Tampa woman’s healthcare claims rejected because of computer glitch

Mary Zulmyer talks with 8 On Your Side's Shannon Behnken.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Mary Zulmyer is beyond frustrated. For some strange reason, Florida Blue signed her up for multiple accounts, overcharged her and now won’t pay her doctor bills.

“Every time I called I would be on hold for like 45 minutes and then I would get passed from person to person,” Zulmyer told 8 On Your Side.

She said she eventually reaches customer service during these calls. Customer service representatives promise help but then nothing happens, leaving Zulmyer stuck in confusion.

“The website is saying I have three policies,” she said. “The billing department says I only have one.”

Now, she’s stuck with a crazy choice: Use the money she sets aside for healthcare premiums to pay her doctor directly or continue to pay premiums for coverage she can’t even use.

“I can’t afford to pay my premiums and the doctor,” Zulmyer said

If this sounds familiar, it is. Last month, Barry and Jane Elson turned to 8 On Your Side after they received an email from Florida Blue that they had “no medical coverage” at all. Claims for doctors and prescriptions were rejected. It turned out to be a computer glitch.

Zulmyer insists Florida Blue customer service has told her a computer is causing her nightmare, too.

“I feel like this has to be widespread if it’s a database problem,” she said.

8 On Your Side cut through the red tape for the Elsons, so we went back to state regulators, sending emails and making phone calls. Within an hour, a state official vowed to get to the bottom of this. Zulmyer hopes help comes – and soon.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It’s frustrating. It causes anxiety, which is not good for me since I am disabled.”

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