SHAVER LAKE, Calif. (KGPE) – Imagine checking your bank account and noticing almost 5,000 dollars wrongfully withdrawn.
That happened to one man in Shaver Lake.
His debit card wasn’t stolen.
His bank account wasn’t hacked.
It was his insurance company who took the money out with no explanation.
He did get his money back but he had to wait weeks.
He was getting the run around so he came to CBS47 On Your Side.
We made some phone calls and a check was expedited in the mail.
But still there was never an explanation as to why $4,492 dollars was withdrawn.
Jeffrey Smith is retired and on a fixed income.
So waking up to find $4,492 missing from his bank account was alarming.
“No explanation whatsoever,” Smith said.
The one on the receiving end was his insurance company Blue Shield.
Smith had no hospital bills or surgeries to pay for.
There was no explanation as to why that amount was withdrawn.
“I’m sure a lot of people can’t afford that, even for 14 days, and have checks bouncing and everything else,” Smith said.
Smith’s monthly payment for his insurance is $141.
That’s the amount he was expecting to see withdrawn.
Instead, it was 31 times that.
“The number of course makes no sense, it’s 31 months, so I don’t understand it at all.”
He immediately started making phone calls to Blue Shield.
“I was on hold for probably an hour and a half each day for 13 days.”
When he wasn’t getting anywhere, he wrote CBS47 On Your Side asking for help.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it back and I don’t think I would’ve got it back if you wouldn’t have stepped in.”
We contacted Blue Shield to inquire about Smith’s case.
We were given this statement:
Blue Shield of California takes any perceived billing issues very seriously and works to thoroughly investigate and resolve any issues.”
The problem is while they were investigating, Smith still didn’t have his money and his insurance policy was frozen for almost two weeks.
“It made no sense and if they had that kind of money that they took from me, I should’ve at least been insured while they investigated,” Smith said.
He had to pay hundreds out of pocket for prescriptions.
“I went to CVS to pick up my medication and they said it wasn’t covered so I had to pay full price,” Smith said.
The day after we spoke to a Blue Shield representative, a check was expedited in the mail, returning Smith’s money.
Smith says this should be a learning lesson for everyone, that money in your bank might not be as secure as you think.
“The bank even mentioned that it would have definitely been a red flag would it have been a personal thing, but with it being Blue Shield, they didn’t think twice about it.”
We asked Blue Shield if they would reimburse Smith for the medications he paid out of pocket.
They declined to comment any further than the statement the already provided above.
Jeffrey Smith emailed us here at CBS47 and you can too.
Call us at 559-761-0383 or email us at OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com.