ACA: People who haven't paid premiums aren't covered - KCTV5

ACA: People who haven't paid premiums aren't covered

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FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Those who may think that just because they went through the healthcare.gov website and signed up for the Affordable Care Act that they're now covered need to know that there's more they have to do.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City says 20 percent of people who sat down at a computer and signed up with the company under the Affordable Care Act haven't paid. That leaves them with an insurance card in hand, but no coverage.

In the new year, healthcare providers are quickly having to change their message from sign-up deadlines to payment deadlines.

"We found about 19 or 20 percent of the individuals we reached out to, to insure their information was correct and their payment was made timely, had not completed the process," said Wayne Powell, the chief of staff of Blue Cross of Kansas City.

The first of four payment deadlines just ended on Jan. 15. That means if someone signed up before then and didn't pay, they have to enroll all over again.

The chief of staff for Blue Cross of Kansas City said it's been a challenge to even reach the people in the situation who may not have realized they missed a step in the process.

"It was a challenge for us to come in direct contact with all of those individuals," Powell said.

The 2014 enrollment period ends March 31. If someone is uninsured and doesn't find coverage by then, they'll pay a penalty next tax season.

So far in Missouri and Kansas, 47,000 people have signed up.

"As compared to the total of number of individuals that are uninsured in those two states combined, which is about 1.1 million, we're making progress, but we have a long way to go," Powell said.

KCTV5's Bonyen Lee heard from five viewers Wednesday who are also experiencing a different issue. They say they've paid but haven't received their insurance cards. All five purchased plans through Coventry. KCTV5 reached out to Coventry, but the company hasn't replied.

The Obama Administration wants 40 percent of enrollees to be between the ages of 18 and 34 and in good health. So far only 25 percent of those signed up are in that category.

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