Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monthly billing: Is this something? [UPDATED]

Got email today from Anthem (Blue Cross/Shield) announcing that they're doing away with billing modes other than monthly:

"All Individual under 65 members who currently pay their premiums on other than a monthly basis (quarterly, semi-annually or annually where available) will be changed to monthly billing"

There's never been a really good reason for choosing other options, anyway (other than, perhaps, convenience) because - unlike most other forms of life and health insurance - there were no premium discounts for paying ahead.

Still, it's interesting, so I've reached out to our Anthem field rep to see if she can shed some light on the subject. I'll update as appropriate. And if you have any thoughts on why they're going this route, we'd love to discuss them in the comments.

UPDATE [1/11/13]: Well, that was fast. Our intrepid field rep got back to me this morning. In her email, she explained that:

"Of course it all has to do with [the ObamaTax]. We will only offer monthly billing in 2014 and by changing our billing mode now, it will remove one additional change that members will have to experience at that time. Additionally, there will be new systems and having to move “pre-paid” money from current system to new system next year could create billing problems and money not being credited.  In a nutshell that sums it up."

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