While there may be a myriad of reasons you love being an international student advisor, let’s be honest; helping students navigate the ever-complicated US healthcare system isn’t at the top of your list.
Taking your students to the doctor is oftentimes the easy part. It’s ensuring that the insurance company has everything they need to process the bills after the appointment that can be a bit tricky. Luckily for you, this blog will outline some sure-fire ways to help ensure your students’ insurance claims are processed as quickly as possible.
Tip #1 Ensure Your Student Shows Their Insurance ID Card When Seeking Medical Treatment
There’s a reason why this tip has made the top of the list. The easiest way to help ensure medical bills are processed quickly is to make sure that students bring a copy of their insurance ID card with them to their appointment and show the card when asked.
Think about it. When a student visits the doctor and doesn’t indicate that they have health insurance the provider will naturally send the bill directly to the student. Hospitals aren’t usually psychic and without a valid ID number, the correct spelling of the member’s name, and a plethora of other information located on the ID card the provider’s only option is to send the student the bill.
Your students are bombarded with important information both pre and post-departure, and it’s easy for insurance cards to get lost in the shuffle. As soon as the semester starts, ask each student for a copy of their insurance ID card to keep on file in case they need to seek treatment. Nowadays insurance companies usually offer electronic ID cards as well that your students can save to their Android Passes or Apple Wallet. Encouraging your students to download virtual copies of the card can save a lot of time and frustration down the road.
Tip #2 Always Have Your Students Complete A Claim Form After Visiting The Doctor
One form can oftentimes be the difference between a medical bill smoothly sailing through the claims process or coming to a screeching stop.
A claim form (sometimes called a proof of loss form) can likely be found on the website of your student’s chosen insurance company and oftentimes are pretty straightforward to complete. The document will collect general information about the student and the situation that arose, prompting the medical bill. Be sure that your students complete each of the sections to the best of their ability. Leaving even small sections of the form incomplete can result in delays.
Not every insurance plan out there will require a claim form, but the majority do. If you aren’t sure where to find the claim form or if it’s required, give the insurance company a ring via the number on the ID card.
Tip #3 Check-In With The Insurance Company Regularly
Sometimes simply showing an ID card and filling in a claim form isn’t enough to get a bill processed. From time to time, additional information like medical records will be needed in order to successfully resolve a bill.
After a student visits the doctor, encourage them to give the insurance company a call. During the call, the student can ask if there are any additional steps that may be required and also learn how long it may take the bill to be fully processed.
Here are some questions your student should ask:
- What items do you need for the claim to be processed?
- When can I expect the claim to be resolved?
- How will I be notified about the resolution of the claim?
Write the anticipated resolution date down and if the student hasn’t received any updates by that date, give the company another call. While it’s easy to assume that a medical bill will be resolved between the provider and insurance company, things aren’t always that easy.
By following the three steps above you will help your students save time and have the best chance possible for their bills to be resolved before they become a stressor. Staying organized, submitting the necessary documentation, and having open communication with the insurance company are key. In the unfortunate event that any bills are ultimately denied, this blog will outline your student’s options.