Kaiser, Anthem extend deadlines

Kaiser Permanente logo for Obamacare plansMore deadlines are being extended in the wake of problems with implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California and across the nation.

Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross and Health Net previously joined other Covered California-affiliated carriers in extended their deadlines for payments for the first month’s premiums to Jan. 15. Now they’re going further.

Kaiser is giving its new customers until Jan. 22 to pay their January premiums. Anthem and Health Net went further, giving consumers until Jan. 31.

Kaiser had admitted in early January that it was “still processing enrollment files and expects all invoices to be mailed by the end of next week.”

Meanwhile, the federal government gave those covered under the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan until March 15 to transition into Affordable Care Act coverage.

“We are allowing those covered by PCIP additional time to shop for new coverage while they receive the ongoing care and treatment they need,” a Health and Human Services spokeswoman said.

That deadline already had been extended to the end of the year because of the disastrous launch of the federal Obamacare web site.

The PCIP was set up to help the uninsurable who were not helped by state safety-net plans during the transition to Obamacare. Only about 30,000 people are covered under the program as of mid-January.

The Affordable Care Act virtually eliminated insurer discrimination against those with pre-existing health care problems, many of whom could not find coverage until Jan. 1.

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