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Florida Blue working to resolve payment glitch

A computer glitch caused Florida Blue to electronically debt some customers accounts many, many times. [Florida Trend file photo]
A computer glitch caused Florida Blue to electronically debt some customers accounts many, many times. [Florida Trend file photo]
Published May 1, 2017

Tracey Davis was stunned to learn her checking account was overdrawn Monday.

She was even more stunned to learn why.

Florida Blue had billed her May health insurance payment 21 times. The total charges topped $18,000.

"I was in compete disbelief," said Davis, who lives in Tampa and pays $877 a month for a health insurance plan that also covers her husband. "It was a good thing I was not drinking my coffee. I would have done a spit take on my monitor."

She wasn't alone. A payment processing issue over the weekend caused an unknown number of Florida Blue customers to be charged multiple times for the same bill, Florida Blue spokeswoman Christie Hyde DeNave said. The nonprofit company found out about the glitch Monday and immediately started working on a fix.

Florida Blue is the state's largest health insurance provider.

"We apologize for the problems this situation has created for our members," DeNave said, noting that the issue happened through a vendor. "We commit to addressing it quickly and making things right for the people we serve."

Late Monday, Florida Blue had already begun processing some refunds. The insurance company also plans to reimburse bank fees caused by overdrafts, and has offered to work with customers concerned about the possible impact on their credit.

Florida Blue won't take electronic payments until the issue is fully resolved. And it won't cancel any policies for nonpayment.

Davis has not been reimbursed. She was able to put some other money into her checking account to cover her bills. But she conceded that the first of the month was the worst time for a glitch like this to happen.

Florida Blue, she added, did not give her a timetable for a fix.

"I understand these things happen," Davis said. "I just wish there was a way they could resolve it more quickly."

Contact Kathleen McGrory at kmcgrory@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8330. Follow @kmcgrory.