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2019 Transparency Notice

A) Out-of-network liability and balance billing

The Ambetter network is the group of providers and hospitals we contract with to provide care for you. If a provider or hospital  is in our network, services are  covered by  your health insurance plan.

When a covered service is received from a non-network provider and a network exception (as defined below) exists or the non-network provider is approved or authorized by us, the eligible service expense is the lesser of (1) the negotiated fee, if any, that has been mutually agreed upon by us and the provider as payment in full (you will not be billed for the difference between the negotiated fee and the provider’s charge), or (2) the amount accepted by non-network provider (not to exceed the provider’s charge).  In either circumstance, you will not be billed for the difference between the negotiated or accepted fee, as applicable, and the provider’s charge.

A “network exception” occurs when you receive covered service from a non-network provider either because there is no network provider accessible or available that can provide such services to you timely, or we determine it is in your best interest to receive care from a non-network provider.

When receiving care at an Ambetter network hospital it is possible that some hospital-based providers (for example, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists) may not be under contract with Ambetter network providers.  These providers may bill you for the difference between Ambetter’s allowed amount and the providers’ billed charge – this is known as “balance billing”.  We encourage you to inquire about the providers who will be treating you before you begin your treatment, so you can understand their participation status with Ambetter.

B) Enrollee Claim Submission

Providers will typically submit claims on your behalf, but sometimes you may be financially responsible for covered services. This usually happens if:

  • Your provider is not contracted with us
  • You have an international emergency

Be sure to show your member ID card at the time of service to ensure the provider bills us for your care.

If you have paid for services we agreed to cover, you can request reimbursement for the amount you paid. We can adjust your deductible, copayment or cost sharing to reimburse you.

To request reimbursement for a covered service, you need a copy of the detailed claim from the provider. You also need to submit an explanation of why you paid for the covered services. Sometimes this may be referred to as a ‘superbill.’ Send this to us at the following address:

Ambetter from Arizona Complete Health
Attn: Claims Department
P.O. Box 5010
Farmington, MO 63640-3800

C) Grace Periods and Claims Pending

If you don’t pay your premium by its due date, you’ll enter a grace period. This is the extra time we give you to pay (we understand that stuff happens sometimes).

During your grace period, you will still have coverage. However, if you don’t pay before a grace period ends, you run the risk of losing your coverage. During a grace period, we may hold — or pend — your claim payment.

If your coverage is terminated for not paying your premium, you won’t be eligible to enroll with us again until Open Enrollment or a Special Enrollment period. So make sure you pay your bills on time!

If you receive a subsidy payment

After the first premium is paid, a grace period of 3 months from the premium due date is given for the payment of premium.  Coverage will remain in force during the grace period.  If full payment of premium is not received within the grace period, coverage will be terminated as of the last day of the first month during the grace period, if Advance Premium Tax Credits are received.

We will continue to pay all appropriate claims for covered services rendered to the member during the first month of the grace period, and may pend claims for covered services rendered to the member in the second and third month of the grace period.  We will notify HHS of the non-payment of premiums, the member, as well as providers of the possibility of denied claims when the member is in the second and third month of the grace period.  We will continue to collect Advance Premium Tax Credits on behalf of the member from the Department of the Treasury, and will return the Advance Premium Tax Credits on behalf of the member for the second and third month of the grace period if the member exhausts their grace period as described above. A member is not eligible to re-enroll once terminated, unless a member has a special enrollment circumstance, such as a marriage or birth in the family or during annual open enrollment periods.

If you don’t receive a subsidy payment

Premium payments are due in advance, on a calendar month basis.  Monthly payments are due on or before the first day of each month for coverage effective during such month. There is a one (1) month grace period.  This provision means that if any required premium is not paid on or before the date it is due, it may be paid during the grace period. During the grace period, the contract will stay in force; however, claims may pend for covered services rendered to the member during the grace period.  We will notify HHS, as necessary, of the non-payment of premiums, the member, as well as providers of the possibility of denied claims when the member is in the grace period.

