Disgruntled with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California

So on Saturday, I received a letter from Blue Shield of California, terminating my coverage for “non-payment of dues/premiums.” I was wondering what the hell they were talking about–I paid $900 on Oct. 29th for the month of November, which was partly making up for October’s payment since we added a baby to our plan,  and $585 for the month of December. I had just spoken at length with a Blue Shield of California representative on Thursday about some claims and another issue I had with Blue Shield (they weren’t applying any of my son’s pediatrician visits to our annual deductible because they were claiming he wasn’t “covered” in October and I wanted to know why I paid the additional premium for him in November if he wasn’t “covered”). This representative had said nothing about my coverage being terminated. So what was going on?

I called today and after literally 30 minutes on the phone, the representative was finally able to figure out that I owed an additional $10.96 cents on my November dues.

So Blue Shield of California TERMINATED my plan because of a measly $10.96.

Unbelievable. And totally, completely absurd. Come on, Blue Shield of California. REALLY? You really would terminate somebody’s health coverage because, in the confusion of adding a baby to my plan, I wasn’t exactly sure how much I owed and I accidentally failed to pay ten dollars and ninety-six cents? Have you no SHAME?

Yes, I paid the eleven bucks over the phone and the representative reinstated me and my family. I did it but resentfully. I often feel like we would be better off putting that money in a savings account rather than forking it over to health insurance company for a plan that covers nothing until we’ve paid $3500/per person or $7000 for a family annually. If you add up our monthly premium and the annual deductible, we basically must pay $14,000 before health insurance makes a difference. That’s a lot of money every year. Of course, it’s not a lot of money if you have cancer or some other catastrophic illness and your bills suddenly total hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that’s why I sucked it up and paid the $10.96 instead of demanding my November $900 and my December $585 payments back and saying, “See you later.”

The truth is, any other health insurance company is no different. And the other truth is, my parents, self-employed, also deal with private health insurance and they’ve been around the block with just about every insurance company you can possibly name. They’ve said Blue Shield has treated them better than most.

Okay. Fine. But Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California’s complaints department is still going to hear from me.

Comments 2

  1. Amanda M.

    Jess, you might consider mailing a copy of your letter to the government, too, so they know what is going on – meaning the part of the government that has just started dealing with healthcare. I don’t know if it would make much difference or not, but then at least someone would know outside of you and Blue Shield (and your blog readers, of course). Sucky story, but I’m glad they reinstated your care and didn’t give you crap on that or say you were un-reinstatable.

  2. J.L. Powers

    Good idea, Amanda!

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