Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow day projects

While you're inside staying toasty and out of the cold, you could take on the project of organizing your health insurance data. 

First, make sure that you keep your health insurance card in an accessible place.  (Remember not to share your insurance identification number with anyone other than a provider, an insurer or a reputable consumer advocacy organization like the Office of the Healthcare Advocate.)

Second, find those documents you've received from your insurer, called an "Explanation of Benefits" that explain how your insurance benefits were calculated.  You may find an error on one of those documents and need to appeal, so keep them in one spot.  A good rule of thumb for saving these documents is to keep them for seven years.  Medical disputes can arise well after your medical treatment.

Third, find and organize your medical bills by date.  You should be able to match up your medical bills to the EOBs you're received from an insurer.  It's wise to hang onto medical bills just like you hang onto EOBs.  A dispute may arise, or you may discover an error on a bill.

Doing these little projects on a day like today may take you an hour or so, but they'll prevent potential headaches down the line.

If you have any questions on your medical bills or EOBs, call OHA at 1-866-HMO-4446.  OHA is a free service of the state of Connecticut.

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