Business

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

Posted January 12, 2016 6:35 p.m. EST

— 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.