Update: A Jupiter customer said he was overcharged about $14,000.
“It’s just mind-boggling the largest insurer in Florida can’t fix its own billing system,” the man said.
Original post: Florida’s largest health insurer with more than 4 million customers is apologizing for a payment processing glitch affecting May invoices — with one West Palm Beach man saying his bank account was debited 36 times within hours.
Florida Blue officials told The Palm Beach Post they are still assessing how many people have been affected, but one customer who requested anonymity said he suspects many others have been disrupted because officials at his bank seemed to know about it.
What should have been a monthly premium payment of just under $1,100 instead resulted in his account being overdrawn by more than $40,000, the man said. That generated about $1,400 in bank fees, he said.
The company, also known as Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida, said in a statement it will reimburse members on an individual basis for erroneous charges and bank fees.
“Earlier today we were notified of a payment processing issue that occurred over the weekend with one of our vendors,” Florida Blue spokesman Paul Kluding said. “This issue resulted in some members’ accounts being drafted multiple times for their May invoice. We are very sorry for the problems this is causing our members. We are addressing the situation as quickly as possible.”
In the meantime, here are the steps the company says it is taking:
- “We are working to identify all overpayments proactively and refund them promptly. We will ensure that only the appropriate amount is deducted and excess deductions are refunded. In fact, we have already begun processing refunds for some customers.
- “We will reimburse members for any bank fees incurred due to overdrafts caused by this issue. We will work on an individual basis with any member who has concerns about adverse impact on their credit.
- “We have stopped taking electronic fund transfer payments for the time being and have delayed ongoing automatic payments scheduled for this month until we understand the issue and ensure it is corrected.
- “Since members currently will not be able to make payments, we will not cancel a policy for nonpayment until the issue is resolved.
- “During this time, we will ensure that people who need care are able to get it, even if they are unable to make premium payments as a result of this issue.”
In response to questions from the Post, Kluding said, “At this time we do not have a definitive number for how many were impacted, but we continue to research the issue.”
The company statement said, “We apologize for the problems this situation has created for our members. We commit to addressing it quickly and making things right for the people we serve.”