When speaking to your insurance company/plan, you may find that you do not have all the documents you need in front of you, or that you need to call back to get more information. Here are three tips to help you communicate effectively with your insurance company.

  1. Have the documents and information you need before you pick up the phone.
    • While talking to a representative from your plan, you may need:
      • Your name and address
      • Your date of birth
      • Your insurance policy number (and/or other information from your insurance card)
      • Your Social Security number
      • A Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
      • Any bills you have received, including the name and address of the organization that sent it, the total cost of the bill, the name of the provider and date of service, and the diagnosis code on the bill
      • A list of questions you want to ask
    • Be sure you have carefully read any documents you received from the insurance company before calling.
  2. Record information you receive during the conversation.
    • Always write down the name and telephone extension of the plan representative handling your call. If someone is unable or unwilling to help you or provide you with that information, ask to speak to a supervisor.
    • Take notes, including the date and time of the call, the information you are given, and what you were told to do next.
    • You may also want a trusted individual to be on the call with you to take notes and ask questions.
  3. Submit information immediately.
    • If the insurance representative asks you to send something, do it right away. This will help ensure that the process moves smoothly. If you cannot act immediately, ask if there is a deadline for submission.
    • Keep a copy of anything you send. In some cases, you may want to send materials via certified or registered mail.

Remember: Be patient! You may have to spend time on hold or navigating automated telephone menus before you can speak to a representative.