State Steps in to Help Anthem - NBC Connecticut

State Steps in to Help Anthem



    The state is stepping in to help thousands of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield customers who are still waiting for insurance. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014)

    The state is stepping in to help thousands of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield customers who are still waiting for insurance.

    The Wallingford-based company admitted that the influx of new Affordable Care Act enrollees has caused a backlog.
    Anthem told officials at the Connecticut Insurance Department that the volume surprised them. At this point it is the only company on the state health insurance exchange to report problems.
    "We're not having any issues with the other companies at this point," said Anne Melissa Dowling, the deputy insurance commissioner.
    Some Anthem enrollees haven't received identification cards and others haven't had their payments processed.
    Officials said on Wednesday that more than 45 percent of Anthem payments have now been processed.
    Anthem opened up their Wallingford offices on Wednesday so customers could get help in person. The company has extended its payment deadline twice. Customers now have until Jan. 31 to make thier payments.
    "If you have paid by Jan. 31, anything you have receipts will be covered retro-actively by Anthem," said Dowling.
    Les Schwanfelder, an Anthem customer from New London, told said Monday she's been trying to get answers from the company for weeks.
    "I sent in an application well before the limits and I have heard nothing," she said.
    NBC Connecticut brought Schwanfelder's case to the state insurance department on Wednesday. The agency is now helping to resolve Anthem's issues.
    Schwanfelder was fully enrolled by late Wednesday.
    Anthem's call center issues are not exclusive to Connecticut. The company apologized again to customers.
    "We greatly appreciate their patience during this transitional time and apologize for any inconvenience they may have experienced," said Sarah Yeager, a company spokesperson.
    Governor Malloy met with Anthem officials on Tuesday.
    "They, clearly on a national basis were under-prepared, and that's a disappointment," he said.
    Asked if the company could be issued a fine, the deputy insurance commissioner said it hasn't reached that level.
    "We don't see any evidence of avoidance," said Dowling. "We just see that they were overwhelmed."
    The Connecticut Insurance Department set up a special hotline, which can be reached at 860-297-3900, to help expedite the process.
    Anthem has also dedicated an e-mail address to helping Connecticut customers.
    For more more information, visit the Anthem website