Letter to the Editor: Bright Health’s proposed rate hike shouldn’t be a surprise considering its history of issues

Amy C. Simper

Bright Health attempting to raise health care premiums for 2023 by 49% should come as no surprise.

Since 2021 there have been more than 100 complaints filed against Bright Health with Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies. My specific complaint focused on Bright Health’s inability to process claims correctly.

Providers waited for claims to be settled, causing them additional bookkeeping and business management costs. Based on these complaints, Bright Health was recently fined $1 million from the Department of Regulatory Agencies for violations in 2021 and 2022. About $500,000 was due immediately.

My complaint to the Department of Regulatory Agencies was answered by Bright Health with empty promises to do better. So far in 2022, seven of nine of my explanations of benefits, commonly called EOBs, have been processed incorrectly.

On average it takes over an hour to reach and talk to an associate to initiate what becomes a several-month correction process. It becomes disappointing to then receive paper-wasting batches of so-called corrected explanations of benefits, requiring follow-up calls to clarify additional incomplete corrections.

All the while, the providers still waited for payments. Bright Health has lost contracts with many providers because what they agree to reimburse is far below reasonable costs. In many situations, provider reimbursements have not been increased for more than five years.

Perhaps if Bright Health invested in better systems, honored their intention to eliminate errors, reduced unnecessary paperwork and postage, as well as reallocated administrative cost savings, they could manage with much lower increases in premiums, as well as pay providers reasonable rates for services.

Lastly, it seems entirely disingenuous to pass on massive fines to consumers while continuing to under deliver. I applaud Peak Health Alliances efforts in negotiating with Bright Health.

Summit County deserves a better health insurance provider with reasonable and stable premiums.

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