Better Call Behnken: Customers across state furious after Florida Blue billing issues

(WFLA) — Florida Blue is dealing with a billing blunder that left 9,500 with drained bank accounts. Some customers were left with no money in their accounts, after automatic payments were debited for May’s bill as many as 70 times.

Customers across Florida are furious and want answers, telling 8 On Your Side they’ve had billing problems, although not to this degree, for months. State records show 306 complaints from January through the end of March.

Florida Blue denied News Channel 8’s request for an interview, but answered some questions by phone and said this in a statement:

“This matter is being dealt with at the highest levels of Florida Blue’s management.”

The company said many customers have already seen refunds and others will see their money returned within days, but for some it will take “slightly longer.”

The big question the company won’t answer: Who is this third party vendor that made this mistake? The company statement addressed that:

“We are not releasing the name of the vendor at this time. What’s most important is that we are taking responsibility for addressing the issue quickly, making things right for our members, and ensuring that it does not happen again.”

One reason the vendor question is so important is because of the number of billing-related complaints. A Florida Blue spokesman said this over-billing issue is unrelated to what “occurred in the first quarter of this year, when some of our members experienced delays in verifying their coverage.”

Harry Ross paid his April bill at CVS, and Florida Blues’ third party vendor even provided him a confirmation number, but the company claims it didn’t get the money. Ross said he chose to pay at CVS because he worried about automatic payments taking too much money out of his account.

“I’ve provided them three different forms of proof of that and their answer is, ‘our lost payments are now taking 22 days to research,'” Ross said.

His latest bill for May is seeking a double payment.

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