Where’s the Covered California Invoice?

One of the biggest questions I get is, “When will Covered California send me a bill for the health insurance?” Unfortunately, Covered California doesn’t invoice for the health insurance, that is left up to the insurance companies. If your application has been successfully transmitted to the insurance company you can make your first premium payment over the phone. Some applications have not, and may never, actually make it to your selected insurance company.

My health plan doesn’t have my application

Aside from many of the health plans having real problems mailing the first month’s premium notice to new applicants, many people have found that their chosen health insurance company never received the application from Covered California. I’ve called on several cases where the carrier has no record of ever receiving the enrollment application from Covered California. The carrier tells us to call Covered California and Covered California tells us to call the health plan. Now that the deadline for payment has past for some carriers, many individuals and families are now without insurance.

If you or someone you know is in this situation, let me know. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I just want to present to Covered California that their system has lost people. Perhaps if we get enough people come forward we can get Covered  California to take this problem seriously.

Update July, 2014

It was confirmed from Covered California and one of the health plans that Covered California has been having IT issues with sending the enrollment data feed to the carriers since the beginning of July for health plans effective August 1st. Many carriers have either received no enrollment data or corrupted enrollment data. Either way, consumers who enrolled prior to July 15th are complaining that the carrier has not received their information and are unable to make their first binder payment to effectuate coverage. You can read more at August enrollments delayed through Covered California.

January 5th Update

  • Covered California is sending out multiple emails to people to pay invoices, they have never received, by January 6th.
  • Never send a payment to Covered California.
  • Kaiser has been calling people and alerting them they have until Jan. 15th to make their initial premium payment.
  • Many carriers have extended the payment deadline to January 10th such as Anthem Blue Cross.
  • Never assume your payment date has been extended, call the carrier for a recorded message while you wait for an invoice.

Covered California releases payment information

Covered California released the following information to Certified Agents in an email about the first months premium payment. This was a good move because the staff at the Covered California call center were giving different answers to the same questions.

How will I get my premium bill and insurance cards?

Your health plan will send your first premium bill directly to you, as well as insurance cards once your premium is paid. We encourage you to pay as soon as you can once you receive your bill but no later than January 6th.

How can I pay my premium?

You need to pay the health plan you enrolled in. You can pay your premium bill by mail – but be sure you send it so the plan will receive your payment by January 6th. Your health plan may also accept payment through the phone or online, which will be faster than mailing your payment. Contact your health plan for more information about payment options.

What if I don’t enroll by December 23rd or pay by January 6th?

If you don’t enroll to have coverage start on January 1st, you can still get covered. Open enrollment extends through March 31, 2014, so you can still get coverage starting in February, March, April or May. See the chart below for upcoming deadlines and coverage start dates.

 Avoiding a lapse in coverage

Many people are anxious to make the first premium payment so they will have no lapse in coverage between when their plan is cancelled on December 31 and the start of the new plan on January 1, 2014. Enrollments with premium assistance initiated in mid to late December may not get an invoice until after the New Year. Covered California has stated that those applications deemed eligible for premium assistance by December 23 will have retroactive coverage to January 1 even if the member receives and pays the bill later in January.

You applied, but where’s the bill?

If you are one of the thousands of households that mailed or fax in an application, along with some online enrollments, back in October or November and have received no invoice, it’s time to start making calls. You must start by calling the insurance carrier to see if they actually have the enrollment information. Some insurers have the applications but have not sent out bills.

It’s out of our hands

Even though you may have received a letter from Covered California requesting additional documents or discussing your 90 Day conditional approval, that doesn’t mean the insurance carrier has your information. I’ve called on several applications only to find the carrier has no information or bad information. Once Covered California transmits the enrollment data over to the carrier they no longer feel any responsibility to making sure the information they sent matches your application.

Blue Shield application deadlines

Blue Shield released the following information after being inundated with inquiries from consumers and agents.

IFP application deadline for January 1 effective date

Applications submitted through Covered California 

Applications submitted through Covered California must be received by December 23, 2013 to be eligible for a January 1, 2014 effective date. Additionally, payment for the first month’s premium must be received no later than January 6, 2014.

