Blue Cross Blue Shield Overcharged Me $400 This Month — And I’m Not Alone


525770546_df31c7d17d_bYesterday I logged into my online bank account and found that my checking account balance was about half what I expected. It turns out that instead of my $90 premium, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina had deducted $525. 

Completely freaking out, I called their helpline only to wait on hold for one hour and 40 minutes. “Mom, I don’t think they’re actually there,” my son opined after the hundredth time that the automated voice assured me I’d be speaking with a human shortly.

I was one of >>more than 137,000 people desperately seeking answers in the wake of what BCBSNC says is one of the worst system failures in the company’s history. The problem stemmed from a migration to a new billing system combined with delays interfacing with the Affordable Healthcare Act computer system.

But while waiting on hold for nearly two hours yesterday, I didn’t know any of that. All I knew was that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to buy groceries this month.

Once I got a representative on the phone, she told me that it was a known issue. She advised me to call my bank and contest the charges. She apologized profusely, and I did my best to be patient and avoid shooting the messenger.

I called my bank, who said I was one of many who’d called that day to dispute BCBS’s overcharges. In fact, I’m one of 3,200 North Carolinians who were charged far too much. Another 25,000 North Carolinians got placed into the wrong plans. Some customers were charged twice, and others found themselves without coverage.

I’m lucky I didn’t overdraft, but I am currently out about $400 I didn’t expect to spend. My bank says they will try to have the money back to me within 10 days. In the meantime, they cancelled my debit card, because of the so-called fraudulent charges. This means I get to spend another hour or two making sure everywhere I autopay with that card — my electric bill, my internet, my mortgage — has the new card number.

This is a ridiculous headache. Although I accept the cost of progress, I am frustrated that this is happening to my fellow North Carolinians. I’m lucky to have had a bit of cushion in my checking account, but I’m sure there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of customers who now are navigating the world of overdraft fees and are anxiously awaiting their refunds so they can pay their other bills.

Did BCBS overcharge you or put you on the wrong plan? Let us know in comments.

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  1. lauren

    This is happening to me right now. I just signed up for insurance and they charged me 3 times then told me my card never went through and I am not covered. Been on the phone with them for over a hour… currently still on the phone waiting. Did you finally get things cleared up? I am going to pick a different insurance company.

  2. Victoria

    I dont have quite the same issue. My bcbs has been sending me bills for up to 400 ish dollars for a plan I was told was canceled, when I became eligible for benefits through my employer the healthcare website let me know profusely that I would no longer be eligible for financial aid for health insurance so it was either take my company’s insurance or pay 200 Or more a month to keep bcbs (which had cut down significantly on the coverage I would recoeve) its been an entire flustrating headache.

  3. Pat

    My issue pertains to my father in law…he has been paying 646 for BCBS premiums for over a year…he received a letter informing him that his premiums were going to be increased to 949 at the begging of the year. .I knew there was something wrong when he first told me how much he was paying…he is 62 and disabled. .but only on his 1st year of disability so doesn’t quite qualif for Medicare just yet…we went and met with an insurance agent here in town and gave us a quote for a better plan and surprisingly thru the same BCBS company. .his premiums are 156 per month and we were informed that the plan he is on right now his premiums should only be $5/month. .how can we get what he has been overcharged back?..any ideas or advice? ..thank you for your time

  4. Jeff

    I was over billed $1,200 this month. They had sent me a letter stating they would be charging $1,200 more than usual. I called on February 23rd to discuss with them. The promised a call back within 24-72 hours…which never happened. Today, March 1, the incorrect payment was taken from my checking account. After an hour on the phone they now promise to process a refund within 30 days. How do the regulators let them get away with this?

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