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A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Claim Your Health Insurance

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Do you know how to claim your health insurance policy?

To be prepared for times of medical emergency, it is a good idea to know about the claim process of health insurance policies. A health insurance policy provides necessary financial support to get medical treatment in time. Hospitalization can burn a hole in your pocket and wipe out your savings, so being able to claim the benefits of your health insurance plan becomes a necessity.    

Read along to find out how to claim your health insurance plan.

What is the Claim Process of Health Insurance?

A health insurance policy takes effect when a policyholder gets hospitalised or faces a medical emergency. At that time, the insured person can make a request to the insurance company to cover their medical costs. This is referred to as making a claim for a health insurance policy. 

Insured individuals can either opt for a direct claim settlement (cashless treatment) or get reimbursement for availed health services. In the cashless claims process of health insurance, an insurer pays the claim amount directly to a network hospital. 

A cashless facility is only available when you go to a hospital with which the insurer has prior agreements to offer this facility. Such hospitals are called network or empanelled hospitals.

With a reimbursement facility, you have to pay all medical expenses upfront and request for claim settlement from the health insurance company later. 

How Cashless Claims Work?

Cashless claims are ideal in situations where you are going through financial instability and do not have access to cash during times of medical crisis. 

Here is a step-by-step guide for you to get a cashless claim with planned hospitalisation:

  1. Inform your insurer/TPA about your planned treatment at least 3 to 4 days before hospitalisation.
  2. Get a pre-authorisation form from a network hospital or on the TPA’s website. 
  3. Fill it up and submit it at the insurer’s/TPA desk in the hospital where you want your treatment.
  4. Make sure to carry all required documents to the TPA counter.
  5. After approval, the insurer/TPA will send you an authorization letter and inform the hospital about your treatment.
  6. On the day of admission, show your health insurance ID card and pre-authorisation letter to get cashless treatment.

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How Do Reimbursement Claims Work?

Insurance companies allow reimbursement claims when an insured person gets treatment from non-network hospitals or when they cannot approve cashless claims. You will need to pay the costs of treatment and medicines from your own pocket and file for reimbursement claims after discharge.

Here are the steps you should follow to make a reimbursement claim:

  1. Make sure to safely preserve all prescriptions, medical reports and bills accumulated during your treatment.
  2. After discharge, get the discharge certificate or discharge summary from the hospital. 
  3. To make claims on medical bills, remember to get them attested and signed by the hospital.
  4. Submit all relevant documents in original along with the duly signed claim form to the insurance company.
  5. Make sure to file for claims between 7 to 15 days of being discharged from the hospital. 

How to Get Claims Settled in Case of an Emergency?

On many occasions, policyholders need urgent hospitalisation. This can happen in case of an accident of the insured person or a sudden illness that requires urgent hospitalisation. 

Here are the steps to get cashless claims during an emergency:

  1. In emergency situations, the family members of the insured have to contact the health insurance provider. 
  2. They will have to fill in and submit the pre-authorisation form within 24 hours following hospitalisation.
  3. The insurance/TPA desk will send the request across. 
  4. The approval should take a few hours. If there is not enough time, you can pay the medical expenses on your own and apply for reimbursement after discharge.

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Documents Required for the Claim Process of Health Insurance

Most insurance companies require the following documents for the claims process:

  • Duly filled claim form
  • Copy of the policy bond
  • Cancelled cheque
  • Health insurance ID card
  • Diagnostic reports, including X-ray reports, blood reports etc.
  • Consultation papers 
  • Pharmacy bills
  • Discharge summary
  • Valid ID proof of the insured

Note that insurance providers may ask for other relevant documents. 

What to Do If Your Health Insurance Claim is Rejected?

  • First, check your insurance claim form thoroughly for mistakes. If there are errors in the information, you can ask the TPA to reopen the case.
  • In case a missing document results in your claim rejection, you need to follow up and submit the required document.
  • Your insurer can reject a claim for a medical procedure that it considers to be unnecessary. In this case, you can produce a licensed doctor’s opinion to prove your claim.   
  • If you have determined that your claim is valid, you can write to your insurer’s grievance cell to challenge the rejection.
  • In case your complaint remains unresolved, you can approach the nearest Ombudsman as a last resort. 

Final Word

Insurance companies offer two methods with regard to the claim process for health insurance policies- cashless and reimbursement. The former provides hassle-free treatment from a network hospital. The latter allows you to get medical treatment from out-of-network hospitals and in cases where cashless claims do not work.

Navi ensures a simple and hassle-free process that gets your claim approved in 20 minutes. You can use the Navi app from Google Play Store to purchase health insurance products from a company with over 10,000 network hospitals across India.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by TPA?

Third-Party Administrator (TPA) facilitates claim settlement by coordinating between the insurance company and the insured person. TPAs are available at reception desks of hospitals and serve as the point of contact for policyholders.

Can I make a claim from multiple insurance providers?

Yes, if you have multiple health insurance policies, you can choose to make claims from all of them. You will need to inform all the insurance providers and submit relevant documents with each insurer separately.

When should I file for a reimbursement claim?

Reimbursement claims can be made when the insured person does not get treatment from a network hospital. In such cases, they will have to bear all expenses themselves and ask for payment later.

What are the possible reasons for claim rejection?

Here are some common reasons for claim rejection:

  • When the policyholder provides incorrect or wrong information
  • Missing documents
  • Lapsed policy due to non-payment of premiums
  • Exclusions of the insurance policy
  • Claim made without proper reasons

What happens if I do not intimate claims within the prescribed time?

If you do not manage to submit your claim within the prescribed time, the insurance provider will take more time to settle the claim. In case of long delays, they can choose to reject your claim.

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