Blue Cross / Blue Shield Complaint - BCBSM Shady practices
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- My husband signed up for BCBSM insurance in March 2009. We enrolled in Auto-Pay so we would have one less bill to worry about keeping track of each month (we used an account that we only keep money for bills in, so there is rarely more than $10-$20 more than our bills in this account). Since then BCBSM has decided to take money whenever they feel like it, however much they feel like taking and if it causes you to either overdraft or if you don't have as much as they want they won't pay the NSF fees.
This started in July. Our usual date is the 9th of the month for them to take their $81.38 premium out. This month they took it on the 9th, then again on the 30th. My mother had passed away on the 14th so we were helping my dad out with funeral costs and didn't have the extra money to spare (not to mention they tried to take $162.76 out, which is 2 months of premiums). It caused an NSF, which our bank charged us $25 for. When I called to ask why this charge was made I was told it was an error and the money would be refunded, pending me faxing a copy of the NSF detail from the bank. No problem I faxed it over. In the meantime, they tried to take it out AGAIN on the 3rd of August, which caused another payment to bounce, which we had enough to cover prior to them trying to take their money (2 more NSF fees). I called again, was told the same thing and that I should expect to be reimbursed for all 3 NSF fees.
August and September's payments came out on the correct date, but still no word regarding our reimbursement from July/August. Come October they tried to take $245.14 out on the 7th. (not our due date, not the correct amount) I called and asked what was going on. I was told the other case is still "pending" and that they had recently increased their premiums, thus the new amount. I get a copy of our bill each month, it showed that the new premium was $82.40. There is no way it was this amount (no matter how many ways you figure it). The attempted withdrawal cost us another $25, plus they tried to do it again on the 8th and the 9th, costing us $50 more for them and $50 for other payments being NSF. The woman denied any wrongdoing on their part and said my husband needed to call, since he is the account holder. My husband calls, they tell him it will be taken care of. My husband also advised them to un-enroll us in auto-pay as they can't seem to keep their record straight. He is told it will be done, not to worry and our open cases that are "pending" will be resolved shortly and we should expect a refund any day.
November 2 BCBSM cashed our check for our premium. November 4 they take $180.16 out of our account. That money was there to pay 3 other bills, which consequently bounced over the next 2 days, costing us $75 more. I called BCBSM and was told that they didn't take that money, they needed to talk to my husband and wouldn't discuss it with me, except to tell me "their accounting department decided that we wouldn't be reimbursed for July, August and October" (which the total for those month's NSF fees are $200) My husband calls them on his lunch break to cancel, to figure out what they are thinking denying any wrongdoing and why they tried to take money AFTER they cashed our premium check and AFTER he had un-enrolled the month before in auto-pay. He is told he has to write a letter to appeal the decision to deny those cases and that he has to fax a letter canceling his coverage. They said they didn't have a record of him canceling auto-pay and that the money they took was to cover "past premiums that were unpaid". He told them that they took them out automatically, the bill showed what we owed (which had already been paid by check)and that they needed to un-enroll him NOW. He faxed the letter to cancel coverage and also included them to cancel auto-pay (just in case). We thought it was taken care of. Until yesterday. They tried to take another month's premium out of the account. I called to ask why, was on hold for an hour. Hung up, called again. After being on hold for 20 minutes was told to have husband call. He used his entire lunch hour waiting on hold. Called back last night and was told they would review it and call back. They never called. So, today, he used his lunch hour again to be told that they would review the case and have a supervisor call back.
I advise anyone who is looking at BCBSM for insurance to run the other way. It has cost us $480.16 extra in NSF charges and unauthorized withdrawals to have him insured, with no refunds on the money in sight.