Covered California says that yesterday was the deadline to pay your February premiums. But some of California's biggest insurers have extended their deadlines.
Here are new dates for three major carriers:
- Blue Shield: deadline is Friday, Feb. 14 for people who signed up for coverage starting Feb. 1.
- HealthNet: For people who signed up for coverage beginning Feb. 1, you have until Feb 15 to make your first premium payment. You can pay by phone.
- Kaiser: deadline is now Tuesday, Feb. 18
- Anthem Blue Cross: for ongoing members, the deadline is Jan. 31 (although there's a one month grace period before cancellation). New members who signed up for coverage that starts on Feb. 1, have until Monday, Feb. 10 to make their premium payment.
- L.A. Care: deadline for participants in "L.A. Care Covered," its Covered California health plan, is now Feb. 21.
A colleague told me yesterday that her husband had spent 2 and a half hours on hold trying to pay his February Kaiser premium, then got cut off and was on hold for another 2 hours. When he finally got through, the operator told him the payment deadline had been extended. He said he asked her why Kaiser didn't put that information in its recording that people listen to when they're on hold.
In an email today explaining the payment extension, a Kaiser spokesperson wrote: "We are sorry for any difficulties that members experience in contacting our call centers. We are experiencing extremely high call volumes and are working quickly to further extend our capacity."
On Health Net's website detailing the change, it says: "Health Net extended the deadline because it's really important to us that you have health insurance coverage."