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Old 03-04-2014, 01:17 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by Rpharmer View Post
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.
That's been my experience. No problems with billing at all.

I too checked with the competition in KC, what a joke. Couldn't tell me who was in network. Another rep told me any facilities that come up in the search, regardless of network would be included(huh). The kicker was me asking about cost sharing, guy didn't know what it was. He finally sent me a link to what he was using. Lower right of screen, there was the information.

I did talk to an independent broker, her comment was 'it takes 2-3 times as long to resolve issues with the competition'. I'll check next year, maybe they will have learned something. The brokers comments were based on mmany years of experience, so I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks for the tip on the drive up locations.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:25 PM   #242
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Our billing was going fine until this month. Or, at least, our paying, because I haven't received an invoice yet. I paid the first month by CC during enrollment, set up online access and paid February by credit card. BCBS Fl has now disabled the CC option. Yesterday I called, they didn't really acknowledge the lack of an invoice but the rep on the phone sure wasn't surprised.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:52 PM   #243
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Our billing was going fine until this month. Or, at least, our paying, because I haven't received an invoice yet. I paid the first month by CC during enrollment, set up online access and paid February by credit card. BCBS Fl has now disabled the CC option. Yesterday I called, they didn't really acknowledge the lack of an invoice but the rep on the phone sure wasn't surprised.
We didn't get invoices in mail for March during Feb either. I checked online several times during Feb. The online copy finally appeared around Feb 25, with an invoice date of Feb 19. Still never came in the mail. It's just very inconsistent from month to month right now.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:10 PM   #244
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I think I have signed up. Need to log back on tomorrow to put in payment info.

Have about given up on any response from the feds on my application for an exemption certificate so I can by a catastrophic plan. Believe it or not, according to the CSR at healthcare.gov there is no way for me to find out if they received the application or where it stands other than snail mail as the exemption processing center doesn't have a call in center. If it comes through then I'll try to claim it is a qualifying event to make a change. Totally disgusted with the process though. The feds are total buffoons.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #245
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We didn't get invoices in mail for March during Feb either. I checked online several times during Feb. The online copy finally appeared around Feb 25, with an invoice date of Feb 19. Still never came in the mail. It's just very inconsistent from month to month right now.
Well whaddya know, my invoice due 3/1 arrived today 3/4. Did they mail it out on 2/28? No postmark. It's dated 2/9 - yeah, right!

I'm trying to get the paper billing turned off anyway. I just find the inconsistent timing amazing.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:16 PM   #246
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Well whaddya know, my invoice due 3/1 arrived today 3/4. Did they mail it out on 2/28? No postmark. It's dated 2/9 - yeah, right!

I'm trying to get the paper billing turned off anyway. I just find the inconsistent timing amazing.
Same here. Different state and BCBS but same paperwork drag. IIRC you got your policy directly with them, as did I, so their back office systems should have been in place to pick up the new policies. I wonder what the problem is.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:32 PM   #247
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Same here. Different state and BCBS but same paperwork drag. IIRC you got your policy directly with them, as did I, so their back office systems should have been in place to pick up the new policies. I wonder what the problem is.
Yeah, the invoices are coming out of Naperville, IL.

I get the impression that there is some extended system switchover going on at the same time that some upgrades and fixes are being implemented in their new system that went live 1/1/14. DH was told that the reason his automatic policy switchover didn't work was the "new" system wasn't talking properly to the "old" system which knew about his old policy.

Interesting, because his on-line account (and mine) linked to both old and new policies.

Hard to imagine what it's like in their massive IT department these days -

At least so far it has been possible to straighten things out once you get hold of someone on the phone. And we didn't have to wait too long for a human on Monday morning either.

I make DH save copies of everything we see on-line - status, communications, confirmations, etc. you never know when it might "disappear".
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:24 PM   #248
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Same here. Different state and BCBS but same paperwork drag. IIRC you got your policy directly with them, as did I, so their back office systems should have been in place to pick up the new policies. I wonder what the problem is.
I believe the Blues each have the power to choose their own IT directions, and vendors.

Oh perhaps it's a missing '.' or an extra one. Maybe a methodology that suggests the customer tests and IT fixes the issues as the customer finds themeek:.

The folks that discovered this great methodology were snowed in a cabin in Utah, during snow storms.

OK I'll go shut up.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:06 AM   #249
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OK, I finally signed up....

I was hoping to have landed a j*b by now.... but the one offer that I received fell through... they did not want to pay the headhunter fee....


Also signed up for dental....


I still had the same problem with my application when I first tried in Dec... called up like the website suggested and was told... 'it is best to start over'.... did so, it went right through...



My biggest complaint is that the difference between the cost of the low cost bronze and high cost bronze and low silver is about $250 per month for my family... I just don't see the benefit of paying an extra $3K per year in premiums when the total deductible is the same....


If things keep going the same and I do not get a job.... I will be getting a tax break!!!
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:39 PM   #250
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Victory!!! Sort of.

