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Disputed bill

Disputed bill

Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:11 pm
  #1  
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Default Disputed bill

I'm having problems with Blue Shield of California with bills. Basically I'm "past due" and I disagree with the bill but need to know where I stand legally - or at least prevent the debt collectors knocking on my door.

Back in May they were sent their form, complete with payment information for the first month's dues. Now, received a couple of days ago in late June, they've sent a bill saying we didn't pay the previous bill, even though we never received a bill from them until now. Of course, the bill now includes payment for next month, which I'm canceling as the coverage from Kaiser kicks in on July 1st. So my bill is around $3,500 - inflated 20% by lack of proof of prior credible coverage (sent in May) and lack of a physician's report (sent 2 weeks ago). I'm not sure how much difference the report would make but the agent said "significant".

Despite the kids' coverage starting on June 1st, we didn't get their ID cards until June 16th, and have only received one policy document just a couple of days ago.

I've sent them a snottogram pointing out all of their failings to date, and re-submitted all the evidence they already have. I have offered to pay a smaller amount as a deposit until the bill is agreed. I've sent it by certified mail.

Is there anything else I can do?

Last edited by GeoffM; Jun 25th 2012 at 10:11 pm. Reason: Typo in title
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:30 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: Disputed bill

You mentioned an agent. Get them to follow up. I had an issue with homeowners insurance, not health, and they got it sorted easy. They may have "inside contacts". If it is SNAFU and you are in the right, that is!

I was most surprised that the agent was actually useful.
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Presume you are talking about a bill for the premiums and that you have not claimed anything on the policy.

I have just changed my policy (still with same company though) and in the blurb at the front of the Policy document it states:

Right of Examination: The policyholder may return this Policy to xxxxx Life Insurance company at the address shown below within 10 days after the date of delivery if not satisfied. if the Policyholder returns this Policy, it will be void from its effective date and any premiums paid will be returned. This provision or the fact of its existence will not be sued to defeat or reduce any other rights of the Policyholder.

If you have only received the Policy within the last few days then you should return it as per the clause above - as long as you can find this clause in your policy.

This will at least give you something concrete to work with.

Good luck
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Disputed bill

a premium is not a bill.

you prepay insurance....

how can it go to collection or be past due. once the premium if any wasn't paid, then coverage would cease and policy cancelled.
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Originally Posted by Manc View Post
a premium is not a bill.

you prepay insurance....

how can it go to collection or be past due. once the premium if any wasn't paid, then coverage would cease and policy cancelled.
Very true .... However, since the policy was only taken out from 1 June, and Blue Shield has been very slow in issuing documents, they are presuming that the subscriber is continuing with the policy and has charged for month of June and pre-payment for month of July. Nothing very extraordinary about that.

Subscriber now only needs to inform Blue Shield of his wish to cancell policy and since he has only just received ID cards, and Policy document he should be able to do so without too many problems.
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Originally Posted by RICH View Post
You mentioned an agent. Get them to follow up.
I have, though they haven't helped really.

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Presume you are talking about a bill for the premiums and that you have not claimed anything on the policy.

I have just changed my policy (still with same company though) and in the blurb at the front of the Policy document it states:

Right of Examination: The policyholder may return this Policy to xxxxx Life Insurance company at the address shown below within 10 days after the date of delivery if not satisfied. if the Policyholder returns this Policy, it will be void from its effective date and any premiums paid will be returned. This provision or the fact of its existence will not be sued to defeat or reduce any other rights of the Policyholder.

If you have only received the Policy within the last few days then you should return it as per the clause above - as long as you can find this clause in your policy.

This will at least give you something concrete to work with.

Good luck
Thanks - there is indeed similar wording on the policy. The mailing date is 18th June but it says 10 days from delivery. So we can cancel one policy - but not the other as we haven't received the policy, only the ID cards!

Originally Posted by Manc View Post
a premium is not a bill.

you prepay insurance....

how can it go to collection or be past due. once the premium if any wasn't paid, then coverage would cease and policy cancelled.
How can I pay the bill if they don't invoice me or tell me how to pay - ie send a bill? And why didn't they take payment from the payment details they specifically ask for? There is a 30 day grace period, after which the policy is indeed cancelled. But I don't want to let it lapse and then find debt collectors for June's payment.
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Oh, and no I haven't claimed anything. Though we did have to go to the docs, we weren't able to claim as we didn't have ID cards... total about $100 IIRC, and I am willing to swallow that if we can cancel without any charges!
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Typical. Just phoned them again, ignored all the menu options, not that the automated menus could understand me half the time anyway, got through to a human, and got the policies canceled "never effective", with confirmation numbers, in less than 5 minutes. Just shows how a different person can yield an entirely different result.

Interesting thing is, apparently I *was* set up for automatic billing. It's definitely not what the statements say though.

Thanks for the help anyway! Much appreciated.
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Old Jun 25th 2012, 11:50 pm
  #9  
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Wish I could be more surprised, but working for an insurance company this all sounds familiar. There are reasons this stuff happens - ancient mainframes that don't talk to each other or to front end systems, etc. Usually once you get through to a human being they are helpful and can fix things, but it's very common for first bills to be completely incorrect.
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Old Jun 27th 2012, 2:31 am
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Default Re: Disputed bill

Son's policy arrived today.
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