Please note: If your client submitted a paper application in November, Covered California will process these applications by mid-December. Once processed, Blue Shield will send a request to your client for payment. Please encourage your clients to submit payment online for faster processing. Blue Shield will mail your clients’ ID cards about two weeks after the payment has been received.

Applications submitted through Blue Shield Applications submitted directly through Blue Shield must be received by December 15, 2013 along with first month’s premium to be eligible for a January 1, 2014 effective date.

Third Party Administrator

One tenacious client, not content to wait for an invoice tracked down the following information about making a payment over the phone for his Blue Shield health plan.

To pay online:     Blue Shield had to have entered your data into their first premium payment system. Select Member Register link on the page. Enter the last 4 digits of your SS#, Birth Date and Zip Code. If you are in the system, you can create an account and pay online. If you are not in the system it will say no records found. That’s when you need to call Covered California to see if they have sent your information over to Blue Shield.


Health Plan Services (HPS), the nation’s leading technology, sales, retention and administrative services provider for the insurance and managed care markets, announced today that Blue Shield of California will utilize its Go-To-Exchange platform to streamline participation in the Covered California Exchange.

Included in the Go-To-Exchange platform are:  ExchangeLink, a software platform that will be used to connect Blue Shield customers to Covered California, the state-sponsored public health exchange, and  ServiceLink, which provides in-force administration, member billing, tax credit/subsidy collection, premium reconciliation and customer service. Blue Shield will leverage ServiceLink to ensure administrative functions are streamlined and high-quality customer service is provided to its members. “We are delighted to partner with Blue Shield of California through this initiative to ensure their members receive the highest quality service as they make critical health plan decisions,” said Jeff Bak, President and CEO of HPS.  (The HPS number direct in Tampa is 877-300-9488.) The HPS direct number within Blue Shield is 877-755-4923.  I wheedled it out of a regular CSR before she realized she wasn’t supposed to hand it out, or even acknowledge the existence of said department.

Blue Shield Binder Payment website, January, 2014

Blue Shield has added an online payment web portal through the above mentioned Health Plan Services provider. It will cross reference your personal information sent over from Covered California and allow you to make a payment to for your new health plan. Go to: From the initial screen select Member Registration. Enter the personal information to see if your account pops up. If it does, you can then make a binder payment for your new health plan without waiting for the invoice. (click on the thumbnail image to enlarge)


If Covered California hasn’t sent your information to Blue Shield you won’t be able to apply any payments.

Calling early to confirm enrollment

Another client tripped across an access number for Anthem Blue Cross that will accept payments over the phone if they have the application on file.

FYI, in case any of your other clients need to contact BC about paying their premiums on new CC policies: When I called the number below, the rep directed me to call 1.800.333.0912 (this must be their unlisted number!)

Anthem Blue Cross Payment Landing Page

Anthem Blue Cross Online Premium Payment

Thank you to a commentator who passed along the following information:  If you are able to get your Application Control Number (ACN) or Application ID number you can visit the following url to make an online payment.

Anthem Blue Cross Online Premium Payment

Anthem Blue Cross Online Premium Payment

Did you really apply for health insurance?

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, the key is having your enrollment data successfully transmitted from Covered California to the carrier. If the carrier has no record or a corrupted enrollment file, and Covered California maintains it has been sent, all you can do is withdraw the application and start a new one.

Anthem Update December 30th

Correspondence from Anthem Blue Cross on Covered California payments –

 Here is how the process is supposed to be working:

1.       CoveredCA sends the application to Anthem Blue Cross

2.       Anthem processes the application (taking around 5 days)

3.       Once processed, Anthem mails out a letter with Initial Payment instructions and critical data to submit payment (ACN – application Control Number)

It is important for the applicant to wait for the letter to arrive as the letter has the vital information (ACN) needed to submit the payment and have the payment link to the applicant.  Payments sent to Anthem without this vital (ACN) information run a high risk of being lost or not being able to be matched up with an application; potentially, leading to the applicant not receiving coverage for 01/01/2014.

It is to encouraged you wait, at least until Monday, January 6th for their letters to arrive in the mail.  This will allow the system to work through its processes.  If they have not received a letter by then, I would recommend them either calling one of these two Member Customer Service numbers: 855-634-3381 or 800-333-0912.

