Let's face it; calling your insurance company about a health-related claim is probably NOT on your list of things you want to try. In fact, calling your health-insurance provider is right up on the Most Dreaded List with getting a colonoscopy. So, what can you do to make this process a little less painful? Prevention Magazine reveals a few secrets that might help you master the unpleasant task ahead.
- Don't call on Monday. You aren't the only person who likes to tackle to-do lists and resolve issues at the start of a fresh week. You, and everyone else, will likely be spending your Monday morning on hold for an alarming amount of time. Talk about a "case of the Mondays." Elisabeth Schuler Russell, founder and president of Patient Navigator, LLC suggests that you try Wednesdays, Thursdays, or early Friday before people start wrapping up for the weekend.
- Be prepared for the call. Have all of the documents you need in front of you before you call. Kantor & Kantor always recommends that you try to get the name, title, phone number and email address of everyone you talk to. Speaking with different insurance representatives can become confusing and overwhelming. Keep a journal of your conversations so that you can refer back to them later. All communication should be in writing, in traceable forms such as certified mail, fax or e-mail. If you can't prove it, it never happened!
- Understand your plan. Your insurance policy is basically the rule book for your claim. Request a copy of your insurance policy- without it you will not understand the rules. Every policy is different and can have different deadlines. While you're holding all the answers in your hands, you can then ask the rep, "Could you please point me to the document you're referencing?" Knowledge is power.
- Understand "insurance talk." Trying to translate legal speak can make dealing with your insurance claim feel unmanageable. Insurance companies are notorious for using ambiguous and misleading language when communicating with their members. Empower yourself as a health advocate by brushing up on some basic but common insurance terms. For a shortlist of insurance-world vocabulary, see our blog on Decoding Insurance Denials. Once you've mastered some insurance jargon of your own, use it. Using the proper terminology can communicate you mean business, says Dianne Savastano, founder of Massachusetts-based Healthassist.
Taking care of business and handling insurance issues on your own can be incredibly empowering. Understanding how things work behind the scenes of insurance companies, and feeling confident while communicating with your insurance company can make the call seem like less of a chore. Sometimes, however, an insurance claim or denial can become too complicated to manage on your own. If you find that you need more support in dealing with your claim, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a no-cost consultation.
We understand, and we can help.