After temporarily abandoning the route of getting an Obamacare exemption from the feds so my state exchange would allow me to buy a catastrophic plan (I sent my application to the feds in late December and am still waiting to hear back from them and there is no way to contact them other than snail mail), in early March I decided to change course and go Plan B - signing up for a bronze plan (even though the premiums are about 60% more than the catastrophic plan premiums).

I signed up for the bronze plan on Mar 4 and it still languishes in "Pending" status according to the health exchange website. About a week later I tried to make a payment on the website and kept getting "We are unable to retrieve your records at this time. Please try again later..." so I printed off the relevant info and mailed them a check and saw that they received it when it cleared my bank.

Earlier this week I talked to the exchange and they indicated that I was all set. I then turned around and called the carrier and they had no record of either my policy nor my payment. In intended to follow up on it all next week.

Then today....... our new insurance cards came in the mail!! so it seems that we have insurance, at least for now. Not the catastrophic coverage we wanted, but coverage nonetheless.

I will say, the process of buying health insurance from the exchange on the internet has been by far the absolute worst process ever in comparison to other purchase, banking and investment transactions I routinely have done via the internet for many years. Hopefully they will fix everything before the next open enrollment period this fall.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:47 PM   #251
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I am still waiting to get info from BCBS Texas.... they did send me an email, but nothing else...


I have seen nothing from the Dental plan...


Will start to call next week if nothing shows up soon...
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:12 PM   #252
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signing up for a bronze plan (even though the premiums are about 60% more than the catastrophic plan premiums).
I was curious as to what premiums you were seeing with a catastrophic plan. We don't even have one being offered. I have bronze but from what I can see it would not be much different than a catastrophic ( deductible, OOP is the same ). And no tax credits for a catastrophic plans.

ACA Bronze Tier Health Insurance vs. Catastrophic Plans - US News
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:09 PM   #253
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I will say, the process of buying health insurance from the exchange on the internet has been by far the absolute worst process ever in comparison to other purchase, banking and investment transactions I routinely have done via the internet for many years. Hopefully they will fix everything before the next open enrollment period this fall.
I know several people who have bought through a state exchange. For some it went as smooth and fast as greased lightning. For the other half, there seemed to be one problem after another. But, all did end up with insurance.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #254
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I was curious as to what premiums you were seeing with a catastrophic plan. We don't even have one being offered. I have bronze but from what I can see it would not be much different than a catastrophic ( deductible, OOP is the same ). And no tax credits for a catastrophic plans.
For a couple, the bronze plan is $683 a month. The cat plan is $427. The benefits, Max OOPs etc are broadly similar. The only real downside to the cat plan is that it is not HSA eligible whereas the bronze plan is HSA eligible, but I don't consider being able to contribute to my HSA worth paying $3,100 more a year in premium.

Subsidy is not a factor for us as our Roth conversions take us over 400% FPL.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #255
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I actually put off going through the exchange as I was hoping to be approved for a private insurance plan. After jumping through hoops for that I was turned down.

I then went to the healthcare.gov site with much dread and within an hour and a half had insurance. I must have hit it at just the right time. But, where do they come up with the term "affordable" ? Not! The thing is I am insured with BCBS and have had relitively little problems with paying my premiums etc.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:28 AM   #256
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On 3/19/14, I spent 35 minutes creating an account and enrolling in an individual plan on the federal portal of Healthcare.gov. I had previously spent a couple of hours combing through network provider directories to determine the plan I would choose. On 3/27, I received a welcome letter and bill for the first month (May) dated 3/21 and postmarked 3/26. The insurer is BlueChoice, a division of BCBS of South Carolina. Today, I registered on their website, made the payment by cash back credit card, and received a confirmation number. The welcome letter states I will receive an ID card after the payment processes.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:48 AM   #257
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I was curious as to what premiums you were seeing with a catastrophic plan. We don't even have one being offered. I have bronze but from what I can see it would not be much different than a catastrophic ( deductible, OOP is the same ). And no tax credits for a catastrophic plans.

ACA Bronze Tier Health Insurance vs. Catastrophic Plans - US News
For my region & AG, the catastrophic plans did not seem to offer significantly lower premiums than Bronze.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:22 PM   #258
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For my region & AG, the catastrophic plans did not seem to offer significantly lower premiums than Bronze.
To check the catastrophic premiums go to ehealthinsurance.com and compare the rates for 25 year olds. Where I live the cat plan costs $2 less per month than a bronze plan, which sort of makes sense since the difference in deductable is all of $350 different (using Tx Blue Cross) and 46 a month for Humana, with a $50 difference in the deductable. If cat were available for older folks multiply the differences by 3.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:29 PM   #259
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Cards arrived in the mail this past week. So it's officially official.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:51 PM   #260
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Well, things seem to be stuck at BCBS for some reason....


And when I call, the wait time is over 60 minutes... sooooo, still in limbo.... what a great way to run such a big part of the economy....


I did get in touch with the dental insurance (on hold for only 20 or so minutes) and was able to make my first payment, so we are covered there....
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