Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which provides case management services and financial aid to Americans with chronic, life threatening and debilitating illnesses.
Where to Start if Insurance Has Denied Your Service and Will Not Pay
If your insurance plan refuses to approve or pay for a medical claim, including tests, procedures or specific care ordered by your doctor, you have guaranteed rights to appeal. These rights were expanded as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Review your denial letter carefully as it outlines your next steps for appealing their decision.
Your insurer must provide to you in writing:
Information on your right to file an appeal
The specific reason your claim or coverage request was denied
Detailed instructions on submission requirements
Key deadlines to submit your appeal
The availability of a Consumer Assistance program, if available in your state
Reasons that your insurance may not approve a request or deny payment:
Services are deemed not medically necessary
Services are no longer appropriate in a specific health care setting or level of care
The effectiveness of the medical treatment has not been proven
You are not eligible for the benefit requested under your health plan
Services are considered experimental or investigational for your condition
The claim was not filed in a timely manner
Think of an appeal as a contract dispute over the interpretation of the plan coverage details. Your health plan language defines your contract.
It is important to remember, that prior authorization does not guarantee payment of the claim.
There are multiple levels of appeal. Even if the first appeal is denied, you have additional levels of appeals that will be outlined in your denial documents.
If you have overdue medical bills on services that have already been completed, work with your providers so the bill is not sent to collections while the appeals process takes place.
FAST FACT: Your health plan cannot drop your coverage or raise your rates because you ask them to reconsider a denial related to care.