Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don't delay: Missing this click could cost big bucks

If you've bought subsidized health insurance on the federal exchange, you could be in for a shock in January if you failed to click one button, according to a reminder from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

"If they haven’t checked the box on giving the site access to their tax information, they could lose their subsidy and end up with a bill for their full premium for Jan. 1. They can fix this in January, but the subsidy won’t be retroactively applied  –  which could cost them hundreds of dollars."

You have five days  --  until the Dec. 15 deadline for making changes effective Jan. 1  --  to make sure you've covered this base.  This applies to people who are continuing 2014 coverage and those who have bought for the first time in 2015  (and of course it applies to people who chose Coventry or UnitedHealthcare plans as well as Blue Cross).

A couple more reminders from Blue Cross for people who got policies in 2014:  If you don't update your information to calculate a 2015 subsidy,  the 2014 information will carry over.  If the 2015 subsidy would be lower,  that means you're paying more than you need to.

And if you do nothing by Dec. 15,  your policy will continue,  but this kind of  "passive renewal"  can lead to delays issuing ID cards and customer materials.

All this is in addition to what journalists and insurance experts have been saying for weeks:  Log on to see if there's a better deal than your current policy  (remember that you need to look at physician networks and out-of-pocket costs as well as premiums).  Switching may seem like a hassle,  but defaulting to last year's choice can be costly.


Wiley Coyote said...

All I have seen journalists do for weeks is report how stupid Americans are when it comes to Obamacare.

Anonymous said...

is she selling oc now ?

Anonymous said...

And still no explanation as to why Blue Cross is raising my premium by 300 % inspite of you saying you would investigate.

Ann Doss Helms said...

12:40, all the reports of rates tripling that I'm aware of are in Medicare Advantage plans. We ran this story on the front page in mid-November.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Also this more recent front-page story about NC rates rising in general:

I realize you may be reading only the blog, but the longer and more in-depth looks at issues generally run in print/on the home page.

Anonymous said...

BCBSNC raised my rates to over $19,000/year for my family. Because of Obamacare, my rates are now $5,500/year. Anybody who is against the ACA does not know what they are talking about. If it wasn't for the ACA my family would be without healthcare.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad some folks who didn't find it necessary to buy insurance for their families before Obamacare can afford it now. Meanwhile, my rates have increased 40% since last year just because...the money has to come from somewhere so I guess it comes from the rest of us who valued our health, bought insurance (high deductible no frills plan, mind you) and did without alot of the "wants" to provide for the "needs" of our families. More redistribution of wealth=socialism.
Funny how when I ran the numbers through, I'm still better off buying my own policy than one from OC--the cheapest no frills plan on the gov't site was still more than what I expect to pay for 2015. Oh, and I don't qualify for any subsidy either.

Anonymous said...

everything obama does without exception is wrong and backwards from day one. what has this incompetent junior senator tyrant wantabe urban community organizer ever got right?

he is still organizing fraud riots and looter protest movements even after totally crushed in the mid term to rebel against the hated system, police, military, opposition, cia, etc.
obama care is a joke like him.

two more yrs of this inept garbage will make certain republicans rule forever. all his mess will be torn out destroyed and reversed including obama care.

Teabilly said...

Please stop encouraging more people to jump on the taxpayer dole.

Wiley Coyote said...


If your rates have come down that nuch, I'd love to see the math plus the deductible differences.

At $19,000 per year, you were paying $1,583 per month.

Were you paying that out of your pocket or through your employer?

How much subsidy did you get to now pay $5,500 per year or $458 per month?

Anonymous said...

Obamacare chooses winners and losers. If you get the subsidy, you're a winner. If you pay full pop retail, you are a loser. You pay exorbitant prices that are on average more than double the old, pre-Obamacare rates.

This is the side of the story that Ann is reluctant to cover because she draws her salary from a grant from insurance company, Kaiser Permanente. It's crony capitalism at its best. Kaiser gets billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies and exorbitant rates driven by Obamacare. Kaiser then uses a small portion of its proceeds to fund positive press for the law vis a vis Ann and other "journalists" across the country. It's a testament to how unpopular the ACA is that the insurance companies have started paying journalists' salaries in an attempt to get people to like the law.

Ann Doss Helms said...

I doubt it matters to 7:57, but the Observer gets a grant from the Kaiser Family Foundation, not the insurance company. The only string attached is that the position be focused on the ACA and access to health care, not that the coverage be "positive" or promote any viewpoint.