Brad Wilson, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, learned well the ways of politics and business working for former Gov. Jim Hunt, and one of the lessons he took to heart clearly was acknowledging mistakes and fixing them, with no excuses.
And so, in response to some horrendous errors in what was a system failure, Wilson vowed a correction, and quickly. For thousands of customers, the system accidentally put in the wrong health plans and charged the wrong amount through bank drafts.
Most of the affected customers fall under the Affordable Care Act, with their policies through BCBS. The company has had problems with the ACA, including during its faulty initial roll-out. The company was granted a sizable rate increase because of an operating loss it blamed on the ACA.
The latest problems, which Wilson readily said were serious indeed, showed some customers stuck with bank drafts in excess of what they expected and others not covered as they were supposed to be.
Even now, when it has successfully insured millions of people and proved its worth in many ways, the ACA is a work in progress. That said, the ACA remains a viable and important alternative for millions of people who might not otherwise have insurance.
While customers are understandably upset, Wilson is due credit for facing the problems and forthrightly saying he intended to fix them within a week. That is a more candid response than many CEOs in other types of businesses would offer in such a crisis.