Billing Snafu Creates Insurance Headache for Chicago Newlyweds

Newlywed Donna Caminiti, of Chicago, thought she found the perfect medical insurance plan to cover herself and her husband, until a visit to the pharmacy revealed an unexpected surprise last November.

That’s when Caminiti said a pharmacist told her she had no insurance to help pay for some much-needed prescription medicine.

“They’re like, ‘No, you’re last day of coverage was September 30,’” Caminiti recalled.

A strange twist, considering Caminiti said she had already paid for two months of premiums and had received insurance cards from Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

Caminiti also said BCBS explained that her monthly premium payments would be increasing by $500.

“You haven’t given me coverage. Now you want to raise it in three months? This is not acceptable,” Caminiti said.

Eventually, Caminiti said BCBS told her the coverage lapse and premium hike were, in fact, mistakes.

“Nobody could really give me an answer as to what was going on other than ‘We changed systems and with the new system we’re having difficulties,’” Caminiti said.

But after she requested a refund for two months of non-coverage, Caminiti said she only received half. That’s when she decided to contact NBC 5 Responds for help receiving the remaining $656.

A BCBS spokesperson told NBC 5 Responds the mistake involved a retroactive rate for a tobacco surcharge and that Caminiti’s payments made in October and November were applied to what was incorrectly showing up as a past due balance, and were not enough to cover those month’s premiums. 

“We offer our apologies to Ms. Caminiti for frustration this error may have caused,” the spokesperson said. 

Caminiti said BCBS later refunded her the remaining $656. 

“We are really happy to get our money back-finally,” Caminiti wrote to NBC 5 Responds. “Best way to start the New Year.”

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