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Fifty-one county residents have unclaimed funds with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

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POTSDAM - Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has $28,000 just waiting for 115 north country residents.

But, those residents haven’t claimed those reimbursements since 2008. If they don’t claim their money by the end of August, they’ll lose it.

“We sent out a letter, but hadn’t heard a response,” said Ieva Doyle, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield communications manager. “What happens is we have to end up turning it over to New York State because it’s unclaimed property.”

Letters have been issued to 51 St. Lawrence County residents, 13 Lewis County residents and 51 Jefferson County residents regarding unclaimed funds. The difficulty in reaching the 115 Excellus members or providers for the past three years, Ms. Doyle said, could be for a variety of reasons.

“They may have moved, or the person died, or they lost their check,” she said.

A legal notice ran in Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Courier Observer, and the list of names in St. Lawrence County included a Potsdam village trustee, a Massena attorney and the director of a substance abuse treatment center from Brasher Falls.

Ms. Doyle said the legal notice is a last ditch effort to reach out to those folks. Similar notices appeared in many communities throughout the state.

According to a news release issued by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the state requires insurers each year to make a list of unclaimed checks that are at least three years old. If property is not claimed by the end of August, money is then turned over to the state comptroller.

The release also stated that nearly 12,000 people and companies in the state have forgotten about the $1.25 million in checks issued by Excellus Health Plan.

After people check to see if their name is on the list, they may claim a check prior to Aug. 31 by sending an email to Excellus through its website. They may also call Excellus with the telephone number located on the back of the Excellus identification card. If people or companies are no longer an Excellus member, or would like to call on behalf of the estate of a family member, they may call Excellus at (877) 757-3850.

Checks will not be mailed until after Aug. 31.

A complete list of names of people and companies with checks to claim is available on the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield website, www.excellusbcbs.com/forgottenfunds

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