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This is a widely accepted supplement in the area I live. I can use the best hospital for surgery and cancer radiation treatment. I can also use their local clinic that accepts very few supplemental insurances. The customer service has helped me with out-of-town providers having problems getting paid.
It got too expensive, so I switched plans to United Healthcare. Blue Shield did pay the bills in a timely manner. None of the supplemental policies are inexpensive, though. I have only had the new policy for less than a month.
I am 69 years old and have had insurance my entire life. When I became eligible for Medicare having a supplemental policy was a given. In the last four years of coverage, my out of pocket expenses for medical care have been zero. My single largest expense is the gap in medication purchases, which is covered somewhat by SilverScript. Most people don't realize that Medicare monthly payments from my SS is expensive, this added to my supplemental policy and RX policy is a burden.
Blue Shield of California has got to be the worst insurance company I have ever encountered. I am new to Blue Shield this year and I have had nothing but problems. It all started with billing issues where I was being billed for visiting an "Out-of-Network" doctor, even though the doctor I I am seeing is "In-Network". I called Blue Shield and waited an excessive amount of time before getting to speak to an agent. Finally, they corrected the problem but it took me two months to get my money back from the provider. I have also had nothing but problems trying to get my necessary medication, because the drug is expensive and Blue Shield doesn't want to cover it.
I am a cancer survivor and have many medical issues resulting from my treatment, the most severe of which is Peripheral Neuropathy of the legs. The drug I take is expensive but I have tried everything else and it's the only one that works! After much effort, they finally approved the drug but imposed a $75 co-pay! What the heck.... Never seen that before but I need the drug and will pay whatever I have to. Fortunately I was able to get a manufacturer's coupon that brought the co-pay down to $4. Thank goodness! Now I'm trying to refill that prescription but, apparently, a generic version of the drug has recently been released and I must now use the generic drug. Problem is, my pharmacy doesn't have it.
I called around to a couple pharmacies in my area and they didn't have it either. AND even if they did, the coupon was for the name brand drug, so I will now be paying the full $75 for an inferior drug, when previously I was able to get the name brand for $4. And, after spending an hour an hour on the phone with customer service, they finally got a pharmacy to fill the prescription... for $75! Ridiculous! Way to go Blue Shield. You exemplify what is wrong with both our healthcare system and our prescription drug system. Capitalism at its finest! You are basically telling patients that profit is more important than providing quality healthcare. I will be switching insurance at open enrollment! You are unworthy of my business!
So, the only time I write reviews, positive or negative is when an organization excels in being truly amazing, or is shockingly inept. Words cannot describe the unethical behavior displayed by Blue Cross of CA, and if you have a choice of health insurers, do not pick this company. I get my health insurance through my wife's work, so changing insurers is not an option for us.
About a month ago my doctor ordered an MRI for me. After the appointment was made and a week or so went by I contacted Blue Cross to make sure the procedure was authorized, and I was told they had never received any information from my doctor for it. Confused, I contacted my doctor to check and they confirmed they had sent it and would again. A few days later I called back and a different representative again told me they never received the doctor's order. While on the phone with the representative, they called my doctor and had it resubmitted for a third time! The representative confirmed with me he had it!
Another week goes by and I gave them another call to confirm as I hadn't yet heard from them that the procedure was authorized, but guess what... they said they had no information about it! So now I go to a supervisor, who instead of doing anything spent the entire conversation speaking over me, explaining their internal policies of authorizing procedures and the nuance difference of procedure codes, not letting me speak until I became so frustrated I hung up. I now have the order from my doctor in my hand, along with my doctor's call log of exactly who they spoke to at Blue Cross, when and who the doctors order was submitted to. Proof! After two days now of speaking with Blue Cross supervisors, they are continuing to feign ignorance and saying they've never received anything.
