Understanding and communicating with your insurance company is important as they are largely funding your care.


Consider following a few simple steps:


Before contacting your insurance carrier

Before you contact your insurance carrier, get prepared.  Make sure you have your insurance card, identify the contact number for your insurance carrier, and have the names of your doctor or doctors.  The contact number for your insurance carrier will be located on your insurance card; it will likely be an 800 number. You can record all this information in MyIBD.


Grab a pen and pad of paper, as it’s helpful to take notes while you’re speaking with your insurance company representative so you can remember what they say once the call is over.


Prepare what you are going to say, what it is that you need answered.  The better you organize your thoughts now, the easier it will be to communicate them when on the phone.


Making the call: Punch in the 800 number to the insurance company.  Most likely, you will reach an automated response system that will provide a list of numbered options.  Listen carefully and select the option that is closest to the topic you are calling about.  If in doubt, press the number that will allow you to talk to a representative.  You most likely will have need to provide your member ID number—this number is located on your insurance card.


When speaking with the insurance representative, introduce yourself and explain why you are calling. Make note of the representative’s name in case you do get disconnected or need to speak with them again.


Take notes during the call, writing down answers to your questions so you can review them more carefully when you hang up the phone.  It is sometimes easy to forget what is said, so recording it is always a good idea.


If they say something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify or explain what they mean.  The most important thing is for you to get your questions answered.


After the call: Review the notes you wrote down and make a clean copy.