Enrollment Deadline Extended to Dec. 17

The deadline for getting health insurance that would begin on January 1 is being extended to Thursday, December 17th.  The original deadline was last night at midnight, December 15th.

The health insurance Open Enrollment Period runs through January 31, 2016 – but any application received later than December 17th would result in coverage beginning on February 1st. If a person waits until January 16th to do an application, their coverage would not begin until March 1st.

The federal website, healthcare.gov was overwhelmed leading up to the original 12/15  deadline.  Over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday, I had clients calling me saying they were unable to get through on the 800 number to talk to someone at healthcare.gov.

Insurance companies were also having problems with their websites and I had several clients who were trying to sign up for coverage without a subsidy and were going directly to companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Health Net and UnitedHealthcare.  These people make too much money to get a subsidy and their current plans were being cancelled.

The insurance company websites were a mess!  Two clients had to fill out paper applications and fax them to Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Health Net’s online quoting system did not work correctly if I was in the Chrome browser.  I discovered this when I sent a quote to a client for her and her grandson – and the grandson did not appear on the quote or application.  We had to scramble to get that mistake fixed and I was happy to find out that it was not my mistake, but a computer glitch.

UnitedHealthcare’s website showed three plans on their website and brokers should be able to send clients a quote and a link to sign up for one of those plans.  But when I clicked on any one of the plans yesterday….they disappeared!!  I was unable to send a quote to a client yesterday (December 15th).   Today, 12/16, those three plans do not appear on the United website.  They only show short-term plans. I guess United decided not to sell individual plans in Arizona.

I hear so much about how the government can’t get things right with their web site – but I can say from experience that the health insurance companies’ online tools are no better.  Although, I do not remember these kinds of problems last year, so I wonder what has changed?

 

 

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