WA Healthcare Exchange Triple-Bills Clients – Officials “Looking Into” Problem
Realistically, the Washington Healthcare Exchange got off to a decent start, with few problems, and a fair amount of people enrolling; although the numbers were not near expected goals. But since last fall, it's endured an increasing amount of mix ups and serious issues.
The latest shocker came Tuesday morning when many clients found their insurance premiums had been triple-billed. The exact number of people affected was not released by the Healthcare Exchange, but it's estimated to be in the thousands.
They received emails saying the exchange was going to bill them for three months of premiums at once, and many people found their bank accounts severely depleted. Several people who emailed KING-5 TV in Seattle over the issue said they were set up on automatic withdrawals, and they had to scramble because their accounts were in some cases overdrawn.
Many people keep enough money in their autodraft account to provide a small cushion compared to the payments they're expecting to be taken. In this case, three times the amount was taken! One insurance broker said this problem was not limited to just one insurance provider, it was widespread across the exchange.
Some people who were actually able to contact the customer service center said the payments would be stopped, others who didn't call or weren't aware of this issue might be harmed financially.
According to KING-5, a Healthcare plan spokesperson said they are aware of the problem and are "looking into it."
Not to sound like we're overreacting, but in most cases when a major entity suddenly triple-bills much of it's clients, it's going to require a little more than "looking into it."