Government

Obamacare Gives Florida Blue Technical Woes

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: January 17, 2014 3:55 AM
Healthcare

It was just a few short days ago that U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was in Florida to promote Obamacare, lauding the president’s signature health-care plan for its accomplishments to provide health insurance to millions of Floridians across the state.

It now appears, however, that the biggest health care insurance provider in the state, Florida Blue, is overwhelmed by the volume of enrollments and simply can’t keep up with high demands.

Many who signed up and paid the insurance company for their new plans between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31,2013, are furious because they say Florida Blue has failed to provide them with ID cards. Now, when they go to the doctor or try to get a prescription filled, they have to pay the bill themselves or cancel.

“I've paid for my insurance on Dec 29 and I still can't get a simple member ID number,” wrote Buck Brinson on Florida Blue’s Facebook page. “That’s just failure of basic business 101.”

Brinson’s not the only one who’s taken to Florida Blue’s Facebook page to voice their concerns about the lack of ID cards. For some, Florida Blue’s glitch is prohibiting them from getting the health care they so desperately need.

“This is by far the worst experience I have had with insurance and customer service,” said Lucas Blake. “Waited two hours on hold just to find out they have not made me a member ID yet, even though I paid at the end of last year. I need to get blood work done; their input, file a claim and see if it's covered! Why pay for this month if I can't even go to my doctor when I need to!”

The insurance company attempted to assuage customers’ concerns, saying they were “working diligently” to get ID cards to members as quickly as possible.

Florida Blue took to its Facebook page to address the concerns, urging those who need to see a doctor or get a prescription filled to email them with their date of birth and phone number so they could “ensure that [they] are able to get the care [they] need.”

Florida Blue currently covers over 1 million in the state and currently offers 76 different plans under the new federally operated Marketplace. According to Health News Florida, that number is higher than the total of all other insurers put together.

The latest glitch in the health care insurance companies is raising eyebrows over whether health care companies are in over their heads with President Obama’s signature health-care plan.

This isn’t the first technical malfunction related to Obamacare since it began signups on Oct. 1 -- the plan’s website, Healthcare.gov, became notorious for its technical malfunctions that left many unable to sign up for health insurance.

Earlier this week, Sebelius expressed relief that the website’s issues had been resolved.

“Healthcare.gov is a very different website than it was on Oct. 1, thank God,” said Sebelius on Monday. “It’s easy to navigate [now], easy to use.”

But it appears the same can’t exactly be said for Florida Blue’s website. The insurance company sent WGCU an email saying the company had added staff and extended service hours at both the call centers and retail centers to deal with the problem, but no there’s no official date on when the issue will be totally resolved.



Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

Comments (10)

JASON BUCKWHEAT
4:37PM JAN 21ST 2014
THATS WHAT GREED WILL DO , AND ALSO SUCKING UP TO THE JERK OBAMA THE LOSER.
Frank
9:33PM JAN 21ST 2014
Yes, yes, you must be right . . . it's all Obama's fault that Florida Blue can't handle all the new business . . .

Pathetic . . . .
kortlander
11:34AM JAN 21ST 2014
they called the sheriffs to eject me from the jacksonville office when I went there to demand my credentials.
Alfredo Ruiz Vargas
2:21PM JAN 17TH 2014
My wife and I still on shock, because this is the only way the poor people can have a health Insurance, and those extremely expensive visits to the doctor are over once and for all, thanks to our President of the United Sates, God Bless America and God Bless the President.!!!!!!
Michael
11:37AM JAN 17TH 2014
So to be plain, the title of this article is absolutely false and misleading. Florida Blue has failed in their providing the service required which has nothing at all to do with Obamacare's admisistration by the Federal Government and everything to do with a private enterprise, Florida Blue.
Caitlin
12:41PM JAN 17TH 2014
Not really, since it's the surge in Obamacare enrollees that overwhelmed FL Blue. It's in the second paragraph. Learn to read.
Frank
11:56AM JAN 18TH 2014
Gee . . . overwhelmed with new business . . . . a real problem . . . . and reason to demonize Obamacare, correct . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
RUserious
11:37AM JAN 17TH 2014
Obamacare an overwhelming success, should have extended Medicaid health insurance and built a Florida ACA website. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.
Mark Matis
9:00AM JAN 17TH 2014
May this filthy lying Fluke soon burn where she belongs.
Frank
11:37AM JAN 20TH 2014
SSN strikes again . . . once again SSN just ignores ugly, threatening hatred . . . as they have discussions on this site promoting race wars, racial belittling and hatred, blatant religious bigotry and the like . . . . . even when these have been clearly pointed out . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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