Consumer 'call tsunami' hits payers

As new healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act kicks in, health insurers in Michigan are facing a "call tsunami" from consumers, the Detroit Free Press reported. For example, Flint, Mich.-based McLaren Health Plan has seen its volume of customer calls double--the length of calls increased, as well. "We're seeing anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes" per call, McLaren spokesman Ed Harden told the Free Press. Grand Rapids-based Priority Health and Detroit's Health Alliance Plan also are facing a major uptick in customer calls. And for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, calls from consumers in the individual market soared from about 4,000 calls a week before healthcare reform to roughly 40,000 a week by the middle of December. Article