Health Net seems to be experiencing an acute customer service failure right in the middle of 2021 open enrollment. Their service channels have thwarted this agents attempt to help my Health Net clients.
In an effort to assist my Health Net clients, I turned to my Health Net broker portal. Unfortunately, according to the alert notice on the web page, I have been locked out of my broker portal for inactivity. Supposedly, if an agent does not access their portal once every two weeks, they are locked out. This has been happening for over a year.
The fix to accessing the Health Net broker portal is to call Health Net. I called three times, and after wading through 2 minutes of programmed messages, was disconnected three times. Health Net does not list any agent support email addresses on their website. If I cannot contact Health Net, they cannot reset my agent access.
Next, I called a member customer service telephone number and was only able to reach recorded messages. I can’t access a real human because they want member identifying data and there was no way to just talk to a human being.
I try very hard to be unbiased when it comes to suggesting a health plan for my clients. The first filter should be an affordable health plan that includes the doctors, hospitals, and other providers an individual or family wants in their network. I don’t really care how much the health plan pays me in a commission or fee for the enrollment.
However, I draw the line at poor customer service or an IT structure that is impenetrable to agents and consumers. The Health Net website to check on doctors in their plan networks has always been terrible. And it is completely useless unless you are using an internet browser other than Microsoft Edge in my experience.
Now, it seems they have set up their communication structure in such a way as to thwart any meaningful discussion between them, agents or potential consumers. If I can’t access information for my clients, then I am not providing all the services my clients expect. If the health plan throws up barriers to my access, then it is not a functional health plan in my eyes.
The past year of Covid shut downs and work-from-home situations has been very challenging for Covered California and the health plans. Most everyone seems to have adapted. Covered California wait times are minimal to reasonable, as are the other major carriers such as Blue Shield, Blue Cross, and Kaiser.
I’m perplexed, baffled, and down right frustrated, that Health Net has not gotten their act together. Everything seems to be working well for enrolled Health Net members accessing health care and prescription medications. The IT issue seems to be actually communicating with Health Net to gather information about a member’s plan or termination.
Update December 9, 2020: I received a phone call from a customer service representative at Health Net to address the IT issues I experienced. First, they had been experiencing phone problems resulting in some calls being terminated without being answered.
Second, at least for brokers, an agent must sign into their account every three months, otherwise the agent will be locked out of the website. The representative help me reset the password so I could view my client list. I appreciate Health Net reaching out to me to address the IT issues.