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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.

Change Insurance Plan Now?

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Question: I am not happy with my Blue Shield of CA Platinum PPO insurance plan and I want to change to a less expensive plan and/or a different insurance company. I signed up for my plan directly with BlueSheild of CA not through the Covered California website (because it wasn't letting me due to computer glitches). I know you can terminate your plan through Covered California, but I'm not sure how to do it if I'm outside that system? Also, if I'm allowed to terminate my coverage with BlueSheild can I do so outside of the open enrollment period(now), and can I then enroll in some kind of other insurance through covered CA (also outside of open enrollment). Thanks so much for your help!

Answer: If you were to cancel your Blue Shield coverage you would notify Blue Shield (customer service number on your insurance card) since you bought directly from them. But you cannot get replacement coverage until open enrollment, so you are pretty much stuck with what you've got until January 1, 2016.

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All you have to do is call the insurance company and terminate your coverage. Don’t just stop paying the premium (although that will work) because you will owe at least one or two months’ premiums for coverage provided to the date you are formally terminated for non-payment of premium.

The problem is that you will not be eligible to enroll in any other health plan without a life-change event before open enrollment in October, and will have to pay nearly half of the Shared Responsibility Payment for not having health insurance in three or more months of the year.

If I may ask, what specific “problems” other than premium are you having with the Blue Shield PPO?

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