In a medical emergency situation, the last thing you want to worry about is the status of your insurance. The hospital, on the other hand, will question you about your coverage. While it might seem like bad timing, the hospital has a duty to obtain this information from you. This process can go smoothly with a little preparation. Here are a few tips for how to avoid insurance issues in a medical emergency situation.
Always Carry Your Insurance Card
As your insurance card might state, you should carry it with you at all times. Many insurance companies will periodically send you a new, updated card. Make sure you are carrying a current insurance card; the expiration date should be listed on the card. If you are unsure whether or not your insurance card is current, give your insurance company a call. Make a copy of your insurance card and keep it in a safe place in case you misplace your card.
Keep Your Insurance Current
Your insurance payments should be made regularly to prevent a lapse in coverage. The hospital will call your insurance company to verify your coverage status, and a lapse in coverage will likely affect your bill negatively at the end of treatment.
Know About Your Coverage
One of the best things you can do to avoid insurance issues in a medical emergency situation is to be knowledgeable about your health insurance coverage. Know what your co-payment and deductible amounts are, and be aware of the treatments your insurance will and will not cover. In an emergency situation you can’t be picky about which hospital or Northside Urgent Medical Clinic you visit. Be aware of where your “in network” offices are beforehand. Insurance agencies only provide coverage if you are admitted to locations that they have approved or are “in network.” If you are traveling, make sure you know what locations offer you coverage so, if something were to happen, you will be covered. This can mean the difference between getting no charge or a huge bill.
Complete Your Paperwork
While an emergency situation might not seem like the ideal time to complete insurance paperwork, it is necessary. This paperwork is for liability purposes, and it can be used to protect you, the hospital and/or your insurance company. Be thorough, honest and answer all questions with accuracy.
The hospital will have to check your insurance coverage, even in an emergency medical situation. It is true that this may delay your care, but the hospital will not neglect you if life-saving treatment is urgently required. Cooperate with the doctors, nurses and staff, because they are waiting on your insurance authorization, too. These authorizations can seem painstakingly slow in an emergency, but they are required as per hospital and insurance policy.
Health insurance will probably not be the first thing on your mind when you are in a medical emergency situation, but it will be a priority for the hospital. Of course, your health is their top priority but they still need to be professional about the situation. Accommodating them as best you can with your health insurance information will help avoid delays in your treatment.