Insurers Do Not Operate On Your Time Frame

Time LimitsMost insureds seem to think they are entitled to high levels of customer service and communication from their insurance companies.  Even a modicum of respectful response would be nice at times wouldn’t it? But alas, don’t hold your breath waiting!

Insurers do not as a general rule provide insureds with letters, answers, decisions when THEY think they should receive them. Frankly, insurance companies do not operate on our time line, but do things “when they get around to it”, or when the “flup (follow-up)” happens to appear. (Sometimes, they don’t even process on ERISA’s timeline.)

Every claims handler has a diary system that reminds them when to do things and generally, management insists that claims activities should be completed when scheduled. So, many people tell me, “I’ve been sitting around waiting for Unum’s approval letter, but it never comes”, or, “I never received a letter from my insurer telling me the status of my claim”, and finally, “I haven’t heard from my insurance company in months, is everything OK?” Believe me,  if it wasn’t OK, you’d hear about it.

The solution is to have patience and realize that “no news is generally good news” from any insurance company. There is no point sitting on the edge of your chair waiting to receive news from an insurer when your response is probably much further down the backlog list. Processing denials is the tope priority, so if you’re expecting good news your letters are much further down on some claims handler’s “pay no mind” list.

Most of the time insureds expect insurers to provide them with benefit money when THEY need it. Again, don’t hold your breath. Insurers do not have a two-way looking-glass into your finances to know that you’re broke and need the benefit check.

If you’ve been waiting a long time for something it is appropriate to contact your claims handler and ask, “when can I expect to receive…..whatever it is.” (In writing, of course.) But, sitting around waiting for an insurance company to do something is a waste of time and energy. They work on their own time line, not yours.

It’s so much better to use your energy to supplement the claim file, obtain patient notes, etc. than to endlessly wait for something that may be a while in coming.