Due to the fact that BCBS of Texas is experiencing unusual call volume, they have posted some Frequently Asked Questions to help during this time.
Whether you are choosing a new health plan or have questions about an existing plan – we want you to know that we’re here to help you.
You may have noticed that your wait time for customer support is longer than normal. This is due to high call volumes. We are working very hard to return to the level of customer service you have come to expect from us. This week we’ve added 500 additional Customer Advocates to take calls in our Call Center to reduce your hold time.
In the meantime, here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Has my coverage started? Can I use my health plan?
If you have a plan that started Dec. 1 and you paid your first premium, your coverage is active. If you have a plan that started the first of the month, but you haven’t paid your first premium payment yet, you won’t be able to use your health plan when you see a doctor or get a prescription filled. Once you’ve activated your coverage by making your first payment, you can have health care expenses during that coverage gap applied to your deductible, or even get paid back for some services.
If you have coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2014, you will need to make your first payment by Dec. 31, 2013, to have active coverage on January 1.
I applied on the Health Insurance Marketplace, but haven’t heard if my application has been received and accepted. Will I have coverage Jan. 1?
We receive new applications from the Marketplace every day. The applications take a few days for processing through the Marketplace. It then takes us a few days to process the application in our system. If you have not heard from us by phone, mail or email by Dec. 20, please try to call us again. We can let you know if we’ve received your application and how we can help if we haven’t.
I need help enrolling in a plan before the Dec. 23 deadline.
We encourage you to work with a local insurance agent, who can look at all your options and advise you on the best plan for your needs and budget. There is no additional cost to you when working with an agent.
You can also get information on all your options and apply on our website. In addition to our direct purchase plans, our site includes the plans we offer on the Health Insurance Marketplace, and a calculator to help you find out if you might qualify for financial assistance through the Marketplace.
When will I get my bill to pay my premium?
You should have received your bill for your first payment. If you haven’t and you have your group and member ID numbers, you can log in to your Blue Access for MembersSM, account to review your invoice online, and even submit a payment electronically.
If you set up your premium payments through automatic bank draft, you will not receive a paper bill. Your account will be drafted on the date you chose when you set it up.
When will I get my member ID cards, and how many will I get?
You will receive your member ID cards within 10 days of your application being approved. If you applied online through our Shopping Cart, you can print a temporary ID card and request additional cards through your Blue Access for Members account within 48 hours of enrolling online.
Individual plans will get 1 card and family plans will get 2 cards. You can request additional cards through your Blue Access for Members account. Please note that all member ID cards you receive will have the subscriber name on it and can be used by all of the dependents enrolled under the policy.
When will I get benefit coverage information and the contract on the plan I selected?
Soon after your application is accepted, you will receive a “Welcome Kit” from BCBSTX that includes your member ID and group number, your policy booklet and other information.
This information is also available in Blue Access for Members once your plan is in effect.
I’ve gotten a call from someone asking me questions about my new coverage. Is this person with BCBSTX, and why are they asking these questions?
Since you have new coverage with us, we want to make sure you understand your benefits and that we have the information we need to help you with your health care needs. We are calling to explain how your plan works, to answer questions you may have, and to tell you about some of the services we offer to help manage your care and your coverage. We also check your information, such as the names of everyone on your plan, your address and other details. The call often only takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
I had coverage, then you changed my plan effective date and now I don’t have coverage. What happened?
When the effective date change was made, some Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas plan members who had payment due dates after the 14th of the month were not showing as activated in our system, which generated a cancellation in error. We have corrected the problem and are reaching out to members impacted by this error. If you have paid your December premium payment, your coverage should now be active. Once you’ve activated your coverage by making your first payment, you can have health care expenses during that coverage gap applied to your deductible, or even get paid back for some services.
If you have questions about how health care reform affects you or would like to learn more about your health plan options, please call or write to us to learn how the new law might affect you.
Freedom Benefit Solutions – a premier agency with BCBS of Texas
Toll Free 877-740-8683