In 2009, I wrote about my positive experience with PayFlex, the company administering my FSA at a former employer. By that time I had experienced several FSA administrators, and PayFlex was in my opinion by far the best. This blog posting is a retraction of that earlier review, which I believe is no longer accurate.
After my posting in 2009, a trickle of comments started to flow in from disgruntled beneficiaries of FSAs administered by PayFlex. To me and others who responded to them, these complaints seemed to be the result not of poor service from PayFlex, but rather of people not understanding and following the FSA rules which PayFlex was legally required to enforce.
Some of these comments, I and others responded to, explaining why it did not seem like PayFlex was at fault. Other comments, especially rude and offensive ones, I simply deleted; I don’t tolerate rude and offensive comments on my blog, and I also see no reason to leave comments that add nothing new to the conversation.
At some point, however, the tone and content of these comments gradually started to change. I’m not sure exactly when that started to happen, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t pick up on the change right away. Unfortunately, that means that some comments I probably should have left in place and taken seriously were instead deleted. However, this comment from earlier today finally shook loose enough neurons to get me to think a little harder about why other people were apparently having an experience with PayFlex far inferior to mine. Here’s what that comment had to say:
I have been going back and fourth with them over 2 claims for months now and I have uploaded every document they want they review the documents and then tell me everything is good. When I check back I am told that after review they need something else or for some reason the documents that they claim to have received and reviewed are lost or did not save. The latest thing is they have told me to send them a check for the amounts in question and they would review everything. I have submitted more then enough doctors visits to compensate for the hold on the account and still they refuse to do anything. As far as the EOB goes I got them on the phone with a UHC rep and they told UHC what they needed and UHC sent that to me I uploaded it and I was told by another rep from payflex that the other rep was wrong and I should just resubmit the bill from the hospital (that would be the 3rd time I uploaded it) they may not get to keep the money in the end, but they are getting paid to service my FSA account and they just aren’t getting it done, I had my lawyer send them a letter this week I can’t wait to see if he gets any place with them.
That sounds nothing like the PayFlex I knew back in 2009! “How can my experience have differed so much from what other people are experiencing today?” I asked myself. That prompted me to do a little research, which led me to this discovery: PayFlex was bought by Aetna in 2011.
Now, I can’t recall if I’ve ever had Aetna health insurance; if I have, it was so many years ago that it has faded into the mists of time, though my wife does seem to recall having some problems with them at some point far in the past. What I can tell you that there are a lot of complaints about Aetna on the web.
I think the PayFlex I wrote about in 2009 is probably not the PayFlex of today, and the positive review of PayFlex I wrote then is no longer accurate. I have therefore added an update to the top of that review and disabled comments there.
Thank you to the people who posted comments on my 2009 review disagreeing with it. It took me a while to listen, for which I apologize, but I finally did get the point.
P.S. If you are a current or former PayFlex employee who can corroborate the change in culture and customer service after the acquisition by Aetna, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to post a comment below or email me.