Pre-service appeals - Chapter 7, 2021 UnitedHealthcare Administrative Guide

A pre-service appeal is a request to change a denial of coverage for a planned health care service. The member’s rights in the member’s benefit plan govern this process. You can submit normal pre-service appeal requests through the standard fax line or mailed to the address in the pre-service denial letter. A peer-to-peer review is highly recommended before you file a pre-service appeal.

Expedited or urgent appeals

If you have already provided the service, an expedited or urgent appeal is not available. Submit a claim based on the service provided. See the appeal section for more information.

You may request an urgent pre-service appeal on behalf of the member by using the urgent appeals fax number listed in the pre-service denial letter. We consider requests urgent when:

  • The standard review time frame risks the life or health of the member
  • The member’s ability to regain maximum function is jeopardized
  • The member’s severe pain is not able to be managed without the care or treatment requested

Medical records request submission time frame

If we request medical records to process an appeal, you must provide the information within the following time frames. This includes providing a copy of the denial notice.

  • Expedited appeal: Within 2 hours* of receipt of request.
  • Standard appeal: Within 24 hours* of receipt of request.