Robert Wood: BCBS’s check-up

January 8, 2014 

Your Jan. 4 business article “Blue Cross plans to extend call center hours” listed some of the reasons Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C. is extending call center hours. Many new enrollees must be calling to find out whether they are insured.

After enrolling through healthcare.gov and sending my premium payment to BCBSNC ahead of the original Dec. 24 deadline, I still have no insurance ID or subscriber number. I was told by a BCBSNC representative that I wouldn’t receive these until my check cleared. He said that in the meantime I could pay out of pocket for any health care I might need and ask for reimbursement later.

Evidently BCBS has calculated that its risk of getting stuck with a bad check outweighs its subscribers’ risk of not having demonstrable coverage in the opening weeks of 2014.

If anyone signed up with BCBS for a policy to start Jan. 1, they may want to delay getting sick or filling a prescription until an insurance card arrives in the mail.

Robert Wood, Cary

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