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This Box May Cause Cancellation of Your Health Insurance Plan

Patient and health insurance coverage

It’s been three months since I signed up for health insurance on the exchange under the ACA. I have not received my plan materials. I’ve checked the mail everyday anxiously waiting for an invoice, a card, or a brochure. Nothing ever came. I wondered what’s going on. Am I covered?

This is the reality of some people who signed up on the exchange. How could this happen? Many people who signed up for health insurance are not very computer literate. Many signed up with the aid of a family member via the Internet. In order to create an account an email address is required. Many of these people did not have or even use an email address. In this case they had to create one.

Once the consumer completed his or her health insurance application, before it was submitted they were asked if they wanted to receive their correspondence by mail or electronically by email. If they or the person working with them chose the box to receive it electronically all plan materials would be sent via email.

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Why is this a problem?
If the person who created the email address just to create an account on the exchange does not use or have access to the Internet at home they would not receive their plan correspondence. After sixty to ninety days of non-payment depending on the company, the clients plans would be canceled. Their only option would be to wait until the next open enrollment period and sign up again.

Is there a way around this problem?
Yes. Make sure you check the correct box before submitting your application. Unless you are a person who religiously checks your email have all of your plan materials delivered to you by mail. If you have not heard from your health insurance company after thirty days call your insurance companies member services number to check the status of your application and inquire about making a payment.

The above scenario is a true story. During open enrollment I was working with a client and the website crashed. We had to complete the application using the exchange call center. Unfortunately the person who assisted us chose the wrong box. As a result my clients policy was canceled for non-payment. When I called member services at the insurance company they stated that they had sent several notices via email but after sixty days without a response they canceled the policy. I called the exchange and had them to check to see if the assister checked the correct box since I suggest to all of my clients to have their correspondence sent to them by mail. They checked the box to receive correspondence electronically. Since the mistake was theirs and not ours they resubmitted it to the company to have the policy reinstated. The only thing that saved my client is they chose to work with an agent, the website crashed, and the information was entered by mistake by a third party.

The moral of the story is make sure you check the right box and monitor your application status or you risk being canceled.