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Largest Texas Health Insurer: Technical Glitch Is Causing Deductible Problem

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News has learned that the largest health insurer in Texas hasn’t been paying some of its bills. The problem has caused some people to take out loans and cash in investments, to pay for medical charges that are supposed to be covered.

As it stands, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is blaming the problem on a technical glitch.

From their single office in Rowlett, Wing Aero Products ships aviation parts to all 50 states. Company owner John Wing pays more than $5,000 a month for health insurance for his 15 employees. Suddenly this year, Wing said he and his workers stopped getting anything in return.

“We’re borrowing money wherever we can get it, and quite frankly I had to sell a life insurance policy for cash value to get the money to pay these bills,” he said frustrated. “It’s maddening! I haven’t seen anything like it.”

Walking with a limp, the result of back surgery, Wing explained that he quickly met his insurance deductible this year. Of course, Wing then expected Blue Cross Blue Shield to start covering his mounting doctor bills. That wasn’t the case.

“They were rejecting them, [claiming] you haven’t met your deductible,” Wing said explaining that he told them, “Sure I have. $5,000.”

Sources in the insurance industry told CBS 11 Wing Aero Products is just one of dozens of small North Texas businesses finding out that Blue Cross is having trouble keeping track of what members have paid.

Responding to our requests for information about the deductible issues Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas sent the following statement –

“We recently experienced some technical issues that may have impacted some of our members. These issues have now been resolved and we are working hard to update any impacted accounts.”

The company could not say how many members are being affected. When we visited John Wing a second time on Tuesday he was still waiting for a call from the insurance provider.

“I got four bills yesterday in the mail… from physicians,” Wing said.

Information about the deductible problem comes as state data confirms that Blue Cross Blue Shield complaints this year are more than double last year’s total.

A company spokesperson told CBS 11 that large numbers of new members, and new customer service issues have contributed to the problem. The company has also promised to take care of any affected members and their bills.

As far as the repeated requests John Wing is getting for payments he says, “I just pay ‘em with the hope it’s going to resolve itself.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield officials said it was originally believed the problem was only affecting new members who had signed up through the insurance exchanges for the Affordable Care Act. However, Wing told CBS 11 that he’s been a Blue Cross customer for 15 years and until now hadn’t experienced any problems.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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