Claims Determinations
Delta Dental will notify you or your authorized representative if you receive an adverse benefit determination after your claim is filed. An adverse benefit determination is any denial, reduction, or termination of the benefit for which you filed a claim, or a failure to provide or to make payment (in whole or in part) of the benefit you sought. This includes any such determination based on eligibility, application of any utilization review criteria, or a determination that the item or service for which benefits are otherwise provided was experimental or investigational or was not medically necessary or appropriate. If Delta Dental informs you that the Plan will pay the benefit you sought but will not pay the total amount of expenses incurred, and you must make a copayment to satisfy the balance, you may also treat that as an adverse benefit determination.
If you receive notice of an adverse benefit determination, and if you think that Delta Dental incorrectly denied all or part of your claim, you or your Dentist should contact Delta Dental's Customer Service department at their toll-free number, 800 524 0149, and ask them to check the claim to make sure it was processed correctly. You may also mail your inquiry to the Customer Service department at P.O. Box 9089, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 48333-9089. When writing, please enclose a copy of your Explanation of Benefits and describe the problem. Be sure to include your name, your telephone number, the date, and any information you would like considered about your claim. This inquiry is not required and should not be considered a formal request for review of a denied claim. Delta Dental provides this opportunity for you to describe problems and submit information that might indicate that your claim was improperly denied and allow Delta Dental to correct this error quickly.
Claims Appeal Procedure
Whether or not you have asked Delta Dental informally, as described above, to recheck its initial determination, you can submit your claim to a formal review through the claims appeal procedure described here. To request a formal appeal of your claim, you must send your request in writing to:
Dental Director
Delta Dental
P.O. Box 30416
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7916
You must include your name and address, the Subscriber's Member ID number, the reason you believe your claim was wrongly denied, and any other information you believe supports your claim, and indicate in your letter that you are requesting a formal appeal of your claim. You also have the right to review the Plan and any documents related to it. If you would like a record of your request and proof that it was received by Delta Dental, you should mail it certified mail, return receipt requested.
You or your authorized representative should seek a review as soon as possible, but you must file your appeal within 180 days of the date on which you receive your notice of the adverse benefit determination you are asking Delta Dental to review. If you are appealing an adverse determination of a Concurrent Care Claim, you will have to do so as soon as possible so that you may receive a decision on review before the course of treatment you are seeking to extend terminates.
The Dental Director or any other person(s) reviewing your claim will not be the same as, nor will they be subordinate to, the person(s) who initially decided your claim. The Dental Director will grant no deference to the prior decision about your claim. Instead, the Dental Director will assess the information, including any additional information that you have provided, as if the Dental Director were deciding the claim for the first time.
The Dental Director will make a decision within 30 days of receiving your request for the review of Pre-Service Claims and within 60 days for Post-Service Claims. If your claim is denied on review (in whole or in part), you will be notified in writing. The notice of any adverse determination by the Dental Director will (a) inform you of the specific reason(s) for the denial, (b) list the pertinent Plan provision(s) on which the denial is based, (c) contain a description of any additional information or material that is needed to decide the claim and an explanation of why such information is needed, (d) reference any internal rule, guideline, or protocol that was relied on in making the decision on review and inform you that a copy can be obtained upon request at no charge, (e) contain a statement that you are entitled to receive, upon request and at no cost, reasonable access to and copies of the documents, records, and other information relevant to the Dental Director's decision to deny your claim (in whole or in part), and (f) contain a statement that you may seek to have your claim paid by bringing a civil action in court if it is denied again on appeal.
If the Dental Director's adverse determination is based on an assessment of medical or dental judgment or necessity, the notice of the adverse determination will explain the scientific or clinical judgment on which the determination was based or include a statement that a copy of the basis for that judgment can be obtained upon request at no charge. If the Dental Director consulted medical or dental experts in the appropriate specialty, the notice will include the name(s) of those expert(s).
If your claim is denied in whole or in part after you have completed this required claims appeal procedure or Delta Dental fails to comply with any of the deadlines contained therein, you have the right to seek to have your claim paid by filing a civil action in court. However, you will not be able to do so unless you have completed the review described above. If you wish to file your claim in court, you must do so within one year of the date on which you receive notice of the final denial of your claim.