New mom fights through Blue Cross problems to get coverage for son

Posted January 12, 2016

— Carrie Pitts is splitting her time between enjoying her 5-week-old son, Archer, and fighting to get insurance coverage for him.

Pitts is among thousands of people statewide affected by a breakdown within Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

The state's largest health insurer has had 25,000 customers who were either enrolled in plans they never signed up for or had the wrong amount of money drafted from their bank accounts.

Others haven’t yet received identification cards to prove to providers that they have health coverage, and most can’t get through to customer service, which has been swamped with more than 60,000 calls a day.

"One time, I was on hold for two hours. I fed (Archer) twice during the phone call," Pitts said Tuesday, noting she's trying to ensure all of the baby's upcoming pediatrician appointments and other services are covered.

"I felt like I was just on the phone for a month," she said. "I mean, it was days of calling, hours of waiting."

Blue Cross Chief Executive Brad Wilson launched a statewide radio campaign on Monday to take responsibility for the debacle and promise to make it right.

Company spokesman Ryan Vulcan said staff has been added and hours extended at customer service call centers to reduce the backlog of calls. People who still have trouble getting through can reach out to the insurer on social media or go in person to a Blue Cross retail location, which are listed on the company website.

Also, he said, most of the overdrafts have been corrected, and customers should see that reflected in their accounts in the next few days.

Most customers should receive their ID cards in the mail this week, Vulcan said, adding that people should seek any needed medical treatment even if they don't have an ID card. Blue Cross will cover its portion of the costs when the claim is filed, he said.


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  • Holly Atkins Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    And BCBSNC wonders WHY state employees want to see their medical coverage go out for bid like it LEGALLY should. Be curious to know when the current contract expires since the website only indicates the renewal in 2012 with no expiration date listed. BUT it does say it is an open contract so other companies should be bidding next go around!

  • Sam Adams Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    BCBS should be ashamed of themselves. This is completely unacceptable. My wife has been calling for over two weeks now and has yet to speak to anyone other than a switchboard operator. Thankfully, the website is back up and appears to be working, but what she needs to do cannot be completed online. Upper Management at BCBS should be fired for terrible planning. It does not take a genius to know that call volume would significantly increase due to open enrollment. My 5 yo can understand that simple concept, but apparently the CEO there cannot.

  • Kristin Byrne Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    When the website crashes every time you log on, it's kind of hard to print an ID card. I don't have BCBS, thank goodness, but I've heard from a lot of people who do that its been a nightmare the past month or so.

  • Greg Couch Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The Blue Cross website was also down for an extended period (off and on for weeks)...and even when you could log in, many people discovered their policies were not showing up or were wrong.

  • Jacob Smith Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    It is sort of "odd" that people could not print their ID card from the web - heck I can do that for about everything for the last few years.