Additional Anthem Blue payment details, December 30th

The following is updated instructions on making the first premium payment for Anthem Blue Cross plans purchased through a state of federal exchange.

Details about initial payments for on-exchange plans

December 30, 2013

Initial payment notices are going out daily to your Anthem clients.  Here is how the payment process works. Your client will receive a letter from us. This letter will explain what needs to be done to ensure proper payment gets made and that they are enrolled in their new health plan. The letter offers a variety of options for paying their first month’s premium, including bank draft, check, money order, eCheck or credit card. It also gives them a variety of ways to make their payment like:

  • Signing into a secure payment page or
  • Sending in a check or money order

The link to the online payment portal is listed below, but please advise your on-exchange clients to wait until they receive our letter about initial payment before making a payment on the portal. This will ensure a successful matchup of their payment and application. The payment portal doesn’t apply for your off-exchange clients who apply online, as the initial payment is part of the off-exchange online application process. If your client applied:

Important note: A vital aspect to paying correctly on the payment portals is your client’s application ID, which can be found on the letter they will receive. The application ID is located on the top left hand side of the letter, underneath Applicant Name. If your client is interested in mailing in a PAPER CHECK, please advise them to include a copy of their letter with their check and to write the Application ID on the check or money order.

They can mail it to: Anthem Blue Cross P.O. Box 9041 Oxnard, CA 93031-9041 

January 14th Anthem Update

Anthem Blue Cross extends payment deadline to January 31st.

From a client to who found the error and the solution: Anthem payment link is bad on Covered California website.

PROBLEM: As I told you yesterday, when I went to the Covered CA website, logged in and went to the Enrollment Summary page, I saw a Carrier Website address link for Blue Cross Anthem that was supposed to take you to the payment site.  The link is: However, the link is WRONG because when you go to this Payment page and input your Application ID from the BC/Anthem letter, you will get an application error and you will be unable to make the payment.

SOLUTION: Today I figured out that the problem is that the Covered CA website link ( is WRONG. The CORRECT link is the one printed in the Anthem letter:  (Note the “enroll” instead of “online” in the URL link printed in the letter.)  If you use the correct URL in your browser you will get the correct website, be able to input the Application ID and successfully make your initial payment. I just received the confirmation email from Anthem for my payment — YESSSS!!! So don’t use the link in the Covered CA website — just type in the one printed in the Anthem letter with your Application ID.

See also Covered California paper applications threaten family insurance

Covered California drop health plan information

Insider information, pass it along

If you have the secret phone numbers for other health plans to allow Californians to make their first premium payments over the phone please post a comment with the information. We’re all surprised that it is this hard to actually send money to these darn insurance companies.

Kaiser Payments

Brian Higgins of San Diego passed along the following information regarding making payment on Kaiser health plans purchased through Covered California:

I found a Kaiser number that was at least slightly helpful: 866-799-3570. After about a 10 minute wait they confirmed info from Covered Cal is about 3 weeks behind but the payment due date has been extended to 1/10/14. They’ll accept payment by phone once the invoice is actually in hand. Called Anthem BC at 800-333-0912 and was told the due date has been extended to 1/10/14. Blue Shield at 877-755-4923 related that due date remains 1/6/14. They’re available until 8pmSaturday and 8am-6pm M-F.

Thank you Brian!

Can I go to my health care provider starting January 1st if I have not paid yet?

Covered California put out the following weak statement essentially encouraging you to beg you doctor to let you keep your appointment if you haven’t received and invoice for your health plan, paid the first months premium or even have a member ID number.

  • Can I go to my health care provider starting January 1st if I have not paid yet?

As long as you pay by January 6th, you can use services covered by your health plan starting January 1st. First, be sure the provider (a doctor or other health service provider) is participating in the health insurance plan network you have selected. The provider may ask you to sign a statement agreeing to pay for the services if you cannot eventually prove you have health insurance. The provider may later send you a bill (“claim”) for the care. Once you have proof of health insurance coverage effective January 1, 2014, which you will receive after you pay for the insurance, you can submit the claim to your health plan to pay. It is also likely that by the time you get a bill or claim from your provider, you will already be entered into your health plan’s system. Simply call your provider and have them re-submit their bill directly to your health plan. Call your health plan to ask if the provider is in their network, if you have questions about whether a service is covered (included in your insurance plan) or about how to use your coverage. See the chart below for Covered California health plan contact information.

