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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


What if I Have Medical Expenses Before I Get a Number?

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Question: I’ve submitted my payment info twice on the Anthem payment landing page. Once on Dec. 13 and again on Jan 2. Both times I receive a confirmation email, but with no payment info or receipt. My credit card remains uncharged. Anthem call center says I’m in the system but says they are backlogged and I won’t receive a member number and card until the payment is processed. How can I access services for which I am supposedly insured as of Jan 1? I need to refill prescriptions. Is cash out of pocket and submitting a claim after I get my member info the only way?

Answer: The good news is they have you “in their system”. I don’t know how you made payment without receiving an application number. You will receive your application number by mail, then make an online payment at https://shop.anthem.com/sales/eox/payment/enroll/landing/CA or by phone at 855-634-3381. Assuming your coverage is effective on 1/1/14, you can recover the covered portion of any medical expenses you paid for by filing a claim (which is no fun, so don’t do that unless you have to).

7 Comments

I have waited up to 3 hours for Anthem to pick up my calls. Although I made payments on 1/2/14 (for Jan. 2014 coverage) & 1/28/14 (for Feb. 2014 coverage), an Anthem rep informed me that they have no record of my payments, are backlogged, have no idea when they will post payments made by CoveredCA applicants, and added that I am UNINSURED until they do post my payments and issue an insurance card, which they plan to send to the wrong address (where there is no USPS), despite my continuing efforts to have them correct this error. Isn’t this fraud? I have now paid for 2 months of insurance, which I can not use. Count me in for the upcoming Class Action law suit! Why is the state doing nothing to address this catastrophe?

I can’t even get ahold of an agent and I mailed the payment out a month ago and now am getting a cancellation notice from a different address than I sent them one address is in texas and the cancellation is in Illinois. this is so irritating no one answers the phone I called this morning and it said a 44 minute wait. I waited an hour then just hung up.

I’m not suggesting that Anthem will try to claim people didn’t pay on time. There’s a trail of email confirmations and checks sent by mail, etc. that should prevent that. The trouble is in how and when will they catch up. How will February invoicing be done on time if they haven’t processed applications and payments for Jan 1 by Jan 15. Providers have every right to make people pay out of pocket until membership is confirmed. However, this will be an insurmountable hardship for many, especially if they are using available funds to submit premium payments. IMO, there’s going to be some class action suits on this one.

So you’re saying that even if you pay online, they still have to process that payment manually and it’s not going through electronically? I enrolled via CC on 12/15 and miraculously received my invoice with application number from Blue Cross on 12/31. So I immediately paid online at the website they gave in the letter. But the payment has never shown up on my bank account, and I’ve been wondering why, and also if they are going to try to claim I didn’t pay by the deadline. I tried to go back and reread the confirmation email they sent, but the body of the email is gone and Yahoo says it can’t be accessed. At least I printed it out so I have proof. I can’t log in to the BC website because although they sent me an application number with the invoice, the website wants my member ID number, which they don’t give you until after your payment is processed. I’m wondering what to do at this point. Call them? Will it do any good? Will they claim I didn’t pay by the deadline and thus don’t have insurance coverage? This is crazy!

I tried to go directly Blue Shield to sign up rather than Covered CA. Blue Shield referred me to an agent, so I completed my application and sent it to the agent. The agent apparently just sent it along to Covered CA and now cannot give me any information on the status of my application. I have no proof of submitting an application, no proof of enrollment, I haven’t paid any premiums, nothing. Meanwhile, both my husband and I need to see the doctor. This agent is completely useless. First, how do I find out about my application? Second, where do I go to complain about the agent?

Additionally, Anthem is NOT taking initial payments over the phone and says as much on their payment landing page. In spite of long waits, Anthem phone staff has been way more helpful than CC. They were able to answer provider questions before I signed up. And were able to find me in the in the system after I sign up. They admit they have no idea when the backlog of payment info will be processed as they have to be entered manually.

I called Anthem directly one week after signing up on CC. They gave me my application number and the landing page url. I promptly submitted my credit card info online and received a confirmation email. It’s not a receipt and contains no info other than “thanks for submitting”. I called again two weeks later and they said they haven’t processed the payment and don’t know when they will. I received a letter on 1/3/14, dated 12/12/13 asking me to make payment at the same url. And two emails this weekend from CC reminding me to make payment. I’ve submitted payment info again just to make sure it’s there. Same confirmation email was sent. Very frustrating. I don’t know how people with expensive med refills are going to be able to pay out of pocket and submit claims.

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