Editor’s note: The Portage office has been relocated to 950 Trade Centre Way, Suite 110 as of Aug. 21, 2015. Read more about the new office here.
The Portage walk-in Center is located at 8175 Creekside Dr., Suite 100 in Portage. There’s no visible signage from the road, but you’ll turn south on Creekside Drive from Centre Avenue halfway between the lights at Oakland and Shaver streets. The center is located in the building farthest back behind Chemical Bank. There are several businesses in the building and you’ll see the walk-in center at the end of the entry hallway. Here’s what you’ll find when you visit:
- Three full-time customer service representatives (CSRs) can accept payments and service existing accounts during business hours.
- Depending on the season, one or two independent insurance agents are on-site to help advise about and enroll you in a plan that’s right for you.
- Modern and comfortable accommodations, including a private waiting area.
Portage: Where the Men (And the Laughs) Are
A large majority of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan CSRs are female. The walk-in centers are no exception, unless you visit Portage. Two out of three of the CSRs there are male and they’re our only male walk-in CSRs in the state.
“You get some funny members in here, that’s for sure,” Darrow said. “We like to crack jokes with the regulars.”
Although they try to keep the mood light, the CSRs in Portage know they’re handling serious insurance matters for BCBSM members. Respectful, efficient, and friendly service that solves problems is always the goal. Like all walk-in CSRs, they’re trained to handle every Blue Cross product line.
“To me, I am the customers’ representative inside the company,” Persinger said. “They’re the ones we’re working for. We can be the middlemen who know the language of healthcare and actually help them get what they should be getting.”
Being able to talk and work through issues in person builds trust and confidence for the members who use the Portage walk-in center.
“I think there is less miscommunication face to face,” Darrow said.
Even when BCBSM doesn’t have the authority to resolve issues for customers, Persinger said there are always opportunities to help people understand their insurance better.
“I try to educate them about how to avoid the bad bumps in the future,” he said.
Annette Palmer is the newest CSR to join the Portage team, although she’s got plenty of experience, with a total of 16 years working for BCBSM, three of those as a walk-in center CSR. Palmer said she’s excited to get back to working with customers on a one-on-one basis as well as the opportunity to work with Persinger and Darrow.
“I enjoyed working with the customers on an individual basis,” Palmer said. “I have worked with Brian for many years and greatly appreciate his knowledge, excellent research abilities, and dedication to the customer. Zach and I know one another, but have never worked together. I look forward to getting to know and work with him.”
Health insurance can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has a number of statewide walk-in centers with on-site service specialists to answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Visit your local Walk-In Customer Service Center for on-the-spot help or the Customer Action Center for online member support.