You did your research, found the health insurance plan that fits your needs, and signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You’re all set, right? Not until you complete one final step. Just like any consumer product, the Health Insurance Marketplace plan you select becomes yours when you pay for it. In fact, without payment of your first month’s premium, the insurer is required by the Affordable Care Act to stop the plan. We at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan have been making extra effort to connect with people who have signed up for our plans, but haven’t yet paid their first premium. We have sent letters and made phone calls. But the decision to finalize the insurance purchase is strictly up to the purchaser. If you signed up for a health plan from Blue Cross on the Marketplace on or before Dec. 31, 2013, the premium due date is Jan. 31. This payment deadline was extended by BCBSM – from Jan. 10 to Jan. 31 – so we could give people as much time as possible to finalize their insurance purchase. If you enrolled with us after Dec. 31, the first month’s payment is due 15 days from the day you were sent the bill. If you didn’t know about these deadlines, you’re not alone. Many consumers are unaware of major deadlines associated with the new Health Insurance Marketplace. In fact, a recent survey showed that 81 percent of consumers do not know that they must sign up for insurance by March 31 this year to avoid paying a tax penalty. This is why BCBSM has made extra effort to tell people to make a premium payment to activate their plan. That effort includes extending the payment deadline to Jan. 31, adding staff to process payments by phone and extending the hours of our walk-in centers around the state. There are four ways to pay your bill:
- Pay online at bcbsm.com: It’s easy to sign up for eBilling. Just log in to your account at bcbsm.com. If you’re eligible, you’ll see Pay My Premium in the right-hand column. Click the link and follow the instructions to get started.
- Mail in your payment: Follow the instructions on your bill to mail us your payment. If you have a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plan, mail your check or money order to:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan P.O. Box 553174 Detroit, MI 48255-3174
If you have a Blue Care Network plan, mail your check or money order to:
Blue Care Network P.O. Box 33608 Detroit, MI 48232-5608
- Pay at a walk-in center: Drop off your bill in person at one of BCBSM’s 11 walk-in centers across the state. Walk-in centers accept checks, cashier’s checks and money orders.
- Pay by phone: BCBSM has over 1,500 individuals on the phone lines to take your calls from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The last thing we want to do is cancel Blue Cross coverage people have ordered on the Health Insurance Marketplace. But unless premium payment deadlines are met, we are required by federal law to cancel unpaid plans so people are given the opportunity to shop for another Marketplace plan through March 31. For more information on payment options, visit bcbsm.com/payments.