So, what's apparent here is that the standard unethical practice at Blue Cross is to avoid paying claims by avoiding authorizing procedures. Their representatives and supervisors are trained to just say they never received any information. So, I have a procedure I must have for a life threatening condition, and Blue Cross's attitude is "well, we already have your money, so..." What does one do here? I can file a grievance with the Department of Managed Healthcare and write reviews on the internet, hoping some HR rep looks at these things and cares (probably not), but really, what does one do?
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Since April 2019 my husband and his pain management MD have been trying to have his spinal ablation approved. We live in Ohio. They even told us it's because our MD isn't from California. Due to opioid crisis they are cutting back on pain meds, yet alternative options don't get approved. Just get the runaround. BCBS of California shame on you. No wonder people are overdosing on street drugs. Insurance companies need to care about people more than money.
Getting medical records and the digital records act is a joke. All they do is sell data and patients are on their on to get their own medical records when they need them. There is no consolidation of records at all. Hills Physician is one example. They ate a contractor of BlueShield.
Blue Cross is threatening to drop us as a provider based on a patient’s fraudulent accusation. They gave the patient inaccurate information and she has run amok with it. They keep asking me for corrected claims which I have submitted 27 times. Every time they call on the patient's behalf they can’t even pull up claims that I have submitted both electronically and mailed in. I worked an hour and a half with a Blue Cross representative to change this person's diagnosis to suit her, not the doctor or the provider who evaluated her. The patient herself is being permitted to choose her out diagnosis.
A person in grievances named Michelle called us yesterday and told us that they were dropping us as a provider based solely on the patient's grievance which keeps changing every time something gets changed. Michelle states that she has no record of that and has no access to those records. Boom, we are non-compliant in a grievance that the patient refuses to drop. She calls Blue Cross 20 times a day. She has called our office over 50 times, sent threatening letters and routinely sits in our parking lot just watching the office.
Blue Cross never even commented or reacted to our complaints of being harassed. Blue Cross is a very low end payer who puts the patient in the controlling seat as far as billing and medical records are concerned. That might be okay if the person is balanced and mentally stable. But we need protection and accountability from this insurance company when they goof and give the patient inaccurate and unauthorized information and they are allowed to run with it. I just want to say "Thank you Blue Cross for dumping a provider of 13 years based on a fraudulent and ever changing complaint."
I have to assume because I am a cynic that my issue is not unique to BS of CA. Health insurance is already practically unaffordable for most people and these insurance companies, like BS are doubling down ripping off consumers with their high deductible, convoluted, overly complicated plans. I know BS doesn't care about me writing this review... they haven't seemed to make any changes after 570 1-star Yelp reviews either. They just send out an auto-comm:
"We apologize for your experience and would like to have a Specialist reach out to address your concerns. Please email your info to email@example.com and a member of our team will be in touch. Sincerely, The Blue Shield Web Inquiry Team". Thanks but no thanks for the pretend to follow through and concern... But me telling you that BS is ** makes me feel better.
Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do at this point in time to fix my situation, but I hope this helps guide others away from BS. And, if you're stuck with them, please be advised they do not and will not offer a prorated deductible no matter when you start your plan, even if its less than 60 days away from the new calendar year. And they most definitely will not inform you that you don't have a full 12 months to hit your deductible... You have a single calendar year. Oh, and on top of that, you can't enroll at the beginning of the calendar year... you have to wait a month and a half. Just to ensure BS can screw you a little more on your way in/out. You have been warned.
Paid my deductible. Keep getting claims from provider that say pay or go to collections. Took 30 calls to Blue Shield member services providers and IPA, plus letters. Over 6 months has passed. They say problem is resolved. I don’t know yet. Nothing member services has ever told me has been right yet. Numerous times promised they would work on it and call back tomorrow. Never happened. They said they sent a letter that would take care of it. Others at member services say no record of letter. They say it takes time or give them 45 days. They just said they sent a letter that would take care of it and this one they have a record of.
Maybe this time.
Blue Cross of California Company Information
- Company Name:
- Blue Cross of California