Anthem Blue Cross, along with its parent company, perennial Worst Company In America contender WellPoint, is known for many things — trying to jack up rates on policyholders by upward of 30%, practicing rescission on breast cancer patients, and leaking customers’ credit card information online. Basically everything except for providing quality health insurance. You can soon add another item to Anthem’s long list of qualifications when it stops allowing credit card payments, except for those willing to pay a $15 convenience fee.
According to the L.A. Times’ David Lazarus, Anthem customers have started receiving notices from the insurance giant to let them know that as of Aug. 1, they can no longer pay by credit card without paying the exorbitant fee.
That’s okay, you say… I pay by check. Wait, says Lazarus. Paying by check requires paper statements, which adds $2 per month to your bill. The only remaining option is for direct debit from your checking account.
But Anthem understands your anger and is going to waive that $2 fee for a to-be-determined period of time. Isn’t that sweet of them?
Additionally, Anthem has eliminated the options of making bimonthly or quarterly payments.
Lazarus says Anthem would not explain the rationale behind the decision, but would only restate the points listed in the letter to customers.
We have a hunch. Anthem wants you to set up automated payments so it is more likely to receive your payment on time. For those that aren’t willing to set those payments up, the company will make a nice little chunk of change (up to $180/year per customer) from its completely inconvenient convenience fees.
Thanks to Benjamin for the tip!