  • How can I pay my premium bill for January coverage?

You need to pay your health plan — not Covered California – no later than January 6th. You can pay your premium bill (the bill for your health insurance) by mail, but be sure you send it so that your health plan will receive your payment by January 6th. Your health plan also might accept payment through the phone or online before you get your paper premium bill, which is faster than mailing your payment. Contact your health plan now for more information about payment options or if the January 6th due date is a problem for you. See the chart below for Covered California health plan contact information.

  • When will I get membership ID cards for my health insurance plan?

Your health insurance company will mail you an enrollment package and membership ID cards within 10 business days of the health insurance company receiving your premium payment. You can still get care before you receive your ID card. But, be prepared for the provider to ask you to sign a statement that you agree to pay their claim if you do not later have proof of insurance. Once you have your ID card as proof of insurance, the provider can confirm your insurance and send the claim to the health plan.

Or…you can ask your doctor’s receptionist to call Covered California, wait on hold for 2 hours to talk to a call center staffer, and confirm that you indeed are signed up for a health plan.

Covered California Health Plan Payment Contact Numbers

Download (PDF, 155KB)

Health Plan Payment Contact Numbers

154.68 KB 43 downloads

Other Payment links

Chinese Community Health Plan

Health Net

Sharp Health Plan

Western Health Advantage

Californians are trying to pay premiums for health plans the insurance companies don't have.
  • UW

    Nice site and linked documents. Wish I had found this site before I did a massive amount of research into Anthem offerings.

    • Kevin Knauss

      Thank you. We need to get as much information out to the public to reduce stress and anxiety from a very complicated process.

  • Alan

    Who is the state regulated 3rd party “Connector” who receives raw data from CC, creates an Invoice, then sends data to the insurance carriers?

    • Kevin Knauss

      I don’t think that 3rd party payment process was ever established. When I look at an enrollment on CC, the link for Make A Payment is grayed and doesn’t work.

      One person at Covered California said they could make a payment with CC, but another person said you couldn’t. Consequently, I figure you can’t unless it is for small group business through the SHOP program.

  • JerryS

    Very helpful site! One question: Will the recent contract agreement between Sutter and Anthem result in Sutter and Sutter Medical Foundation doctors being included as “in-network” on Anthem exchange plans?

    • Kevin Knauss

      It’s hard to say. Anthem has a separate provider list just for the new ACA individual and family plans. We have to do a search specific to those plans to see if they are included.

      I did check for another client and was happy to learn that Blue Shield includes many Sutter affiliated physicians.

      • JerryS

        I found this in the Modesto Bee “Representatives for Sutter and Anthem said the agreement does not apply
        to the Anthem Blue Cross health plans sold through Covered California,
        the exchange established through the Affordable Care Act. Sutter
        participates only in the Blue Shield plans available through Covered
        California.” Looks like I will have to move to Blue Shield.

        • Kevin Knauss

          Thanks for the update, that is what I heard also. So the Sutter physicians will only be for their group health plans. Another way insurers are hoping to curb costs at the expense of Californians.

          • JerryS

            Looking at my choices, the only winners I see are the Health Insurers. I only see reduced benefits, a much smaller network of doctors and hospitals, and substantially higher premiums. I very much believe in the necessity of health care reform, but from my perspective this program places a huge portion of the burden on the backs of individual and entrepreneurs who have had and cherished quality health insurance for a long time before the ACA. But I digress …

          • Kevin Knauss

            You are absolutely correct. The insurers have once again twisted the situation to their benefit or are at least trying to shield their liability for claims.

            I do think the system will loosen up. Consumers will migrate to the insurers with the best provider network. That will force those insurers with tight networks to expand in order to attract the healthy membership they desire.

  • Anita

    Thank you for a great site! Just called Blue Cross Anthem today who has no record of my enrollment, even though I enrolled November 15. They did say they send a nightly spreadsheet to California Covered with these types of problems and ask for the information. You do need your application ID or Case ID for Blue Cross to track you back to CC. Also called CC and was told yes, I did enroll in Blue Cross and I still need to submit payment to Blue Cross by January 5th. They gave me the PO box address to submit. I’m crossing my fingers this will work. We dropped our COBRA as of January 1 to go with the exchange. Hoping I don’t regret that decision. Truly feel for tons of people that think this will magically happen without phone calls. My husband is one of them!

