BCBS Customer Has Trouble Getting Member ID After Paying

A Richardson family with "ongoing health issues" had trouble getting their Member ID from their insurance provider, which made trips to the doctor a nightmare.

"I just want what I paid for," Kathleen Callihan said.

Callihan signed up for a new policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and she thought she was good to go. Her plan would start Nov. 1.  

"They acknowledged that enrollment has been done way in advance and payment had been received," she said.

The Callihans were all set, so she made an appointment for her husband with a primary care doctor Nov. 12.   

"The financial lady at the doctor spent over an hour on the phone with BCBS of Texas," she said.

Callihan gave them her date of birth and social security number, but her plan wasn't coming up. No one with BCBS could tell them their Member ID. 

"So we were sent away," she said.

Phone calls to the insurance company were unsuccessful.

"I was fast tracked three different times," she said. "I had several phone calls each and every day. A total of 26 phone calls."

Callihan also contacted the Texas Department of Insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace. When she couldn't get results, she contacted NBC 5 Responds.

"Within 45 minutes, I had a call from BCBS telling me I had a Member ID," she said. "That was quick!"

The Callihans were finally able to get their Member ID on Nov. 24 and, most importantly, see the doctor after weeks of waiting. 

BCBS sent the following statement:

"We have confirmed that her policy is indeed in effect. One of our customer advocate specialists has personally reached out to her to offer any assistance she may require... as well as to apologize for any inconvenience she may have experienced during her enrollment process." 

The Callihans, though, said they're still frustrated about their experience of paying for a service they couldn't use. 

"I basically lost a whole month of coverage," Callihan said. "I asked Blue Cross is it possible to get a credit and their response has been, 'You had coverage.' That I should have just paid for it out of pocket and that they would have reimbursed me."

We reached asked BCBS if the Callihan family will be reimbursed for the weeks they weren't able to use their insurance. BCBS hasn't yet responded.

If you're signing up for health insurance, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • In order to be covered starting Jan. 1, you need to enroll by Dec. 15.
  • You can apply over the phone. This may help to ensure you sign up for the right plan for you and have all of the information you'll need, like your Member ID.  
  • If you don't have health insurance, you can be fined. If you can afford it, the law requires that you have it.
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