Bill payment runaround? That’s new
December 5, 2011 10:13AM
Dear Fixer: I’ve had a Medicare supplement plan with BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois for several years. They have automatically deducted my insurance premiums monthly from my bank account with no problems. However, starting in May, the problems began.
The May premium was not deducted. Since I monitor my bank account daily, I knew I had more than sufficient funds to cover it.
I called BlueCross BlueShield, and they said their records showed that the May premium was deducted. I told them that was incorrect, and I checked with my bank to see if anything was pending (nothing was).
I continued to monitor my account and called many times because I was concerned that my coverage would be dropped because of nonpayment. The problems got worse when the June premium was deducted from my account, but their records showed it was not.
On several occasions, I asked to speak to a supervisor and was transferred to her voicemail; she did not return my calls. Once, when I did get through, she told me a technician was working on it, and they would get back to me.
I faxed them evidence that my June premium was paid, and later I sent a check for $296 to cover the still-missing May premium. I also sent a letter to several senior executives.
I am very concerned that if I have to go to a hospital or a doctor, they will call to confirm coverage, and it will show that I’m not covered. I hope you can help.
Abigail Rudoff, Wilmette
Dear Abigail: Isn’t it odd to get the runaround when you are trying to pay a bill? We can only wonder what would happen if they owed you money.
Happily, this did get fixed. We took your problem to Mary Ann Schultz at BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, and she was able to get someone to straighten out your account.
Schultz told The Fixer that BlueCross BlueShield has been converting its Medicare-supplement processing to a new system.
She said there were some data-transfer issues that caused delays in processing on some accounts, but they’ve fixed the major issues and are working on preventing additional problems.
She said your ability to get coverage would not have been affected by the glitch. All the same, we’re glad it’s now fixed.
P.S. You’re smart to check your bank-account balance daily. We wish everyone would.