Local News

Blue Cross Blue Shield customers experiencing enrollment issues

Posted January 7, 2016

— North Carolina’s largest insurance company is currently having trouble serving all of its customers.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is experiencing an above-normal call volume, since it’s both the beginning of the year, and open enrollment doesn’t expire for another three weeks.

Customers have voiced frustration about billing problems, the company’s website and long wait times on the phone.

Joel McNeil said he’s been having trouble renewing his plan online, the polar opposite of the first time he signed up last year.

“They are trying to give me the plan that I had last year,” McNeill said. “Well, in November they informed me that it was going to be over $400 a month before subsides for the plan. I was like, ‘That’s not going to work for me.’”

McNeill said he’s been placed on hold for at least 10 hours each day he’s attempted to register for a new plan.

A Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesman told WRAL News that the company is trying to resolve its customer service issues.

“We would like to apologize to all who have experience extended wait times when calling in to customer service … We’re sorry for this frustrating situation,” the company said on its official Facebook page.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is also increasing customer service house to include weekends.

“At this point, all I want is to have the right insurance plan on file and the right billing information, because I can’t afford the premium they want me to pay right now,” McNeill said.


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  • Cindy Buffaloe Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    I call the original number back at 1:06 pm. They are closed now. By the way, my husband has been without his heart medication since last week. I have got nothing but the run around from BCBS, I have never seen a multi-million dollar company handled in such a manner with such incompetent individuals. This is the first time that I have ever posted on this site, but I think something should be done about this level of incompetence, when we are talking about people's money and lives.

  • Cindy Buffaloe Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    Do not be fooled by all of the radio ads and apologies from BCBS. They are no better than they were before the story aired. I payed for insurance for the month of January and we have not been able to use it at all, my husband went to the pharmacy last week and was told that it was not active. I called BCBS and was told that they would take care of it and call me back, as of today I have received no call. Tomorrow, we are suppose to start with our correct plan, I made the payment for the month of February on the 20th. When I talked with them last week about the other problem, I was told that my January plan had been cancelled and the money had been applied to my February plan (I have yet to receive cards yet). Bottom line, I have tried to talk with someone for two days, holding for hours, this morning I have been given 3 different numbers to call at 1:00 to take care of things all of which tell me that they do not open until tomorrow at 8 am. So, what do I do?

  • peppercorns Jan 21, 2016

    They said this would be solved by the end of last week.... they lied...lol BC/BS now wants me to pay my next month premium when they have not even sent me a card or entered any information about my hospital ER visit from over a week ago. Can someone make them get on the ball! Plus they got rid of the wonderful plan I had last year and the only choices I have been given this year are blue local and blue value.....both of which stink! I can no longer see a doctor I have been a patient with for over 12 years and I can not use my pharmacy where everyone know my meds and myself. What is this junk??? THis is not what was supposed to happen. I worked hard all my life and now I get shafted because I am disabled and need constant monitoring. Meanwhile your CEO takes vacations and buys foods I can only dream of.
    PLease fix this mess. Thank you.

  • Greg Couch Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    Here wral...just read the comments on the linked post...this goes far beyond long hold times!!


  • Maurice Pentico Jr. Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    A buddy of mine was told last month his BCBS policy was no longer available, so he switched. This week, BCBS took out monthly premiums for both his old policy, and his new policy resulting in a serious overdraft of his bank account. To further this mess, he waited hours to speak to someone... and found out although BCBS took out two separate premiums from his bank... he and his family were NOT even enrolled! They had NO INSURANCE AT ALL!

  • Greg Couch Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    Poor reporting. 15 minutes on social media will tell you that this problem runs considerably deeper than just "extended wait times". The website has been having issues for over a month (mostly t not working at all!), customers have not received insurance cards, bills, etc... Some are reporting having their bank accounts drafted for policies that no longer exist, or being told they do not have insurance at all, even though they have paid...in a nutshell, Blue Cross is an absolute mess at the moment. If had to guess, I would say they decided to try and upgrade / move their database during open enrollment, and it went horribly wrong...

    Blue Cross - as others have asked, why not issue a statement explaining the issue, so that your customers and health care providers fully understand what is going on? Your service reps are doing the best they can, but seem to be getting and giving conflicting information. You management and leadership has utterly failed.

  • Jackson Smith Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    I waited 3.5 hours on the phone only to be given wrong info. That was the first time. Was told on the second call at 2:30 in the afternoon that they were closed for a company function. Brilliant !!!!!!! Was told I could get a call back when they were open. Your really can't make this up. You are having problems so you shut your phones off. Why have no insurance cards been sent out for those who signed up last year? They complain about everything but do not seem to be able to care for their enrollees. People have illnesses in January too BCBS. You will probably simply blame a consultant but who hired them. YOU!!!

  • Pam Porter Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    I've also had issues with my plan - trying to call doesn't really help. What I did (and I recommend this to anyone who is local and able to do it) - go to their office in Durham (1965 Ivy Creek Blvd). I went and waited 5 minutes before someone was able to talk with me. Much better than the 2+ hours I've waited on hold previously. When I did speak with someone at the office in Durham they had a call log for every time I did actually talk with someone so issues are documented - assuming you actually get to speak with someone.

  • John Smith Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    Same here. My wife sits on hold everyday with the phone on speaker hoping someone will pick up (since last week). Thankfully, her job allows her the privilege of being able to do that.
    $600 a month for BCBS for her policy times however many people... BCBS should be able to hire better (more) support staff. Too bad the alternatives stink.

  • Sam Adams Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    That headline certainly is an understatement. My wife has been trying to get a hold of them since last Thursday and has yet to be able to speak to anyone other than a switchboard operator. On numerous occasions she has been hung up on after being on hold for several hours. BCBS should be ashamed.