    • Kevin Knauss

      I think I included the phone number for Anthem payment in this post. I would call and see if you can make your first payment over the phone. I’m just not sure what the holiday slow down will bring with getting the invoices out on time, especially if the carrier has questions about the app.

  • Linda Bagnall

    Hello & thank you for your efforts here. I’ve signed up with Kaiser through CoveredCA. Does anyone have information on where/how to pay Kaiser. Any reason(s) I might do well to consider a different provider? Thank you!

    • Kevin Knauss

      I talked to a Kaiser representative on Friday and he said they had no phone number for early pay. Just confirming that they received an application seemed to be a monumental task for them at the moment. It sounds like you’ll just have to wait for a paper invoice.

  • Anastasis Beverhausen

    Covered California says they mailed my Application to Anthem Blue Cross. Anthem repeatedly says they never received it. I just spent two hours on hold (again) to talk to someone at Covered Calif only to get disconnected. Today is the deadline. What am I supposed to do. This is frustrating because the system is so broken.

    • Kevin Knauss

      Hopefully they didn’t mail it. They are suppose to be transferring the data electronically to each carrier. I’ve called on behalf of a couple of clients and the carriers say they never received any information even though the client sent to application to Covered California months ago.

      When in doubt, start a new application online and submit it. It is better to get two bills and decline one than to have no coverage at all.

      • Anastasis Beverhausen

        Technically they didn’t say “mail,” they said sent.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I was provided a phone number by Anthem Blue Cross to call CC for problem files. They actually answered without me having to wait, and when I explained my problem, they made a report and sent it to their technical dept. The rep Matthew even called me back later to let me know this would be resolved. The phone number is 855-857-0445.

    • Kevin Knauss

      Glad to hear you finally got a hold of an intelligent person down there. Most people aren’t so lucky.

  • j9

    Once you have an Application Control Number (ACN) from Anthem Blue Cross, you can make a payment online using this link:

    • Kevin Knauss

      Two Thumbs up and 5 Gold Stars for you and that information!

  • Brian Higgins

    I found a Kaiser number that was at least slightly helpful: 866-799-3570. After about a 10 minute wait they confirmed info from Covered Cal is about 3 weeks behind but the payment due date has been extended to 1/10/14. They’ll accept payment by phone once the invoice is actually in hand. Called Anthem BC at 800-333-0912 and was told the due date has been extended to 1/10/14. Blue Shield at 877-755-4923 related that due date remains 1/6/14. They’re available until 8pm Saturday and 8am-6pm M-F.

    • Kevin Knauss

      Thank you for your diligence in finding the number and sharing with others.

  • Joe

    as of two days ago, I was able to make my first Kaiser Permanente payment over the phone (even though I have nor received my first bill)…
    call 1-800-464-4000 and listen to the recorded options…select the one regarding coveredcalifornia bills and payments

    • Kevin Knauss

      Thank you for the update. Kaiser has been a bit of mystery through the process. I’m glad to hear folks are getting through to make payments.

    • adabob

      Same problem, they won’t change info just by calling (this is what happened to us), however when we emailed them they said they would change their wrong info on their part. However 3 months going on 4 and no mail from Kaiser

  • zelduh

    I am thinking that I should not have canceled my (lousy) Blue Shield insurance, effective Wednesday. I applied through Covered California on the morning of 23 December and, after waiting on hold for one hour and twenty-two minutes today, I was told there is no record of me in their system yet. They cannot generate a bill, issue an insurance card, or accept payment until it is received from Covered California.

    I feel nervous not having proof of coverage.

    • Kevin Knauss

      It is not uncommon for a delay between the data pushed from Covered California to the the carriers and ultimately the billing department at the health plan.

      I was on hold also for an hour with a carrier. There seems to be a process of verifying the application data and then loading it into the carriers billing software which can take several days depending on how many applications Covered California is sending to them.

      You may be “OK”, you’ll just have to try calling Dec 31 or 1/2.

  • Norm

    If yous elected Blue Shield of California and haven’t received an invoice yet, try going to It worked for me!

