While thousands of Kaiser Permanente Colorado customers are getting refunds after a computer error last year, at least one family says they’ve received unexpected bills.
The software that calculates how much Kaiser members had paid toward their deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums miscounted, causing about 7,600 people to overpay. Those people will receive refund checks or credits toward any remaining bills.
Jason and Jennifer Wild, of Denver, said they experienced the opposite error. They said they were told they had hit their out-of-pocket maximum in September, which seemed correct, since they had paid their share of the bills for several emergency room and urgent care visits, as well as their second child’s birth.
They took their 3-year-old to urgent care for illnesses several times in the last months of the year, out of an abundance of caution, and didn’t expect to be charged because they’d already paid the maximum, Jason Wild said. Then in January, they received bills totaling $2,370. If they had known they hadn’t hit the maximum, they would have waited before seeking care, he said.
“From their point of view, they’re saying, ‘You’re not being charged any more money,’ but they’re not taking into account that people made their decisions” based on wrong information, he said.
Elizabeth Whitehead, spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente Colorado, said she couldn’t discuss the Wilds’ billing, but noted it’s common for members to have questions about what they owe for their care. She couldn’t say how many Kaiser members linked their confusion to the software error, and said someone would follow up with the Wilds.
“Members are liable for their usual cost shares only and will not owe any additional payments resulting from this error,” she said.
Jennifer Wild said she filed a complaint in January, and hadn’t heard back until Wednesday. At that point, a billing representative said she could wipe out the Wilds’ out-of-pocket costs from October through December, when they believed they had already paid the maximum.
It’s good for their family to have the charges removed, Jennifer Wild said, but she isn’t sure if the underlying problem has been fixed.
“I don’t know what they’re doing for other people,” she said.
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