Verifying Eligibility, Benefits and your Network Participation - Chapter 2, 2018 UnitedHealthcare Administrative Guide

Verifying Eligibility, Benefits and Your Network Participation Status

Check the member’s eligibility and benefits prior to providing care. Doing this:

  • Helps ensure that you submit the claim to the correct payer;
  • Allows you to collect copayments;
  • Determines if a referral and prior authorization or notification is required; and
  • Reduces denials for non-coverage.

One of the primary reasons for claims rejection is incomplete or inaccurate eligibility information.

There are three easy ways to verify eligibility and benefits:

  • EDI: Transactions 270 (Inquiry) and 271 (Response) through your vendor or clearinghouse
  • Online: Using eligibilityLink
  • Phone: 877-842-3210

EDI: Eligibility and Benefit Inquiry (270) and Response (271)

The EDI transaction is a powerful online tool that allows you to obtain members’ eligibility and benefit information in “real-time”. The HIPAA ANSI X12 270/271 format is the only acceptable format for this EDI transaction. 

Enhancements to these transactions are made periodically and are located in the Helpful Resources section of the 270/271 page.

Eligibility Grace Period for Individual Exchange Members

When individuals enroll in a health benefit plan through the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as Individual Exchange), the plans are required to provide a three-month grace period before terminating coverage. The grace period applies to those who receive federal subsidy assistance in the form of an advanced premium tax credit and who have paid at least one full month’s premium within the benefit year.

You can verify if the member is within the grace period when you verify eligibility.

If the date of service occurs after the ‘through date’, the member is in the grace period. They are at risk of retroactive termination if the premium is not paid in full at the end of the three-month period.

Understanding Your Network Participation Status

Your network status is not returned on 270/271 transactions. Know your status prior to submitting 270 transactions.

As our product portfolio evolves and new products are introduced, it is important for you to confirm your network status and tier status (for tiered benefit plans) while checking eligibilityLink or by calling us at 877-842-3210.

If you are not participating in the member’s benefit plan or are outside the network service area for the benefit plan (i.e., Compass), the member may have higher costs or no coverage. For more information about Tiered Benefit Plans, visit UHCprovider.com/state > Select your state > CommercialUnitedHealthcare Tiered Benefit Plans.