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Provider updates

Bulk Supply Phone Update

Mar 1, 2023, 17:41 PM

Mobile phones and service plans may be requested via health-related services (or flex funds) for Columbia Pacific CCO, Jackson Care Connect, and Health Share of Oregon members. CareOregon purchases these phones and service plans through Project Access NOW (PANOW). PANOW recently notified CareOregon about a vendor change, and this document will help with commonly asked questions about a recent change made to the phone vendor used for bulk orders.

What is changing in 2023?

Our bulk supply phones will no longer be provided by Simple Mobile and will instead be provided by Verizon Wireless. The activation process is changing slightly. Verizon uses prepaid cards for additional minutes that can be requested through TrackVia.

Why are we changing phone vendors?

Verizon Wireless purchased the Simple Mobile and TracFone brands. For more information on the acquisition please click here:

verizon.com/about/news/verizon-completes-tracfone-wireless-inc-acquisition

What are the benefits of the change in phone vendors?

  • Brand new phones, rather than refurbished devices
  • Preloaded customer support numbers in Contacts, allowing quick access to troubleshoot phone issues

What do we do with the older phones we have on hand?

The Simple Mobile phones that have already been delivered or ordered will still be good to use. Members will not need to replace phones provided through Simple Mobile. The phones will continue to work with data plan cards through Verizon or other vendors.

If I ordered phones at the end of 2022 that haven’t yet arrived, will they be Simple Mobile or Verizon phones?

PANOW is sending out the remaining phones they have in stock from Simple Mobile, so some providers may receive Simple Mobile phones. However, due to the change in phone vendors, most providers that ordered Simple Mobile phones will likely receive one of the Verizon phones.

How can data be added to Simple Mobile phones that were already distributed?

Previously, there were two ways to load data to Simple Mobile phones:

  • An electronic PIN to load data
  • A physical data card

The use of an electronic PIN to load additional data has been discontinued in January 2023, but Verizon has assured us that the Simple Mobile phones will still work with physical data plan cards. Providers can order data cards through the bulk process. New phones will require the use of a data plan card after the initial plan expires.

What are the new phone options?

What is included with the new phones?

  • Verizon Wireless Prepaid devices with a 3-month service plan
  • Activation instructions flyer from PANOW

What is included with the service plan and phone?

  • 3-month service plan with unlimited talk/text and 15GB data*
  • No changes in coverage areas
  • Preloaded Verizon support services phone numbers so the member can call or text for help with network issues, texting, check balances, minutes used, and more
  • Preloaded Verizon app so the user can set up an account for the device

*Once 15GB have been used, the device will drop down to 2G speeds. It’s recommended that members use WiFi where possible to conserve data

Please note: The service for the devices will not begin until the device is activated. Once that occurs, the prepaid service plan bundle will start the first 30 days of service. PANOW will load 30 days of service at a time, so the member does not use all the data in one month. Each month the device plan will reload on the 25th day for the next month’s service. The member might receive a text message alerting them time will be running out close to the 30 days expiration. Members can ignore that message, as it is automated by Verizon. The plan is bundled in PANOW’s system and will reload automatically for the next month until the bundle has expired.

How are the Verizon phones activated?

Activation instructions should be included with the phone order; however, the instructions are as follows:

  • The service for each device will not begin until the device has been activated. Do not activate a device until it needs to be used, as the data plan starts upon activation.
  • Devices must be activated using a computer or smartphone
  • Before activation:
    • Remove the back of the phone to insert the battery, and then power on the device (Note: in some cases, the phone can be activated before the battery is inserted. If activation cannot be completed with the battery inserted, try activating the device without the battery)
    • To activate a device, go to activatenow.io/#/
    • Enter the SIM/IMEI number (located on the side of the box) and click submit
    • Select the checkbox for “I’m not a robot” and click next
  • Activation
    • Enter the ZIP code where the device will be activated
    • Enter a 4-digit PIN (member must write down the PIN, as we will not have access to recover it for them). This PIN will be used to create a Verizon account later
    • If the member already has a phone number they want to keep, click the “port the telephone number” box. Otherwise, continue to the next step
    • Click the Submit button
  • After Submission
    • If a “Success” notification is received:
      • The phone number will be listed on the confirmation page
      • Restart the phone and follow the set-up instructions on the device
      • Some phones will ask to set up a 4-digit PIN on the device at set up. This allows the member to unlock the device. The Member must write this down as we will not have access to reset.
      • The member can change the PIN at any time in the settings
    • If a “Pending” notification is received:
      • Be patient. Refresh the screen occasionally
      • If the member does not receive the “Success” notification within 30 minutes, they need to contact T-Cetra for help (see contact information below)
    • More answers to common questions may be found here: https://www.activatenow.io/#/faq

What if I have difficulty activating the phone or the phone is not working?

If a member is not able to activate the phone or find an answer on the FAQ, they need to contact T-Cetra via the contact information below for help.

  • Phone: 855-877-5415
    • Available Monday through Saturday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. (PST) and Sun 6 a.m.-6 p.m. (PST)
  • EmailCSROrders@tcetra.com
    • Available Monday through Friday 6 a.m.-2 p.m. (PST)
    • Include the IMEI/SIM number of the device, the ZIP code for the phone, and a description of the issue (images and/or screenshots may be helpful)
    • Right on the phone by texting Verizon support
  • Chat:
    • Using a desktop, visit activatenow.io/#/ and click the Chat button on the lower-right side of the screen. On a mobile or tablet, tap the main menu at the top of the screen and select Chat.
    • Available Monday through Saturday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. (PST) and Sun 6 a.m.-6 p.m. (PST)

Please note: CareOregon & PANOW are not able to troubleshoot activation issues. Members must contact T- Cetra for assistance.

How do I request additional months to be added to the service plan?

Service plans last three months. If the service plan needs to be extended for a single member, send an individual request. If you have multiple members to distribute to please use the bulk request form. After the service plan bundle has expired, the member can extend the plan in several ways:

  • Using the Verizon app already loaded on the device (set up is required)
  • Calling Verizon to make a payment, or
  • Make a payment online at verizon.com/prepaid/

Please note: Flexible services are intended to meet immediate social needs, stabilize crisis situations, and support a sustainable plan for ongoing needs. While providers have the option to request more minutes for a member, this program is not intended to be a long-term support plan. Providers should also work with member to get lifeline phone services if needed.

Can we provide prepaid phones to non-CareOregon members?

We may be able to provide a phone for a non-member under special circumstances. If a phone is needed for an individual not enrolled with CareOregon or its associated CCOs, please inquire with the CareOregon processing team on a case-by-case basis. CareOregon’s processing team will review the request and determine whether it may be approved.

Download this information as a PDF here.

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