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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan extends hours through January 31 at its 11 walk-in centers to help consumers navigate ACA marketplace changes

Premium payment deadline also extended to January 31 for Blues individual coverage that became effective Jan. 1

DETROIT, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is extending the hours of its 11 walk-in centers statewide to provide customers with an additional way to get help with confirming their new health plan enrollment and premium amounts, making payments and related customer service questions. The extended hours run through Jan. 31, 2014, when centers will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and in most locations, the centers also will be open Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (NOTE: Saturday hours will not apply in Ann Arbor, Flint-Linden Creek and Marquette centers.)

BCBSM also extended the premium payment deadline to Jan. 31 for coverage that became effective to Jan. 1 for members in its individual plans.

"We've extended the payment deadline because healthcare.gov allowed individuals to enroll later in December so timeframes to make a payment was shorter than usual for many people, especially with the holidays. Members who live near a walk-in center may find it more convenient and easier to meet with someone face-to-face to make sure they are paid-up and confirm their coverage," said Terry Burke, vice president of individual business for BCBSM.

At each walk-in center, members can pay their first month's bill for individual plans that became effective on Jan. 1, 2014, for which Blue Cross has extended the payment deadline to Jan. 31. Additionally, consumers interested in enrolling in an ACA plan can talk directly with a health plan advisor or licensed Blue Cross agent, to determine the best plan for their specific situation, and ensure that each form is completed correctly to take advantage of any available federal assistance. Consumers can sign up by Jan. 15 to obtain a plan with coverage effective Feb. 1. The deadline to sign up for an ACA compliant plan without tax penalty for 2013 is March 31.

The customer service team, health plan advisors and licensed Blue Cross agents are available at the following 11 BCBSM walk-in centers:

  • Ann Arbor: 2311 Green Rd; Ann Arbor, MI 48105*
  • BCBSM Detroit headquarters (Bricktown building): 500 E. Lafayette, Detroit, MI  48226
  • BCBSM Grand Rapids headquarters: 86 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503
  • Flint: 4520 Linden Creek Parkway Suite A, Flint, MI  48507*
  • Holland: 151 Central Ave., Holland, MI  49423
  • Lansing: 232 S. Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI  48933
  • Marquette: 415 S. McClellan Ave, Marquette, MI  49855*
  • Portage: 8175 Creekside Dr., suite 100, Portage, MI  49024
  • BCN Southfield: 20500 Civic Center Drive, Southfield, MI  48076
  • Shelby Twp.: 6100 Auburn Road, Shelby Twp., MI  48317
  • Traverse City: 202 E. State Street, Traverse City, MI  49684

*Ann Arbor, Flint and Marquette locations are not open on Saturday.

Members also have the option to pay their premiums online at bcbsm.com if they cannot visit a walk-in center or make the payment by phone.

For consumers who have not yet enrolled in ACA compliant plans, Blue Cross Health Plan Advisors are also available by phone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. now through the end of open enrollment on March 31.

Michigan residents also can contact one of the thousands of licensed Blue Cross agents across the state who have had training to assist consumers to determine subsidy eligibility and which qualified health plan may be their best option. More than 2,000 Michigan agents have completed training and certification to sell Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Cross Network plans both on and off the Marketplace.

Those consumers at higher income levels who are not eligible for a subsidy, or don't wish to take advantage of one, can enroll easily through bcbsm.com.  BCBSM offers a total of 18 options for coverage for individuals, many of which are among the lowest priced health plans on Michigan's Health Insurance Marketplace. The rates for these plans are identical both on and off the Marketplace.  BCBSM is the only health insurer to offer coverage in every one of Michigan's 83 counties. Products, pricing and plan design are available at bcbsm.com/myblue.

To learn the basics of health reform, Michiganders can visit HealthCareReformBasics.com

Editor's Note: Reporters interested in visiting a BCBSM walk-in center for an interview must call our newsroom first to schedule a time: 313-549-9884.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more. information, visit www.bcbsm.com/news and www.mibluesperspectives.com

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

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