Seniors launch MSP complaint hotline, 1-866-699-4449, to chronicle poor service by Maximus

MSP complaint hotline 1-866-699-4449

Fed up with lengthy delays in accessing information about their medical plan, B.C. seniors have established a toll-free hotline for British Columbians to share their complaints about poor service provided by the U.S. company Maximus Inc.

“People, particularly seniors, are madder than hell about the lengthy delays and poor service we’re getting from this private company,” says Rudy Lawrence, spokesperson for the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C. (COSCO) which has set up the toll-free complaints line.

While health minister George Abbott told the B.C. legislature last week that Maximus had made great improvements, Lawrence told a Vancouver radio station that on Oct. 26 he waited on the phone for more than 80 minutes without being able to get through before he was forced to hang up.

“Seniors are put on hold for longer than an hour when calling to inquire about their medical coverage. And that’s only if they can navigate their way through the complicated voice mail,” Lawrence says. “Others who try to communicate with MSP through the mail say it takes forever to get their letters acknowledged. We’ve heard horror stories about piles and piles of unopened mail sitting around for weeks.

“We deserve better service than this,” says Lawrence.

Maximus Inc. has run into serious problems ever since it took over management of the province’s Medical Services Plan and Pharmacare program in April. The company has been whacked with fines that Victoria admits run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to meet basic contract service level requirements. Meanwhile, the president of Maximus’ Canadian operations resigned in mid-August.

Lawrence says that seniors groups and others are pushing for the Maximus deal to be cancelled and management of the service brought back into public hands.

COSCO is encouraging anyone who has had a bad experience with Maximus to call the toll-free hotline, 1-866-699-4449, and report it. “We know there are a lot of people out there who are frustrated and angry over this contract with Maximus,” he says.