More than 9,000 insurance customers overcharged in billing snafu

An insurer is making amends after multiple unauthorized withdrawals from customers’ bank accounts

More than 9,000 insurance customers overcharged in billing snafu

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Unauthorized withdrawals have been made from the bank accounts of more than 9,000 Florida Blue insurance customers, according to a Florida Times-Union report.

State regulators are investigating the incidents, in which customers saw multiple withdrawals from their accounts for what should have been a one-time payment. Florida Blue acknowledged the mistake on Monday and apologized, but the company wasn’t sure at the time how widespread the issue was, the Times-Union reported.

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the withdrawals were supposed to be for customers’ May health insurance premiums.

“We are very sorry for the problems this caused our members,” Florida Blue spokeswoman Toni Woods told the Times-Union. “It is important to note that by 2 p.m. Monday, members began receiving refunds into their bank accounts. This matter is being dealt with at the highest levels of Florida Blue’s management. We are making things right for our members and ensuring this does not happen again.”

Regulators are still investigating how the multiple withdrawals happened, according to the Times-Union – but the Office of Insurance Regulation said it seemed to be a vendor error.

“Florida Blue advised this was a processing error by the company’s third-party vendor,” the regulator said in a statement. The statement did not include the name of the vendor, but did provide a breakdown of the people affected by the error:
  • A total of 9,480 Florida Blue customers were affected.
  • 8,177 are Affordable Care Act-compliant individual plan policyholders
  • 453 are Pre-Affordable Care Act-compliant/transitional individual plan policyholders
  • 850 are Medicare policyholders
As of 2 p.m. Monday, Florida Blue’s primary bank had reversed the transaction to refund the affected customers, the Times-Union reported. While the insurer has received confirmation from several banks that the refunds were received, other banks may take more time to complete the transactions.

Woods told the Times-Union that the insurer would not cancel any policies for payment issues until the error is resolved, and that any resulting damage to customers’ credit ratings will be amended with the help of the company.

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Florida pushes for consumer-centric insurance commissioner after McCarty resignation

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