About 8,000 people have been signing up for coverage on the California exchange every day putting California closer to reaching 1 million enrollees. However, the San Jose Mercury News recently made a statement that 15% of the people currently enrolled in the Covered California program have not paid for their coverage. The Covered California team has been attempting to contact them via phone and email without prevail. If these individuals do not pay for their insurance, they will lose their coverage. This means that the number of Californians enrolled on the exchange will drop significantly.
Health insurance companies have been extremely accommodating to these individuals by extending the deadlines to pay the premiums into January. Thus, if a person enrolled on the exchange in late December and had a terrible injury on January 5th, they could still be covered by their insurance if they pay the first month’s premium by the specified deadline. Health insurers are upset with the many people who have yet to pay their premiums.
“It’s like moving into an apartment — you have to pay the first month’s rent,” Neil Crosby of the California Association of Health Underwriters said. “The same thing happens with health insurance policies.”
Some reasonings as to why people haven’t paid their insurance may include:
They’d rather pay the penalty
Their doctors weren’t covered
They may have enrolled in multiple health plans on accident
They may have been offered coverage through an employer
To avoid paying a $95 penalty, you must enroll in a health insurance plan by March 31st. If you want coverage to begin April 1st, you have until March 15th to enroll and March 26th to pay the premium.