‘Watch it like a hawk’: Some patients complain about Bright HealthCare

Lynn Alderman said her doctors were in network, but that Bright HealthCare kept denying her claims anyway and that it’s not clear why.

“The first few times, I was like, OK, a mistake’s been made. Several more times, wow, someone’s not really great at their job,” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Alderman said Bright HealthCare eventually paid her bills, but that it was still a hassle.

“They are affordable, but watch it like a hawk because you could be paying things that you shouldn’t be having to pay,” she said.

At least one state has taken legal action against Bright HealthCare. Colorado said it received more than 100 complaints against the company and fined it $1 million.

Here in the Carolinas, the North Carolina Department of Insurance told Stoogenke it received 37 complaints in the last year “surrounding issues of out-of-network providers at in network facilities” and that the company worked with the agency to correct the claims.

Bright HealthCare said it will no longer offer plans in South Carolina -- and five other states -- “to focus on growing in markets where [the company] can deliver the greatest impact.”

Value Penguin -- which is part of LendingTree -- studies insurance companies extensively. It said Bright HealthCare is affordable, but that the low prices come with a trade-off: a smaller network of providers.

“I’m not going to weigh in on whether a company is good or not because it can be good for you if you want to get a cheap plan with a narrow network and it just so happens that that network has the doctors that you go to, that’s great … it serves your needs,” said Divya Sangameshwar, with Value Penguin.

The company emailed Action 9: “Bright HealthCare has offered affordable health care options in Charlotte since 2020, and we are fully committed to ensuring the best experience for our members and providers. That means continually finding ways to improve and resolving any issues in a timely manner. We are committed to our North Carolina communities, and look forward to continuing the work to make healthcare right, together.”

At last check, the Better Business Bureau counted more than 150 complaints against Bright HealthCare in the last three years, but still gave the company an A+ rating because of the amount of business it does.

Make sure your doctors and hospitals are in network before signing up with any health insurance. You don’t want to find out the hard what they they are not.

(WATCH BELOW: Atrium to merge with Wisconsin-based health system; HQ slated for Charlotte)

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