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Afro girl in protective mask worried about health insurance

Source: CoffeeAndMilk / Getty

Americans are under attack. Not by other countries. Not by cybercriminals. Well, also those things, but today, we’re talking about a threat that’s coming from the inside. It’s a much more heartless, much more menacing and far more dangerous entity that poses real threats to our lives every day: our very own medical system. The PEW Trust found that 43 percent of American adults are inadequately insured. And the ASPE found that there are more uninsured Black Americans than white Americans.

In this country, facing even a modest health issue can be financially devastating. Staying alive and healthy can mean wiping out your savings. Meanwhile, Life 5 News reports that the health insurance industry is getting richer than ever, with unprecedented profits this past year. If health insurance companies allegedly pay for pricey procedures, medicines and more, how do they keep fattening their pockets?

This could be one answer to how medical insurers get richer as we get sicker. Research from the American Association for Justice found that insurance companies operate under the mandate to look for any excuse possible to deny a claim. They’re in the business of keeping money – not giving it away, as their commercials would make you think. There are even rumors that claims adjustors with the highest numbers of claims denials are given monetary rewards and incentives. Your health insurer is not on your side. Don’t let that cheery jingle in their commercials fool you.

On Universal Health Coverage Day – a United Nations initiative demanding that all countries provide its citizens with affordable health care – we in America continue to have to advocate for ourselves. Here are ways to make your health insurance company do what it’s supposed to do—insure your health fully.

 

Get Everything On Record

Beautiful young Black woman talking by mobile phone while working at home.

Source: Evgeniia Siiankovskaia / Getty

A phone call does not provide the evidence you need that a claim should have been covered. When you speak to your insurance company – either before a procedure when getting approval or after it – take notes of every piece of information you need in writing. Then ask the adjustor to send you an email with those pieces of information. You may also have the right to record the phone call, depending on which state you live in. In some cases, you must get verbal consent from the adjustor.

Go into conversations with your insurance company with the understanding that one day, you might need to use what they said against them in a claim – if not a lawsuit. And remember: they are recording the phone call. So you might as well, too.

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