Blue Cross extends payment deadline to Jan. 30

CHICAGO (AP) — People who signed up recently for health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois now have until Jan. 30 to pay their first month's premium and still get coverage for all of January.

Company spokesman Greg Thompson says customers must pay their first month's premium before coverage for medical benefits begins. But claims for services received between Jan. 1 and when the first payment is received will be processed retroactively.

Blue Cross has the most customers in the state's individual market.

Thompson says the company is extending the payment deadline to give customers extra time to plan their household budgets.

The extension applies to people who bought a Blue Cross plan either on the new insurance marketplace or directly from the insurance company.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.