wonder less than 300 reportedly enrolled in NH during October.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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Yes, what a fiasco. I am guessing I have spent well in excess of 40 hours of messing with the website, filling out the forms, chats, phone calls, e-mails etc. I think am getting close and at this point it is starting to feel like I am going to get it done just out of principle. Given the effort I have expended it is little wonder less than 300 reportedly enrolled in NH during October.
And I expect I will have a hard time trying to get my American Indian status recognized, too. The "Report a Life Change" thing (which includes reporting Indian status) is still busted (and says "come back after 11/15/2013" even though that was three days ago. I thought about waiting to enroll until that was fixed, but I decided I'd fight that battle later, just wanting to make sure I could get enrolled at all -- the subsidy is enough that the price is right even with a $6,000 deductible that the law says I shouldn't have. I'm not going to let pursuit of the perfect become the enemy of the "good enough".

Just the same, I'll feel sure when I get the enrollment stuff in the mail and when they cash the check for my first month's premium.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 11-18-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Something to try, if you haven't already, is go through the anthem site to make the purchase. I looked and they have subsidy eligible 2014 plans on the site. When you get the enrollment part there is button that says "Apply now on the Exchange" . Maybe that would get around the broken link problem. But it may be Anthem didn't prepare their site to work with the exchange.

My carrier of interest has something similar. Once you verify and get your subsidy on the exchange you can go to their website, create an account with them and link your exchange account to get the subsidy and make the purchase directly on their site. At least in theory, I have not made the purchase yet.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:32 AM   #9
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Something to try, if you haven't already, is go through the anthem site to make the purchase. I looked and they have subsidy eligible 2014 plans on the site. When you get the enrollment part there is button that says "Apply now on the Exchange" . Maybe that would get around the broken link problem. But it may be Anthem didn't prepare their site to work with the exchange.

My carrier of interest has something similar. Once you verify and get your subsidy on the exchange you can go to their website, create an account with them and link your exchange account to get the subsidy and make the purchase directly on their site. At least in theory, I have not made the purchase yet.
The Anthem site when I looked at it took you to Healthcare.gov.

Insurance companies may be given more latitude to sign up subsidy eligible people in the near future.

White House working with insurers to bypass HealthCare.gov: WSJ
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:30 AM   #10
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The Anthem site when I looked at it took you to Healthcare.gov.

Insurance companies may be given more latitude to sign up subsidy eligible people in the near future.

White House working with insurers to bypass HealthCare.gov: WSJ
The process already exists, as seen here http://www.in.gov/idoi/files/agent-broker-5-1-2013.pdf
Quote:
Where permitted under state law, CMS will work with agents and brokers to assist consumers in completing the eligibility application, comparing and selecting qualified health plans (QHPs), and enrolling consumers through the Marketplace.
Agents and brokers intending to work with consumers in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces will be able to assist consumers in two ways: (a) an issuer-based pathway, through which an agent or broker uses an issuer’s website to assist the consumer; or (b) a Marketplace pathway, through which an agent or broker assists the consumer using the Marketplace website.
Some people have been able to use it, so it's not clear why, other than state law, more insurers are not doing this.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:54 PM   #11
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Thanks to an assist from the office of the NH Insurance Commission I spoke with a man named Tony in the Corporate Office of Anthem BC/BS located in VA. He is responsible for NH and other east coast states. He told me at this time the mechanism for making payment to Anthem BC/BS for purchase of a policy sold on Healthcare.gov is not yet available. They hope to have it working by Dec 1st. There are not taking payments for policies sold on the exchange any other way. He took my e-mail address and said I would be notified when the payment system was working.

Ironically within an hour of having that conversation I came across this article where in testimony to Congress a senior official admitted the payment system has yet to be built. Why they heck can't the Healthcare.gov folks tell us that when we call and chat with them about the inability to pay issue, instead they told me to call the insurer and pay them directly. All this BS and or incompetence has wasted a great deal of my time.

Administration Official: Obamacare Payment Systems Still Need to Be Built | National Review Online
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:56 PM   #12
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I think I may actually be enrolled.

Last week I logged into Healthcare.gov and tried to pay for the policy I had selected from Anthem BCBS. This time I was taken to a page that said they are not taking payments on-line and it gave very little other information.

Yesterday the person I contacted at the NH Insurance Commission sent me an e-mail with a 800 number, and address in CA to mail payment and a form to sign up for ACH payments.

This morning I called the 800 number. I waited about 5 minutes to speak to a person, I gave her some information and she redirected me to another person and about a 2 minute wait. After giving this person some information she confirmed I am in their system, confirmed my address etc. She said they would be mailing a welcome package and invoice for the first payment in the next 1 to 2 weeks. I pointed out 2 weeks was 12/26 and I asked if the policy would be in force on 1/1/14. She told me it would be and that the first months payment had been extended into January.

I have my fingers crossed and hope to see the welcome package and invoice. I will not cancel my present insurance, even pay for another months coverage until I know for sure this policy is in place.

It appears hard work, 40 to 50 hours, and being a squeaky wheel with the state Insurance Department has paid off. Good luck to everyone else.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:02 AM   #13
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Just an update and a conclusion to my purchase of insurance through Healthcare.gov. With the help of the NH Insurance Dept I finally was given a alpha numeric code allowing me to log in to Anthem.com and get my member ID number see my policy details, make a payment etc. This happened just before the New Year. I immediately authorized payment for my policy. On Friday the 10th of January Anthem BC/BS debited my bank account but the charge was for the full premium with no subsidy applied. It took awhile to get that resolved but Anthem does know the correct amount for my portion of the premium and I elected to let them keep the extra $ which covers my first 3 months premiums with .94 to spare. I tried to print a temporary ID card in Anthem.com but I got a message that said functionality of that service was not available. On January 21st my Insurance ID card was delivered to my mailbox by the USPS. Mission complete. I sure hope renewal for 2015 goes a lot smoother!
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