Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Covered California Follow Up...

You may have remembered reading about my first experience with Covered California when I helped my mom fill out an application for help with premium payments...

She got a letter in the mail the other day indicating that she had in fact been approved for assistance help. The letter also said she had 30 days to choose a health insurance plan...

The problem was we were already supposed to have done that, over the phone, when we applied.

So I went over to my mom's house and we let the hold music ring for 40 minutes. Yes, 40 minutes before a person came on the line.

Once we got to the rep, she pulled up my mom's account and told us that our information was still in the computer and the letter was auto generated (what I expected) but since my mom was freaking out, it was worth the phone call to make her feel better.

I also was able to ask the lady for Health Net's contact information because we hadn't recieved the paperwork for my mom to fill out to set up payment and we were told we would get it in November... and with the holiday just a day or two away, we wanted to follow up.

She gave us the number and I dialed and listened on hold for around 10 minutes when a person picked up and she told us their offfice was behind and the paperwork would be mailed on Monday after Thanksgiving, and if we didn't recieve it by the 7th, to call their offices back.

We also took the time to get the phone number to verify that my mom's current health insurance plan would automatically expire on Dec 30th and that no action was needed on our part. That phone call only took 5 minutes.

All and all an hour spent and my mom now has piece of mind until the 7th... when i'm sure i'll have to call and figure out where her paperwork is.

At least both Covered California and her health insurance are putting in the papers my ability to call on her behalf with these matters since she really doesn't understand what's going on.

What I did learn from the letter they mailed us is that if my mom earns less money than last year, she could end up with a Tax Refund from the Affordable Care Act if she qualified for more premium assistance and didn't get it... That's going to be interesting for a lot of folks because the flip side is also true. If you take more assistance than you qualify for, Uncle Sam is going to take it from your tax refund... I wonder how many people will fudge their income lower and get shocked when the tax man comes collecting.

Also they are apparently setting up store front locations to try and sign people up at the mall. I wish I had my cell phone with me, but there was literally a covered California store location the other day.

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