D) Retroactive Denials

"Retroactive denial of a previously paid claim" or "retroactive denial of payment" means any attempt by a carrier retroactively to collect payments already made to a provider with respect to a claim by reducing other payments currently owed to the provider, by withholding or setting off against future payments, or in any other manner reducing or affecting the future claim payments to the provider.

There are instances where claims may be denied retroactively if you received services from a provider or facility that is not in our network, terminate coverage with Ambetter, late notification of other coverage due to new coverage, a change in circumstance, such as divorce or marriage. This causes Ambetter to request recoupment of payment from the Provider.

If you believe the termination is in error, you are encouraged to contact member’s services department by calling the number on your ID card.

“Not Available in EOCs/ Handbooks.”

E) Recoupment of Overpayments

Members may call in to request a refund of overpaid premium. Refunds are processed by two methods, electronically or by a manual check. The type of refund that is issued is dependent on the method of payment. Payments made with a debit/credit card via eCashiering, IVR, auto pay, member portal as well as credit card payments sent to our lockbox vendor will be refunded via eCashering. Payments made via eCheck will also be refunded electronically. Payments made by check to our lockbox vendor and payments that were processed in-house at our Little Rock location must be refunded manually via live check.

F) Medical Necessity and Prior Authorization

Services are only covered if they are medically necessary. Medically necessary services are health care services that a physician, exercising prudent clinical judgment, would provide to a patient for the purpose of preventing, evaluating, diagnosing or treating an illness, injury, disease or its symptoms, and that are:

  • In accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice;
  • Clinically appropriate, in terms of type, frequency, extent, site and duration, and considered effective for the patient’s illness, injury or disease; and
  • Not primarily for the convenience of the patient, physician, or other health care provider, and not more costly than an alternative service or sequence of services at least as likely to produce equivalent therapeutic or diagnostic results as to the diagnosis or treatment of that patient’s illness, injury or disease.

For these purposes, “generally accepted standards of medical practice” means standards that are based on credible scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed medical literature generally recognized by the relevant medical community, Physician Specialty Society recommendations, the views of physicians practicing in relevant clinical areas and any other relevant factors.

The fact that a provider may prescribe, order, recommend or approve a treatment, service, supply or medicine does not in itself make the treatment, service, supply or medicine medically necessary as defined in this Policy. The terms medically necessary, medically indicated, and medical necessity may be used interchangeably throughout this document.

Prior Authorization Required

Selected services and treatments that are covered under your health plan require approval before you receive them in order for them to be covered by us.  This approval is referred to as Prior Authorization. This means that even though a service or treatment may be a covered benefit, Prior Authorization must be obtained before the service or treatment can be received.  Even those services that are determined to be medically necessary by us must have Prior Authorization in order to be covered.  Physicians and networks cannot deny a service or treatment for failure to obtain Prior Authorization.  Only we can deny coverage for medical services for failure to obtain Prior Authorization. Questions concerning Prior Authorization can be directed to your Primary Care Physician, or you can call Member Services.  Prior Authorization does not guarantee coverage.  

Circumstances in which the service will not be covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Other plan provisions are not satisfied (for example, the member is not enrolled or eligible for service on the date the service is received or the service is not a Covered Benefit);
  • Fraudulent, materially erroneous or incomplete information is submitted; or
  • A material change in the member’s health condition occurs between the date that the Prior Authorization was provided and the date of the treatment that makes the proposed treatment no longer medically necessary for such member.  

In the event that Company certifies the medical necessity of a course of treatment limited by number, time period or otherwise, a request for treatment beyond the certified course of treatment shall be deemed to be a new request. 

As a general rule, please remember that, except for Emergency Services, all Medical Services and treatments must be provided through the direct coordination of the Primary Care Physician and received within the Service Area. If they are not, your Health Plan may not cover these services.

The following services or supplies require prior authorization:

  1. Hospital confinements;
  2. Hospital confinement as the result of a medical emergency;
  3. Hospital confinement for psychiatric care;
  4. Outpatient surgeries and major diagnostic tests;
  5. All inpatient services; 
  6. Extended care facility confinements;
  7. Rehabilitation facility confinements;
  8. Skilled Nursing Facility confinements; 
  9. Transplants; and
  10. Chemotherapy, specialty drugs and biotech medications.

