Does Your Health Insurance Company Owe You A Refund?
There is hardly a piece of good news for those who have to buy their health insurance plan. However, there is a silver lining. The health insurance company might owe you a refund. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers should shell out a minimum of 80 percent of the premiums collected in a year to pay for wellness programs.
Such initiatives aim for betterment in the quality of care for individuals who buy a health insurance plan. In case the insurer spends an amount less than that 80 percent, you get a refund. Health insurance companies owe something around $743 million to 2.7 million policyholders. That comes close to one-third of those who had plans under the Affordable Care Act in 2018.
The Refunds Go Unclaimed
Though the insurers owe a significant sum of $743 million to the policy owners, a shocking fact has come out recently. According to a study, millions of dollars are left unclaimed. The policyholders haven’t claimed a refund of $38 million since the year 2012. There are very few people who are aware of a refund.
Most of them don’t even know how to get the check from their health insurance provider. Whenever related emails arrive, they reject them as junk. As per the experts, individual policyholders might need a refund for a brief period, as they are either students or working somewhere. Therefore, the probability of losing track of the refund checks is high.
Refunds Are Not Identical In Every State And From Every Insurer
Refunds are not the same for every state, and they vary from one insurer to another. For example, insurers will pay $990 to a policyholder in Pennsylvania, $770 in Virginia, and $670 in Minnesota. Policyholders get the most in Virginia, as insurers pay out $111.3 million as a refund amount. In Texas, the payout is $80.4 million, while in Arizona, the amount stands at $92.3 million.
The insurers which give out high rebates are Centene, HCSC, Cigna, and Highmark. Centene issues $216.9 million. HCSC, Cigna, and Highmark issue $78.5 million, $55.9 million, and $50.8 million, respectively. Some insurers don’t give out rebates. But, not getting a refund doesn’t imply that you are losing out on something. It simply means that you were not overcharged. Hopefully, this will clear out any confusion.
How To Receive A Refund From The Insurer
Many policy owners are still pretty much in the dark regarding receiving a refund from the insurers and are not clear whether they are eligible for a refund or not. If you are a policyholder and have purchased a health insurance plan for yourself in 2018, you stand a good chance of getting a refund. You must also check whether the insurer owes you money from the past. There are ways to find everything in detail. The following points will discuss them.
Check Your Mail
Insurers should give out refunds for the year 2018 from 30th September 2019. So, you have to keep track of any mail issued by the insurance provider. You can receive your refund in either a lump sum or a credit, keeping the future premiums in mind. It’s the insurer’s responsibility to make an effort and find out if they owe you a refund. So remember that your insurance provider might communicate with you over the phone or send you emails regarding the due refunds.
Call Your Insurance Provider
Suppose you think you have missed any notification from your insurance provider regarding your refunds. In that case, it will always be in your best interests to call the health insurance company to check whether your refund is due. Keep your details along with you as you might have to provide them once they ask you to.
Contact The State
If a check hasn’t been cashed or an insurer finds that you are not available, it has to transfer the money to the state. The duration of the whole process is dependent on state regulations.
However, it can be anytime between one to five years. You can also go through MissingMoney.com. It happens to be a database that has the endorsement of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
In case you have relocated to any other state, you will have to adhere to the regulations of the state you lived in at the time of buying the health insurance.
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