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Horizon extends premium payment deadline to help customers stressed out by ACA


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As part of its efforts to help members cope with the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is extending the premium payment deadline for those whose individual coverage was set to begin on Jan. 1.

The deadline, originally scheduled for Friday, is now set for Jan. 17.

"The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been a challenge for consumers, and with this extension of time to make their first month's premium payment, we are trying to reduce stress on our members," Christopher M. Lepre, senior vice president of market business units for Horizon BCBSNJ, said in a statement.

Horizon said that 56 percent of its enrollment from the federal health insurance marketplace took place from Dec. 15 to 24, leading to an increased call volume in recent weeks. On Jan. 6, Horizon experienced the largest ever one-day call volume, and the insurer's website is alerting customers to expect extended hold times when calling Horizon's customer service line.

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