    • Kevin Knauss

      Thank you for the information.

    • some dude

      Thanks for the tip. It’s frickin April (almost) and they still haven’t gotten their crap together. I was just on the verge of calling Blue Shield for help (a dubious prospect) but then I saw this link in the article above and tried it out. They had my information and allowed me to pay! This seems to have saved me from having to wait another month for insurance coverage.

      • Kevin Knauss

        Dang, I was looking for that link. I forgot it was in the comment section, D’ho!

  • Guest1

    I was on an Anthem individual plan that was cancelled, so I signed up on coveredca and today I received an invoice for the full premium. When I log in to coveredca it says that my net monthly premium is much less, because I qualify for the tax credit / subsidy. Do you know why Anthem is asking me to pay the full premium and does not reflect the subsidy on my bill? I know that the 2015 tax return is when the credit will be applied according to my income, but I thought the govt was supposed to be sending some advanced payment so that I don’t have to pay the full premium up front. Thank you.

    • Guest1

      Also, the Anthem link above must have changed or it isn’t working for me. It directs me to a Get a Quote page.

      • Kevin Knauss

        You’re right. There is no real information about making a payment unless you are a member and can log into the system.

    • Kevin Knauss

      Right before you chose your health plan during the online enrollment, there was a section on how much of the tax credit you wanted to advance to the monthly premium. It may be possible that you selected 0%, in which case the credit will accrue and you would receive it all when you file your taxes.

  • Steve

    The problem with Anthem is not limited to Covered California. I have been a member of Anthem Blue Cross for over a decade and received a letter in October I would be enrolled automatically in a new ACA plan they had chosen if I didn’t choose another plan by December 15, 2013. I liked the plan they had chosen and have been waiting for them to send me my premium bill. I waited until December 23 to call and ask why I hadn’t received my billing. The rep told me they were very busy with all the new changes and to wait 5 business days to receive my billing. I was told my member number would stay the same and I could use my old card if I needed for now. I am not sure if I believe them but I have saved all the notices they have sent me including one dated December 9, 2013 that I have already been enrolled in their ACA required pediatric dental plan even though I don’t have children. I guess I will wait a few more days for the billing to show up until I start to panic over this delay. I have logged into Anthem Blue Cross and the only thing I see is my old plan.

    • Kevin Knauss

      Because Anthem is virtually nationwide, they have been struggling more than other carriers that might only serve a few counties or just Califorinia.

      I have seen similar delays on the agent side with new websites that don’t work, limited information and lots of confusion.

      I think the Anthem struggles are across all their business lines ( individual and group) as even established group plans were notified of late billing for January.

  • AdaBob

    Covered CA told me I was accepted and in about 30 days would hear from Kaiser. After about 45 days we called Kaiser and were told we got nothing in the mail because CC had given them the wrong address, however they would not change the address or tell us what address Kaiser had on file. We made a payment over the phone.

    We checked back with CC and found all our info was correct. Then we wrote an email to Kaiser informing them in writing again nothing was mailed to us. They did not care and said nothing needs to be mailed (what the hell?).
    But this time they said they updated out mailing address.

    2 months went by and nothing, so we called and this time told Kaisers billing system had been down for “THREE MONTHS” and that is why we never got anything. This sounds too insane but is what we were told.

    Still nothing, so what happens now? We get a huge bill 4 months later or never get insured? Why the problems with Covered CA and why is Kaiser so difficult to deal with and won’t send info to the correct address?

    • Kevin Knauss

      I’ve heard and experienced this exact problem with Kaiser. They are particularly difficult to get information from when it comes to billing.

      Kaiser and the other carriers are under the additional restriction that they change nothing on the account unless it comes from Covered California. This creates real challenges when it comes to making simple fixes because CC sent over the wrong information or the carrier entered it wrong.

      The communication between CC, the carriers and the public is really poor. No one can get a straight answer. CC is taking longer to send the data feeds over to the carriers as of this summer and that is delaying enrollments.

      I’ve had Kaiser and other carrier ps just cancel health plans because they never received payment, but they kept sending the invoice to the wrong address. After you make the first payment, you have a 90 day grace period to keep the plan in effect if you bring the account current, but you may be cancelled after 60 days.