Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

WebMD News from Kaiser Health News

Getting Health Insurance: It's a Marathon

By Anna Gorman

Mon, Dec 16 2013

Every day for weeks, Kathleen Bayly checked the mailbox at her Pleasanton, Calif., home for the bill from her new insurance company.

But Bayly, 61, who signed up in November for health coverage through California's insurance marketplace, didn’t receive anything from Anthem Blue Cross.

With her insurance set to expire on New Year's Eve, she became increasingly anxious. She cut short a vacation to make sure she didn’t miss the packet. She repeatedly called both Covered California, the marketplace, and Anthem Blue Cross. She wrote letters to local politicians.

On Dec. 13, nearly a month after enrolling, Bayly finally reached someone at Anthem who gave her a way to pay online. "It certainly hasn't been easy," she said.

For all the attention paid to the troubles at the front end of the enrollment process in the nation’s new insurance marketplaces, the back end can be just as fraught. The path to receiving an insurance card, the key to receiving non-emergency medical care, can be tortuous.

Once someone signs up, the insurance exchange still has to give the information to the insurer, which must send a confirmation packet and, even more important, a bill.

Insurers and others are concerned that even highly motivated consumers will run out of time to seal the deal. Many consumers don't know they have to pay their first month's premium to be covered. And with the back-and-forth mail required, the paperwork can be easily overlooked in a pile of packages and holiday cards.

Enrollment glitches also may keep insurers from getting the applicant’s information, including a Social Security number and contact information. And some people, though they applied for coverage and have time to pay the premium, may not have the money.

"There are so many twists and turns before this [system] is humming," said Micah Weinberg, a senior policy advisor at the Bay Area Council, an employer-backed public policy organization.

Among the biggest issues, he said, is, "Will the money get where it needs to get by the deadline?"

Latest Health Reform News

Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices