How to replace a missing insurance policy

TA | January 21, 2009

Q: I enrolled in a health insurance online but did not receive a policy.

A: It makes sense to:

1) confirm that your were actually enrolled in the insurance
2) find out what policy delivery methods are available
3) if requesting delivery by mail, confirm the address

First, make sure that you can independently confirm that you are enrolled for insurance. Evidence of enrollment can be a credit card charge indicating a premium payment, cancelled check or an e-mail confirmation of the enrollment.

Second, call the the member services office of your insurance plan to ask about delivery options. An increasing number of insurance companies and employee benefit firms deliver policies through electronic Internet download rather than by mail. If online delivery is available, this is often the  preferable method because it is faster and the online member service Web site can be accessed again in the future as often as necessary. A few insurance companies issuing short term or travel insurance charge a slightly higher premium for a mailed policy than a policy delivered electronically. When necessary, travel insurance policies may be delivered overnight by FedEx for an additional charge.

The most difficult part of this step is finding the telephone number of the insurance company. If you have an insurance ID card, then the telephone number of the member services office is listed on the card. A list of frequently supported insurance companies is listed here at http://www.medsave.com/contact.htm. Other numbers can easily be found by doing an online search with the name of the insurance plan.

Finally, when requesting a replacement policy by mail, confirm that the insurance company has your correct mailing address is correct. A surprising number of duplicate policies are mailed to the same incorrect address as the first misdirected mailing!


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