Better Billing at Anthem Blue Cross vs. Blue Shield and Kaiser

by John Hansen

Many insured in California have complained about billing issues with their health insurance. When it comes to billing, Anthem Blue Cross is one of the best. However, Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente have struggled to keep consumers and agents happy with their billing departments.

Anthem Blue Cross Has Billing Dialed In

California agents say, “Anthem stays on top of things.” Brokers get pending cancellation notices from Anthem Blue Cross by email two times a month. These agents say that the notices are accurate and helpful. Anthem does their billing in-house, and has streamlined procedures to keep their billing department running well.

Billing Problems at Blue Shield

Blue Shield of California, on the other hand, has a third party (a middle man) do their billing and it has caused lots of problems. Agents complain that reports often are not accurate.

Often Blue Shield broker reports are not up-to-date or are delayed in being sent out. Agents find that when they call on late pay clients, often their clients have already paid, and sometimes these clients are a bit upset about getting an unnecessary scary phone call.

One top California health insurance agent referred to how well Blue Shield was doing with networks and claims. “You’re great in all these areas, but billing is going to be your demise.”

Billing History Reports for Agents

Another top California agent requested that Blue Shield improve their billing history reports. He mentioned that a billing report that enabled brokers to see chronic issues with lateness would be very helpful. That way agents could drill down into the report, avoid over-pestering clients, and see if there’s a problem like autopay being set up incorrectly.

One Blue Shield of California representative mentioned that they were not the only ones with billing problems. She said, “I have a son with Kaiser Permanente. He’s prepaid for a year, but he gets cancellations every month.” This was not surprising because Covered California Kaiser Plans and Kaiser direct enrollments have been known to experience billing problems as well.



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