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News : Blue Cross Paying To Resolve Customer Complaints
Dec 11, 2014 -- Montana's health insurance provider is paying to resolve hundreds of complaints.
State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana announced the settlement Thursday.
That's to settle hundreds of customer service complaints.
Half of the money will go to the state general fund and half to the newly formed Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University.
Lindeen said her office received three times the complaints against Blue Cross in the first half of 2014 as it did in the same period last year.
As part of the settlement with Blue Cross, the company has agreed to take steps to improve its customer service.
In a statement, Blue Cross noted that it has been going through "the most transformative time in the history of our industry" and had never before seen such a degree of change in its 75-year history.
Complying with the Affordable Care Act, Blue Cross implemented hundreds of "new product configurations and benefit designs" and enrolled 42,000 members, or about 70 percent of all the individual plans sold in Montana.
As a result, some customer services issues arose, the company said, and it has since devoted more resources and tools to customer services.
Among the improvements, according to Blue Cross:
- Establishing a dedicated call center team for individual policyholders to fix customer service issues
- Substantially increasing the number of call center staff, including adding a 24/7 customer hotline to answer member calls more quickly
- Offering members a way to access and print online 30-day temporary ID cards to verify proof of coverage
- Offering an online chat capability and online enrollment tracker to allow members and applicants to communicate directly with a sales representative and to track their enrollment progress
- Establishing a special appeals team to focus specifically on individual policyholder appeals
- Continuing to offer various fast-track and escalation processes to more quickly resolve customer issues
- Dedicating two full-time employees to work with the CSI on addressing consumer complaints to speed up resolution for the member.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana provides Montanans with health and wellness solutions along with customer service.
Published: Friday, December 12, 2014