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Old 02-15-2014, 11:50 AM   #221
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Signed up online last week at coveredca.org. Waiting for my welcome package to arrive in the mail.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:04 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
Yay! I received the welcome package, finally. The February premium check has not cleared yet, so I won't be paying my March premium yet but there is sitll time for that. The welcome package does not include a list of area doctors or hospitals, I have to go on line for that. Not a big deal.
February premium check cleared. I sent out the check for the March premium, taking care of the small balance resulting from paying the wrong premium in January and Febrary. This puts me up to date now!
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:06 PM   #223
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Successfully used the new subsidized health ins, for some blood tests. Only cost me $10.75. Spent forever trying to be sure that all the tests would be covered, and ended up rolling the dice and just getting the tests done, and it worked out fine. I was a bit worried about the way I canceled my old policy. I used the "just stop paying the premium" method, which an ins agent had suggested. I wanted to be able to reinstate the old policy during the grace period, if necessary. To my relief, the old policy was canceled without any penalty or hoopla.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:22 PM   #224
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Signed up online last week at coveredca.org. Waiting for my welcome package to arrive in the mail.
Here's an update. After waiting two weeks for my welcome package and invoice to arrive, I started to get nervous because I am currently uninsured and really wanted to be covered starting March 1. I tried calling the Covered California help line several times, but the wait times were too long. I also tried accessing the website, which has been down "for maintenance" for several days. So... I decided to take matters into my own hands and call the insurance company with which I signed up on the exchange, Kaiser Permanente. I got thru right away and spoke with a helpful young woman named Margaret. She explained that currently it has been taking about 4-6 WEEKS for completed applications to be processed. However, she reassured me that I would be covered as of March 1, even though I will have not received my invoice from KP by. She gave me the option also of sending in a check to KP even before the invoice arrives. I am going to do that.
Despite serious glitches in the online exchange system, KP really came through. What a relief.
Oh ... and I am going to save about $1000 a month on insurance premiums from my prior COBRA payment!
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #225
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Is KP cheaper than most other providers?
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:29 PM   #226
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On the California exchange (coveredca.com) there are various choices from 4 or 5 different insurance providers. They seem comparable in price. The "silver" plan for me and my husband was about $900 a month, but, with the subsidy, we will be paying only $177. My COBRA had been over $1300 a month. I have been a KP client for about 10 years and I have been very happy with it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:32 PM   #227
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Sounds like you got to keep the doctors you'd been seeing then, didn't have to switch for price reasons.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:35 PM   #228
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We moved to a new county when I FIRE'd last August, so we will need to find a new primary physician, but there are plenty available in our area. I switched from COBRA to ACA because COBRA was going to run out anyway and I thought we would be entitled to a subsidy based on projected 2014 income (which we are).
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update
Old 02-22-2014, 07:17 PM   #229
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update

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DH and I each have individual policies with KP. I applied for the same policies (Bronze HSA) thru Covered CA, but when I didn't hear anything from KP by the due date for our non-exchange policy near the end of Dec, Me Of Little Faith went ahead and paid the non-exchange premium for January, to the tune of $1061 (gah). I figured better to have two policies than none for the month of January, assuming the exchange policy ever materialized. I was not holding my breath ...

But then I got a robocall last week from KP, telling me my exchange policy application was being processed and to expect a bill by Jan 9 for the January premium, with payment due by Jan 15.

The bill for the exchange policy showed up in the mail on Jan 10 (only 1 day after they promised, woo woo) and I immediately paid it online via the Kaiser online payment site. I got a receipt, and my credit card was charged the exchange premium of $42. Looks like we're in!

I figure once the payment deadline of Jan 15 is past and the dust settles a bit, I'll contact KP and find out if I need to do anything to get our medical records transferred to the exchange policy, and cancel the non-exchange policy.
An update:

Our new membership cards arrived in the mail in mid-Jan. We kept the same Medical Record Numbers (MRNs in Kaiser-speak) except they now have a 11 prefix. Whatever. I was glad to see that all our online medical info transferred seamlessly to our new accounts. I had my routine physical & blood tests a couple of weeks ago, with no snafus at all. I didn't even have to shell out a copay this time around, woo woo.

We also received a letter from KP in late Jan saying that, since we double-paid our January premiums (we paid the premiums for both the non-exchange & the exchange plans), we'd be getting a refund eventually, and that our non-exchange plans were cancelled. Saved me from having to call anyone!

And wonder of wonders, two envelopes from KP arrived in the mail today -- refund checks for our January non-exchange premiums.

So all in all, our signup for exchange policies thru Covered CA / Kaiser went fairly smoothly.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:44 PM   #230
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Glad your experience with KP has been so positive. I am hopeful ours will be also. So far so good. We're in a little tighter situation because my Cobra policy was cancelled last month due to a payment snafu (long story). Really counting on the new KP policy to kick in by March 1. (Now, if we can just avoid a serious accident in the coming week...)
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
February premium check cleared. I sent out the check for the March premium, taking care of the small balance resulting from paying the wrong premium in January and Febrary. This puts me up to date now!
March premium check cleared, quickly this time, perhaps because I mailed it with a premium notice coupon (different amount than they wanted because those notices kept crossing in the mail with my checks). I received a second set of ID cards and welcome packages.

