No end in sight for BCBS of North Carolina technology woes

After two months of technology failures that led to overbilling and dropped coverage, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina will delay the transfer of 685,000 state health plan customers to its troubled software system, but offered no timeline for resolving existing data transfer problems, according to the News & Observer.

North Carolina investigators have called the IT debacle "the most series crisis in Blue Cross' recent history." Problems arose in December when the company transferred 400,000 customers to a new software program called Facets. Since then, the insurer has refunded nearly $2 million to 4,600 customers who were overbilled. Although the company had originally planned to fix the software glitch within a week, officials said they are still "working diligently to resolve these issues as quickly as possible."

The N.C. Department of Insurance received more than 3,400 calls last month, including 850 from BCBSNC customers, according to the News & Observer. Customers also reported invoices listed an incorrect customer service number that offered a rewards program and vacation packages.

"This is a very live issue," N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin told the News & Observer. "The fact that we're still getting the number of calls we are getting indicates that it's not over."

Earlier this month, BCBSNC projected a $400 million loss on Affordable Care Act insurance plans, echoing similar financial losses recently announced by UnitedHealth. Although other payers have not faced technology glitches of the same magnitude, insurers in several states have been dealing with coverage delays, billing errors and missing ID cards following a surge of health insurance enrollment at the end of 2015.  

For more:
- read the News & Observer article