26 August 2014
Posted in Health Insurance 101
We just got a letter. We just got a letter. We just got a letter. Wonder who it's from? Mail from Covered California can be frequent, tardy, confusing, redundant, wasteful, but usually self-explanatory. If you started a health insurance application on Covered CA's website, you may still get letters delivered to your home. You can't escape them, even if you move to a Hut-on-a-Rock.
The most common mail from Covered CA is a generic thank you letter telling the recipient he/she may qualify for premium assistance . It may annoy or confuse people who already signed up for a plan and know the whole tax credit spiel.
This letter is automatically generated once someone enters a mailing address on Covered CA's online application. It takes a few business days to arrive, and by then you may have already enrolled. Don't take it out on the mail man for sending out-dated news. Even if you decide against Covered CA's insurance, the letter will arrive to try and change your mind. Ignore it if you already selected a plan.
The second most frequent mail I get asked about proclaims "you qualify for health insurance through Covered Calfiornia for 90 days". Or it's worded as "you qualify for 90 days because information doesn't match Covered California's records". This letter is just worded horribly and sends everyone into a panic attack. No one is getting health insurance for just 90 days.
The letter means that based on information you or a health insurance agent provided on your application, e.g.: your gross annual income, your age, family size, citizenship status, you must provide proof in the next 90 days. For example, if you say you're 26-years old, you must upload a copy of your birth certificate or drivers' license on Covered CA's website or fax your documents to an agent to do it for you.
The 90 days refers to the amount of time Covered CA gives a person to provide proof. If you cannot show proof as requested in your letter in 90 days after you sign up, you must reapply for health insurance.
Similar-sounding scare mail was delivered to 100,000 homes over the summer, reminding forgetful Californians to send in proof of citizenship or residency. The cost of forgetting is losing your health insurance in October, which means you'll see a fine on next year's tax returns for not having 3 months of consecutive coverage in 2014.
Seek a health insurance agent who understands the process if you want your case expedited. Just remember to be timely or risk shooting yourself in the foot and losing health insurance. Literal or figurative foot-shooting is now covered by Obamacare.