Covered California

California exchange extends payment deadline

By Chad Terhune
January 4, 2014, 6:11 p.m.

Amid deepening consumer frustration, California’s health exchange extended the payment deadline to Jan. 15 for insurance coverage starting Jan. 1 under the federal healthcare law.

The state’s move late Saturday comes as many enrollees continue to report problems getting an invoice from their insurance company or paying their first month’s premium so coverage is retroactive to Jan. 1.

Consumers say they have encountered website glitches trying to pay online and jammed phone lines when attempting to get help from their insurer or the Covered California exchange.

A last-minute surge of applicants wanting policies that started Jan. 1 has created bottlenecks and delays at government-run exchanges and insurers nationwide trying to implement the Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente acknowledged Saturday that it was still processing enrollment files, and customer invoices are being mailed out during the next week. It announced a similar payment extension until Jan. 15 shortly before Covered California did.

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