Friday was supposed to be the deadline for most consumers to pay premiums if they want their insurance coverage to be effective as of Jan. 1. But a number of health plans have extended the payment window to get as many people as possible enrolled.
Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five states, including Texas and Illinois, will allow payments until Jan. 30. “We've seen a significant amount of payments come through our system,” said spokeswoman Lauren Perlstein Plungas. “It's just to allow people more peace of mind.”
Independence Blue Cross, which operates in Pennsylvania, is now accepting payments as late as Jan. 28. For WellPoint, which is offering products for sale through the exchanges in 14 states, the deadline has been pushed to Jan. 15. Highmark, which does business in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, has also extended the payment deadline to Jan. 15. Humana customers will have until the end of the month to make their initial payment.