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Northeast Ohio families share medical bill reimbursement frustrations

Posted at 11:16 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 23:44:38-05

CLEVELAND — Marilyn and David Henderson of Sheffield Lake have been going through an insurance coverage nightmare that left them with an uncovered $7,200 medical bill that could have easily been avoided.

The Henderson's said Via Benefits told them the Cleveland Clinic doctors they used for critical cardiology tests were within their network, but weeks later were told the doctors were not covered.

The Henderson's said they reported the mistake to the Ohio Department of Insurance, but nothing has been done even though Via Benefits admitted it made an error.

"They listen to everything and they all admitted, yes, that Via Benefits had misled me and they were trying to get to the bottom of it," Marilyn Henderson said. "Now the coverage they are offering me will cost me $20,000 a year due to that mistake. I can't afford that."

Elsie Holloman of Cleveland said she's tired of dealing with repeated medical bill reimbursement delays.

Holloman said the Via Benefits customer service hotline too often gives her mixed messages, even when she repeatedly sends in all the needed documents.

"Via Benefits, they're not up to the job," Holloman said. "I talked to a supervisor this time. I had to wait two hours on the phone for her, she put me back on hold. It seems to me they're not equipped to handle the volume of work that they have, it's ridiculous, it's absolutely ridiculous."

The Better Business Bureau has issued a consumer alert on Via Benefits for a pattern of complaints alleging Reimbursement/Coverage and Customer Service Issues.

Customers allege reimbursement claims were delayed or denied, sometimes repeatedly, despite providing required documentation.

Sue McConnell, Cleveland BBB President, said Via Benefits has 101 customer reviews with the Better Business Bureau and has a rating of just one star out of five.

McConnell recommends reporting issues with Via Benefits to the BBB, the Ohio Attorney General or The Ohio Department of Insurance.

News 5 contacted Via Benefits headquarters in Utah by phone and email to get a statement concerning consumer complaints, but we're still waiting for a response.

Meanwhile, David Henderson believes Ohio should find a better agency to handle critical state medical reimbursements.

"They need to look somewhere else and not let Via Benefits keep doing this people," David Henderson said.