Now I am really up to date.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:29 PM   #232
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(Now, if we can just avoid a serious accident in the coming week...)
Heh, after my bicycling accident ~ 5 yrs ago
(w many injuries, luckily I had excellent employer-provided insurance at the time, and even more luckily I fully recovered),
if I'm ever w/o insurance I'd want to sit at home wrapped in bubble wrap.

Here's hoping KP comes thru for you, Tim!
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:34 PM   #233
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Hah! Yea, we are having heavy rain here in Northern California (finally!) which is keeping me and hubbie safely indoors. I am totally fine with that, and I think we also will avoid power tools for a couple days.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:24 AM   #234
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I just finished DS' 2013 tax return and TurboTax has a screen indicating "The Affordable Care Law is Here....We'll walk you through a personalized guide to show exactly what it means for you and help you make health choices that fit your life." with a link to

https://turbotax.intuit.com/health-care

First time I have seen anything like that. It's not very robust, but it is a start.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:10 PM   #235
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Everything was going along just fine, and then.....

DH logs in on Sat March 1 to pay this months premium, and BCBSTX tells him he no longer has insurance - what?!?!?

He can see all the info for his old policy which was turned off on 1/1/2014, but all trace of his new, current policy has disappeared. He used to see both policies.

He was paid through 2/28/2014 and even as late as 2/5/14 he could see everything was paid up and fine on-line with his new, current policy.

So sometime between early Feb and Mar 1, their IT system decided his new policy was canceled, just like his old one had been on 1/1/2014. So bizarre!

Called this morning, got hold of someone, they reinstated his new policy (yes, they had to reinstate it), and accepted his premium payment for March. A few hours later we were finally able to register him with his new insurance group number and see that his policy is active even though we can't access any of the billing information or history yet. Up until late this morning attempts to register via the new info generated error messages.

I can't believe their IT systems are so messed up. And huge time lags between "events". The original call for canceling his old policy was on 1/10/14. That was reflected online shortly thereafter and we were refunded the "double billing" payment that should have never happened by 1/13/14. This should have happened automatically in the switch to the new policy on 1/1/2014 but it didn't work that way. Yet somehow in the middle of Feb, a mont later, their system decides his new policy was cancelled too even though paid up and no refunds? And we can't see anything about it?

We'll keep checking on-line until we get the billing information and we see the draft come through the bank.

This is just crazy!

Keep an eye on your status to avoid surprises!
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:23 PM   #236
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Audreyh1,

Last year my COBRA policy magically got canceled. Took 1/2 day to get it straight. Bad part was I found out about it waiting for a CT.

As far as IT being messed up, look to the guys that pushed the 'agile manifesto'. IMHO (maybe not humble enough) any methodology that needs a manifesto, is plain wrong.
MRG
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #237
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Audreyh1,

Last year my COBRA policy magically got canceled. Took 1/2 day to get it straight. Bad part was I found out about it waiting for a CT.

As far as IT being messed up, look to the guys that pushed the 'agile manifesto'. IMHO (maybe not humble enough) any methodology that needs a manifesto, is plain wrong.
MRG
The same thing happened to us last year. Our COBRA just disappeared one day. It was easy enough to reinstate, if you don't count waiting on hold for an hour. They never bothered to send us any info about this year's COBRA although they keep sending us the bills. However, we got the same docs through the ACA for a $5000 increase in OOP and a $5000 decrease in yearly premium. All of which would make no sense what so ever, if we were dealing with any industry besides health insurance.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:51 AM   #238
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Looks like everything is back to where it should be. We can see all the payment info now, and yesterday's payment over the phone is credited to his current policy.

Whew! That was NOT FUN!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #239
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Seems like a lot of people are having difficulties with premium payments (being received/acknowledged by their insurer.) So I just want to give a shout out to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, who has made the process very easy. You can set up payments to be automatic, like to a credit card or bank account; you can log on to BlueKC and pay; or you can just call Customer Service and pay over the phone. We even have two "storefronts" in the metro area (one in Kansas and one in Missouri) where you can just walk in and get help -- they are great.

I hope that other BCBS and other insurers are looking at our market, perhaps using it as a model to improve their own systems.

I'm not an accidental fan of BCBSKC. I considered their Competition back during October enrollment. Numerous phone calls to get specifics on provider networks and pharmacy formularies (reasonable questions, no?) proved futile. Instead, I often got transferred to brokers and underwriters who wanted to ask me all sorts of health history questions (circa pre-2014.) When I tried to explain to one underwriter that such questions are now irrelevant, we got "disconnected". That was enough to convince me to stick with BCBCKC. Will I reconsider Competitor next year?
Sure. Their premiums are lower, and maybe they'll have things sorted out by then. They need to get over their (and my) pre-existing conditions, though.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:31 PM   #240
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I think BCBSTX intended to have this set up for automatic drafting, etc., but unfortunately their implementation wasn't bug free and still is not quite there yet. We'll see if DH gets auto drafted next month.

Up until this month's surprise snafu he was able to pay by bank draft from his online account - but not any way to repeat the payments.

I had too many problems going that route in late Jan. Fortunately, I was able to set it up with my bank bill pay and this month it got credited right away. So that's working well enough for me.
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