Questionable - Possibly Illegal Kaiser Behavior-Attempting to Collect Amounts Not Really Due-Kaiser
Dear George C. Halvorson-
I made an online payment of $234 to Kaiser Permanente on 2/28/2011. Kaiser lost it and subsequently turned me over for collection. I have provided proof of this payment clearing the bank 3 times now to USCB, the collection agency I was turned into. I have also provided the proof of payment 3 times now to J. Davila, Kaiser Member Services Department. I have proof of all six faxes being sent and received.
Despite this legally irrefutable proof (I am a C.P.A., so believe me, I know business law) your Member Services Department is still insisting I owe the $234 and I still should be in collection because "Kaiser can not find this payment." The fact Kaiser's system for processing online payments is very weak and looses payments is not legally my problem-it is Kaiser's. Attempting to collect from someone who can provide proof of an online payment clearing the bank is so illegal, as a C.P.A., I can hardly believe Kaiser is doing this.
In addition, on 9/16/2010, I made a payment of $57 against my co-pay. I joined Kaiser on 7/15/2010 and was not informed that premium payments must be paid to a separate account from co-pay payments. Every other doctor I have dealt with in the past has had all payments go to one account. At this point in time, Kaiser has had five different accounts for me! Anyway, I made the $57 dollar online payment to the premium account, however, I noted in the memo section that it was to be applied to the co-pay account and listed that account number. J.Davila is now insisting that this $57 payment can not be transferred to the co-pay account and therefore, I deserve to be in collections. Again, this is of highly questionable legality, not to mention very bad customer service. If Kaiser is turning many new customers over for collections simply because they paid all co-pays to their premium account not being informed under your odd billing system co-pays have a separate account, then you may have a class action lawsuit waiting to happen for illegal collection harassment!
In addition, in early November, 2010, I received a notice from Kaiser that my Kaiser account had been shut down effective October 1, 2010. I was very panicked about the fact I had been without health insurance for over a month and Kaiser had not even informed me promptly of that fact. When I called in, I was informed I was still with Kaiser but I had been transferred to a new group and would receive a new account number shortly. As a Certified Public Accountant, I have audited my bill and discovered my outstanding balances on the old account were transferred either months later or never transferred at all to my new account. Therefore, the bills I received for the new account did not properly include all balances from the old account, causing a misstatement in balances still due. In addition, I am concerned that balances treansferred to the new account also remained as open balances on the old account, in effect, duplicate billing me.
Also, why have I had five different accounts with Kaiser? In addition to the change in account number due to being assigned to a new group and the separate premium account, I also got a separate account number for Pharmacy and Lab, Radiology and UltraSound. I have been a C.P.A. for 30 years, and I have never seen such an overly complex, confusing billing system.
I also do not understand why all my co-pays were not collected at the time of service as my credit card was charged each and every time I came into Kaiser. Is someone just justifying having a huge billing department?
All other vendors I deal with save money by sending me e-bills which my bank promptly pays. Your manual, snail mail billing system is in the age of the dinosaurs.
Finally, at the time I was turned over for collection, not only did I not owe Kaiser anything, but Kaiser actually owed me $100 for an emergency out of network service. Kaiser's billing system is so out of date, the premium account system does not talk to the co-pay account system or the claims owed to patients department. If Kaiser had a decent billing system, the Billing Department could have easily seen my premium account had a credit balance, a claim of $100 was owed to me and even with the $234 failing to post, the total I owed Kaiser was $3, hardly an amount worth turning over for collection!
P.S.-The collection agency I was turned into also refused to forward all my proof of payments on to Kaiser, apparently still illegally trying to collect a collection fee.