7,600 Kaiser Permanente customers in Colorado to get refunds

A software update at Kaiser Permanente’s Colorado division threw off its system that calculates how much members have paid toward their deductibles, and thousands of them will receive refund checks.

Elizabeth Whitehead, spokeswoman for the insurance and health care system, said members won’t receive any additional bills because of the computer error.

Insurance plans cover a larger percentage of people’s health care bills after they’ve paid enough to hit the deductible, and cover everything once they reach the out-of-pocket maximum. Many people never reach that point, though those who use expensive drugs or were hospitalized sometimes get there in the first months of the year.

About 7,600 people paid too much and will either get a check or a credit against any outstanding bills they still have, Whitehead said.

It’s possible some others could receive a refund, but they’ve gone through the majority of members’ records, she said. The average refund is less than $50.

“We strive to make it easy to do business with Kaiser Permanente and we regret that this experience may have caused any inconvenience,” Whitehead said in a statement. “We are available to answer any questions about members’ health plan benefits and bills, as we know this can be confusing.”

Kaiser Permanente has 539,000 members in Colorado, according to it website.

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