How to handle phone calls with your insurance provider
Although plenty of business occurs online, there are some situations where an old-fashioned phone call is the best solution. When working with your insurance providers, a phone call can help you drill down to the main issues and get answers far more quickly than letters or emails. Below, we'll discuss a few tips to help you navigate your next phone call with an insurance provider.
Avoid the Phone Call Entirely
If you don't need an immediate response to your question, consider using the insurance company's general "contact us" option. In addition, you may find answers to many of the most asked questions online through a support page, a live chat, or your online account.
Your online account will often allow you to view account balances, track claims and reimbursements, submit documentation, receive alerts, and monitor and change your personal information. By searching for the information you need online first, you may be able to avoid a phone call to your insurance company entirely.
Have Information Ready
One way to prepare for your call is to have personal information handy. This may include the following applicable information:
- Your or your dependent’s Social Security Number
- Your account or customer number
- Documentation specific to your claim
- Itemized Explanation of Benefits (EOBs)
- The letter or other communication that prompted your call
Having this information at hand can help you streamline your call and get right down to business. You'll also want to be in a quiet area where you can concentrate on the call, be free of distractions, and feel comfortable discussing personal information.
Keep Careful Notes
When talking to your insurance provider, it's a good idea to take notes of the conversation. A few things you'll want to jot down include:
- The name of the person(s) with whom you're speaking
- The dates and times of each conversation you have
- Any information you receive, from policy provisions, deadlines, or contact information
The better your notes, the more quickly you'll be able to provide a thorough background if you need to call again—and the easier it will be to follow up on what you need to.
Clarify Any Confusion
Operating on incorrect information can leave you spinning your wheels. If there's anything you don't understand, ask clarifying questions. If you're not sure whether you understand, repeat the information back to the person you're speaking with so they can clear up any misconceptions before the conversation goes any further. The more details you can confirm, the better.
Ensure You Have the Authority to Speak on Behalf of a Loved One
Finally, insurers must follow specific rules related to privacy, and you may need permission to talk about someone else’s policy. Generally, the insured may need to fill out a form when signing up for their coverage to allow others to speak on their behalf. Be sure to check with your insurance carriers to understand their process. If the insured cannot sign their authorization, a Power of Attorney may need to be on file to release any information.
Getting answers to your questions shouldn’t be a daunting task. If you know what to expect, you’ll be far better prepared to handle these types of conversations with your insurance providers, which can ultimately lead to faster and better resolutions.
This blog is up to date as of February 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.