@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Glitch leaves thousands of state workers, retirees scrambling for insurance

Posted August 11, 2015

— Thousands of new state employees, public school teachers and retirees have been turned away from doctor's appointments and denied prescription refills in recent weeks because of a computer problem in the State Health Plan.

Schorr Johnson, a spokesman for the State Treasurer's Office, which oversees the health plan for more than 680,000 teachers, state employees, retirees and their dependents, said Tuesday that the glitch occurred when the state shifted to Aon Hewitt in June to handle enrollment services and eligibility.

"There have been issues in transmitting eligibility and enrollment files to the Plan’s other vendor partners," Johnson said in an email to WRAL News.

The gap leaves Kim Halden and others on the health plan with coverage listed as "inactive," even though it's not, he said. The issue affects people who have recently joined the plan, retired or made a change in their coverage.

Halden, who retired after 41 years of teaching, scrambled for more than a week to obtain insulin for her diabetes and to see a doctor about a broken toe. Her issue was finally resolved Monday after calls to the State Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which handles claims under the plan, and several lawmakers.

"I feel for all the teachers who think they have coverage, and they're going to find out they don't," she said. "It won't just affect them. It will affect members of their family."

Ron Still, whose wife retired as a teacher this summer, said he got the runaround when he tried to figure out what was going on.

"I started asking questions, and when they weren't being answered, I started getting angry," Still said. "I don't know who to blame."

Aon Hewitt spokeswoman MacKenzie Lucas called the problem "an isolated issue impacting a small number of individuals" and said the company is working to resolve it.

Johnson said his office is trying to set up a separate line solely for people whose coverage has been affected by the computer glitch, but he couldn't say when that would be operated or when the underlying problem would be fixed. In the meantime, he suggested that State Health Plan members call customer service toll-free at 855-859-0966 if they encounter any difficulties or have questions about their coverage.

8 Comments

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  • Carl Keehn Aug 13, 2015
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    It has nothing to do with our President or the Affordable Care Act. it does have to do with a failure in the state to ensure that new employees, ones who have paid for their health coverage; to be told that they have none or that it is inactive. The State of North Carolina has entered into a contract with the employee and they are failing to uphold their end of the agreement.

  • Dan May Aug 12, 2015
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    So if I amended my statement to ACA instead would that be OK? I mean your hero is the one that attached his name and reputation to the mess called ACA.

  • Steve Faulkner Aug 12, 2015
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    Who is going to getting criminally charged for "obtaining property by false pretense"?

  • Jay Tanenbaum Aug 12, 2015
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    I was waiting for someone to bring up Obama. You win Dan, you were the first one. It's okay, not everything that goes wrong is your President's fault. Nor do you have to mention him every time some thing does work out.

  • Dan May Aug 12, 2015
    user avatar

    Can't they just go onto the Obamacare website and get better coverage? Let them "enjoy" the benefits of this scam like the taxpayers who pay their salaries are asked to do...

  • Don Dickerson Aug 12, 2015
    user avatar

    Awwwww, another insurance booboo? Who cares? Not the insurance companies, who are still laughing all the way to the bank; nor the government fobs who kept this mess of a system on life-support for another generation to fleece evermore Americans. When's that revolution again?

  • Michi Gauss Aug 12, 2015
    user avatar

    Only affects BCBSNC, a company of dolts who spend million$ on things like making web pages pretty when all anyone cares about are getting good insurance at a good price. Then they whine their costs are too high and they have to raise rates over 30 percent.

  • Julia Windsor Aug 11, 2015
    user avatar

    Is this glitch just related to BCBSNC, or does it affect all 3 insurance companies that State retirees use? My mother opted for Humana several years ago and doesn't use BCBSNC.