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BlueCross Apologizes For Overdrawing Customer Bank Accounts, Other Problems

BlueCross BlueShield is apologizing to customers frustrated by bank account overdrafts and long waits on the phone last week. The problems affected a small percentage of customers in the individual market.

The individual market consists of people who buy insurance directly from an insurance company or on the Obamacare exchanges. BlueCross BlueShield caused about 3,200 of those customers to overdraw their bank accounts.

That’s less than 1 percent of the company’s customers in the individual market. BlueCross is refunding them and covering their overdraft fees. It’s also airing an apology statewide from CEO Brad Wilson.

"These difficulties are unacceptable, and we apologize," Wilson says. "To improve this situation, we’re working around the clock, bringing in more staff and expanding customer service hours."

That’s the other thing: the company built up a massive customer service backlog. BlueCross is receiving four to five times the call volume it did the year before.

The company is not sure yet if that will correspond to a big increase in signups. The calls could be mostly about problems.