Prior Authorization requests must be received by telephone, efax, or provider web portal as follows:

  1. At least 5 days prior to an elective admission as an inpatient in a hospital, extended care or rehabilitation facility, or hospice facility.
  2. At least 30 days prior to the initial evaluation for organ transplant services.
  3. At least 30 days prior to receiving clinical trial services. 
  4. Within 24 hours of an admission to an inpatient behavioral health or substance abuse treatment admission.  No prior authorization shall be required for short-term inpatient withdrawal manage-ment and clinical stabilization services for up to 24 hours.
  5. At least 5 days prior to the start of home healthcare.

After prior authorization has been requested and all required or applicable documentation has been submitted, we will notify you and your provider if the request has been approved as follows:

  1. For immediate request situations, within 1 business day, when the lack of treatment may result in an emergency room visit or emergency admission.
  2. For urgent concurrent review within 24 hours of receipt of the request.
  3. For urgent pre-service, within 72 hours from date of receipt of request. 
  4. For non-urgent pre-service requests within 5 days but no longer than 15 days of receipt of the re-quest.
  5. For post-service requests, with in 30 calendar days of receipt of the request.

Except for medical emergencies, prior authorization must be obtained before services are rendered or expenses are incurred. 

Failure to Obtain Prior Authorization

Failure to comply with the prior authorization requirements will result in benefits being reduced. 

Network providers cannot bill you for services for which they fail to obtain prior authorization as required. In cases of emergency, benefits will not be reduced for failure to comply with prior authorization requirements prior to an emergency. However, you must contact us as soon as reasonably possible after the emergency occurs.

G) Drug Exceptions Timeframes and Enrollee Responsibilities

Standard exception request

A member, a member’s designee or a member’s prescribing physician may request a standard review of a decision that a drug is not covered by the plan.  The request can be made in writing or via telephone. Within 72 hours of the request being received, we will provide the member, the member’s designee or the member’s prescribing physician with our coverage determination. Should the standard exception request be granted, we will provide coverage of the non-formulary drug for the duration of the prescription, including refills.

Expedited exception request

A member, a member’s designee or a member’s prescribing physician may request an expedited review based on exigent circumstances.   Exigent circumstances exist when a member is suffering from a health condition that may seriously jeopardize the enrollee's life, health, or ability to regain maximum function or when an enrollee is undergoing a current course of treatment using a non-formulary drug.  Within 24 hours of the request being received, we will provide the member, the member’s designee or the member’s prescribing physician with our coverage determination. Should the expedited exception request be granted, we will provide coverage of the non-formulary drug for the duration of the exigency.

External exception request review

If we deny a request for a standard exception or for an expedited exception, the member, the member’s designee or the member’s prescribing physician may request that the original exception request and subsequent denial of such request be reviewed by an independent review organization.  We will make our determination on the external exception request and notify the member, the member’s designee or the member’s prescribing physician of our coverage determination no later than 72 hours following receipt of the request, if the original request was a standard exception, and no later than 24 hours following its receipt of the request, if the original request was an expedited exception.

If we grant an external exception review of a standard exception request, we will provide coverage of the non-formulary drug for the duration of the prescription. If we grant an external exception review of an expedited exception request, we will provide coverage of the non-formulary drug for the duration of the exigency.

H) Information on Explanations of Benefits

An explanation of benefits (EOB) is a statement that we send to members to explain what medical treatments and/or services we paid for on behalf of a member. This shows the amount billed by the provider, the issuer’s payment, and the enrollee’s financial responsibility pursuant to the terms of the policy. We will send an EOB to a member after we receive and adjudicate a claim on your behalf from a provider. If you need assistance interpreting your Explanation of Benefits, please contact Member Services at 1-888-926-5057.

I) Coordination of Benefits

Coordination of Benefits exists when an enrollee is covered by another plan besides Ambetter and determines which plan pays first.  We coordinate benefits with other payers as required by any federal or state laws.  Medicaid is always the payer of last resort.