We are over one week into 2014, the first year of health insurance reform under Obamacare. So far, healthcare reform California and Covered California are rolling along. Not without problems, however.
Glitches and paperwork problems continue to occur in the system, even after the deadline at the end of the year. Some customers have experienced difficulties with paying online, while others haven’t yet received invoices or insurance cards.
Throw in long waits with customer service and a growing backlog of paper applications, and one can see how the inaugural month of the health insurance exchange has had a few bumps in its path.
According to some reports, nearly 500,000 people enrolled in Covered California through the end of 2013. Many of them enrolled toward the end of December, which exacerbated the backlog. As a result, the deadline to pay the first month’s premium is now January 15, which could alleviate some problems with payment processing. The payment, however, must be received by January 15 – although some participants are extending the deadline.
One major question for many still remains: is my health plan under Covered California active? According to the website, that answer is yes – coverage was active on the first of January,
Healthcare reform in California is progressing in other departments. Over 630,000 Californians who were previously covered under the Low Income Health Program are now enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state’s agency that administers coverage under Medicaid.
This move was made possible under an expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, an option available to all states but selected by just 26 states (as of November 2013). California was one of five states that opted to expand early, which is one of the main reasons the transition from LIHP to Medi-Cal was able to happen at the beginning of this year.
Steve Amante is the President and CEO of Amante & Associates Insurance Solutions, Inc. To learn more about Healthcare Reform contact Steve Amante or Frank Faldmo the firm’s Employee Benefits Advisor at (951) 676-8800 or visit: www.amanteandassociates.com