California health insurance    Individual California heatlh insurance    How long to process Individual health application

How Long Does It Take To Get a Decision Back For Individual Health?

Cobra health insurance in California The average time to process a health application is 10-14 business days (detail below)
Cobra in California The online application cuts the time in half (more detail below)
California Cobra coverage
The earliest possible effective date is usually 15 days following app submittal (below)
Cobra insurance in California Phone interviews are now common while record requests are less so

A common question we receive often is pretty straight long does it take to hear back from the carrier on our application?  In fact, it might be the most common question since people are usually not well versed with all the inner workings of health insurance.  So let's get some answers!

Starting the Application Process and Payment

The process officially kicks off when the online California health insurance application is submitted or the hard copy has been received in underwriting and payment information is included for the first month's premium.  This last point is important as the carriers have tightened up their requirements.  It used to be that we could submit the application and forward payment after the fact.  That's no longer the case.  Going back to it's roots, California health insurance now requires payment up front.  If you use credit care or auto-deduction, this is a pretty seamless addition and it can all be handled via the online health application...nothing else is required.  If you want to submit a check however, it can slow the process down since they won't start the process until the check is received in house. This definitely adds about a 1 week to the process.  Keep in mind that by law, you have a 10 day free look window from when the carrier notifies you of their decision to cancel the policy for a full refund...for any reason.  Let's assume we have completed health application and payment info in house.  Now how long?

Typical time periods for health application review

With the big carriers, they usually call for a phone interview about 3-5 business days after the application is submitted/received (described above).  The phone interview with a nurse practioner generally runs between 15-30 minutes depending on how involved a person's health history/status is.  Once that has been completed for all family members, we usually get a decision in 3-5 business days.  All told, for the bulk of our applications, we're looking at about 2 weeks to process and get a decision.  This times nicely with the current rule on effective dates which has to be 15 days following application receipt at the earliest.  So this is our baseline timetable for processing an individual family health insurance application in California.  Can it go further than that?  Yes but rarely.

Possible delays in the health enrollment process

In certain situations (usually more involved or serious health issues), the carrier may request medical records from a doctor.  This can definitely slow the process since doctors typically require a copying fee up front (which the carrier pays in most cases) and then has to schedule the copying of the records to send to the carrier.  You're probably adding another 1 to 2 weeks to the process if this  happens. 

We have priority processing with the bigger carriers in California due to our volume which is free to you when you apply through our site.  You can also get updates directly from us and we check for changes in status daily for in-house applications.   If you have any other questions please let us know.

Popular Related Pages:

Common issues with the online application
15 day rule for effective dates
10 Day Free Look Window for Full Refund
Access California health application both online and downloadable






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