Complaints increase as Blue Cross Blue Shield adds new customers

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Credit: WFAA

Complaints increase as Blue Cross Blue Shield adds new customers

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 15 at 10:06 PM

DALLAS — Crow Bar Constructors builds some of Dallas' mega-mansions for professional athletes, among others. But the high-end health insurance they bought from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has been anything but.

"Everything that could go wrong with an insurance policy? It happened to us,” said office manager Catherine Hovey.

She has the paperwork to prove it.

"It's extremely frustrating,” Hovey said. “It's time consuming. I feel like I'm spending all of my time correcting their mistakes."

Problems have piled up.

Monthly premiums are never the same. Blue Cross mistakenly issued the company two group numbers, and some covered procedures came back denied.

"And when I ask them, 'When are you going to get my claims corrected?' — and I've documented every person I've talked to with a reference number — they've told me, 'We can't tell you that,'" the frustrated office manager said.

Complaints against Blue Cross Blue Shield have more than tripled, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

For 2012, the state reports 162 confirmed complaints. But from January 1 through July 11, 2014, TDI lists 553 complaints.

It's tough to pinpoint the problem, but Blue Cross offered perspective and said it added 700,000 new customers with the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the number of calls it’s now taking has quadrupled.

"We experienced a technical issue earlier this year that impacted Crow Bar Constructors,” the insurer told News 8 in a written statement. “Corrected membership ID cards were provided in early May and we're working with the company to resolve any co-pay expenses incurred by its employees. As always, we are committed to addressing member questions or concerns about their account status as quickly as possible."

But there's no timetable, and that's what frustrates Hovey about the state's largest insurer as it apparently undergoes growing pains.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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