As you prepare to file your travel medical insurance claim for any treatment or services you received during your plan’s policy period, there is one piece of advice that can assist you during the process - effective communication. Communication is key when it comes to filing an insurance claim, for a number of reasons. This rings true for both filling out your claims form and with the information and documentation that you provide your insurance company.
When submitting a claim, communicating as efficiently and effectively as possible to all parties involved is the key to ensuring a smooth claims process with your travel medical insurance company. Most problems that policyholders have during the claims process are related to poor communication - and not just to the insurance company, but to your service providers while or after receiving care.
Before you begin your claim, do you understand your travel insurance policy in full? Do you understand what is covered and what isn’t per the policy wording? Reviewing your plan’s policy documents and having a clear idea of what your policy covers and what is excluded can help save you from frustration during the claims process.
How Can Good Communication Help Your Claim?
When you communicate clearly and honestly when filing your travel insurance claim, you give your claim a better chance to be processed accurately and smoothly. Clear and concise claims forms help your insurance company understand and process your claim. Additionally, providing as much information and documentation as possible can assist in getting your eligible claims approved.
One thing to note, however, is that effective communication doesn’t only just start when you begin your claim. You should practice good communication from the moment you receive any care during your plan’s policy period. In travel insurance, there may be several different entities involved in the process depending on the care you receive. Staying organized, collecting all relevant paperwork and information in regards to your care, and contacting any providers for additional information to support your claim can make a big difference in the clarity of your claim.
Travel Insurance Claims Tips
The following tips can assist you in how to best utilize communication when dealing with travel insurance claims.
Don’t Assume Everything is Covered
First, refrain from assuming that all of your claim(s) will be approved and covered as part of your travel insurance plan. All claims must be submitted, reviewed, and processed by the travel insurance company and will be approved or denied based on eligibility according to the policy coverage details and exclusions.
Understand How Billing Works
Ensure that you understand the billing process when it comes to any service provider that you visit, and take down their contact information in case you need to contact them for documentation that will support your claim.
Keep Detailed Records of All Visits and Payments
Be sure to keep records of everything related to your doctor’s visit or treatment or services received during your policy period that you are planning to submit a claim for. This includes doctor’s notes, proof of office visits, receipts, medical records, proof of payment, prescriptions, out of pocket expenses, and more. Providing all of this information and documentation when submitting your claim can help validate your claim.
Choose Direct Billing, If Available
If visiting a doctor, opt for direct billing when available for more seamless claims processing. If direct billing is not available, this is fine too, but keep record of any out of pocket expenses and receipts. Additionally, you can contact your service provider in advance of your visit to ask if they offer direct billing within your plan’s PPO network (network details can be found on your insurance ID card).
Be Proactive and Collect All Relevant Information
Don’t expect that your insurance company will have everything to process your claim on hand, such as bills from service providers. It is important you do your due diligence to collect all information from service providers related to your care, even if they are utilizing direct billing. Remain in charge of all of your documents and information related to your care.
Fill Out Your Claims Forms Clearly
Claim forms typically include many different fields and around 2-3 pages of questions. It is highly recommended to write or type your answers as clearly as possible and to answer the questions to the absolute best of your ability. Being honest with your answers and providing as much detail as possible can aid your claim.
Claims cannot be done over the phone and must be in writing, so a clear, concise, and legible claims form is important.
Include a Cover Letter
Write a cover letter for your claim with an overall explanation of care you received and are claiming coverage for along with your communication preferences, such as email or phone so that the claims department can contact you quickly if needed.
Track the Status of Your Claims
After submitting your claim, it’s always good practice to regularly check the status of your claim through your insurance company’s online portal. Signing into your online account with your insurance company will allow you to view your claim and claim status. You may also find that additional information is needed to process your claim, in which case you should review the request and provide the information or documentation required accordingly. You may need to upload supporting documents as needed, which is why continuously checking your claims status can help move along the process.
Read Your Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
After your claim is processed, you can find the final status of your claim on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) provided by your insurance company. This status can be found in the remarks section of your EOB, which indicates everything needed to proceed.
Give Your Claim the Best Possible Chance
Anyone filing a travel medical insurance claim is hoping that their eligible claim will be approved and covered. While claims aren’t always approved, ensuring that using excellent communication when filing your claim can give it the best possible chance for fast and smooth processing.
For more information on best practices when filing a travel insurance claim, read our guide on how to properly file a claim with your travel insurance company.