Citi Benefits Handbook
Claims and Appeals for Anthem BlueCross BlueShield Medical Plan
The Plan wants your experience to be as positive as possible. There may be times, however, when you have a complaint, problem, or question about your Plan or a service you have received. In those cases, please contact Member Services by calling the number on the back of your Identification Card. The Claims Administrator will try to resolve your complaint informally by talking to your provider or reviewing your claim. If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your complaint, you have the right to file an appeal, which is defined as follows:
For purposes of these appeal provisions, "claim for benefits" means a request for benefits under the Plan. The term includes both pre-service and post-service claims.
  • A pre-service claim for benefits under the plan for which you have not received the benefit or for which you may need to obtain approval in advance.
  • A post-service claim is any other claim for benefits under the plan for which you have received the service.
If your claim is denied or if your coverage is rescinded:
  • You will be provided with a written notice of the denial or rescission; and
  • You are entitled to a full and fair review of the denial or rescission.
The procedure the Claims Administrator will follow will satisfy the requirements for a full and fair review under applicable Federal regulations.
Important COVID-19-Related Changes that Extend Claims and Appeals Deadlines
On May 4, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Labor and the Treasury (the Agencies) issue guidance that temporarily extends the deadlines in place for certain benefit changes and processes associated with election, notification, payment and claims/appeals in connection with the Coronavirus disease of 2019, which was deemed a national emergency on March 1, 2020 (the National Emergency). To protect individuals from losing benefit, the Agencies extended deadlines that might have been missed during the National Emergency. The temporary extension of the deadlines was initially set to expire 60 days after the end of the National Emergency. The Agencies have revised their guidance to provide that your extended deadline will end on the earlier of one year from your original deadline or your original time limit after the end of the National Emergency as described above (Agencies' deadline).
If your deadline to file a claim or appeal falls within Agencies' deadline, you will have additional time to submit your claim.
For more information, contact your medical plan Claims Administrator to obtain a claims appeal form. For claims regarding eligibility or enrollment in a plan, call the Citi Benefits Center through ConnectOne at 1 (800) 881-3938. See the For More Information section for detailed instructions, including TDD and international assistance.
The Claims Administrator will review requests for benefits according to the timeframes listed below.  The timeframes and requirements listed are based on Federal laws.  You may call the phone number on the back of your Identification Card for more details.
Type of Review
Timeframe Requirement for Decision and Notification
Urgent Pre-service Review
72 hours from the receipt of request
Non-Urgent Pre-service Review
15 calendar days from the receipt of the request
Urgent Continued Stay/Concurrent Review when request is received more than 24 hours before the end of the previous authorization
24 hours from the receipt of the request
Urgent Continued Stay/Concurrent Review when request is received less than 24 hours before the end of the previous authorization or no previous authorization exists
72 hours from the receipt of the request
Non-urgent Continued Stay/Concurrent Review for ongoing outpatient treatment
15 calendar days from the receipt of the request
Post-Service Review
30 calendar days from the receipt of the request
If more information is needed to make a decision, the Claims Administrator will tell the requesting provider of the specific information needed to finish the review.  If the Claims Administrator does not get the specific information needed by the required timeframe, the Claims Administrator will make a decision based upon the information it has.
The Claims Administrator will notify you and your provider of its decision as required by Federal law.  Notice may be given by one or more of the following methods:  verbal, written, and/or electronic.
Appeals
You have the right to appeal an Adverse Benefit Determination (claim denial or rescission of coverage). You or your authorized representative must file your appeal within 180 calendar days after you are notified of the denial or rescission. You will have the opportunity to submit written comments, documents, records and other information supporting your claim. The Claims Administrator's review of your claim will take into account all information you submit, regardless of whether it was submitted or considered in the initial benefit determination.
  • The Claims Administrator shall offer a single mandatory level of appeal and an additional voluntary second level of appeal, which may be a panel review, independent review or other process consistent with the entity reviewing the appeal. The time frame allowed for the Claims Administrator to complete its review is dependent upon the type of review involved (e.g., preservice, concurrent, post-service, urgent, etc.).
For preservice claims involving urgent/concurrent care, you may obtain an expedited appeal. You or your authorized representative may request it orally or in writing. All necessary information, including the Claims Administrator's decision, can be sent between the Claims Administrator and you by telephone, facsimile or other similar method. To file an appeal for a claim involving urgent/concurrent care, you or your authorized representative must contact the Claims Administrator at the number shown on your identification card and provide at least the following information:
  • The identity of the claimant;
  • The date(s) of the medical service;
  • The specific medical condition or symptom;
  • The provider's name;
  • The service or supply for which approval of benefits was sought; and
  • Any reasons why the appeal should be processed on a more expedited basis.
All other requests for appeals should be submitted in writing by the member or the member's authorized representative, except where the acceptance of oral appeals is otherwise required by the nature of the appeal (e.g., urgent care). You or your authorized representative must submit a request for review to:
Anthem BCBS
PO Box 105568
Atlanta, GA 30348
Upon request, the Claims Administrator will provide, without charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records and other information relevant to your claim. "Relevant" means that the document, record or other information:
  • Was relied on in making the benefit determination; or
  • Was submitted, considered or produced in the course of making the benefit determination; or
  • Demonstrates compliance with processes and safeguards to ensure that claim determinations are made in accordance with the terms of the plan, applied consistently for similarly situated claimants; or
  • Is a statement of the plan's policy or guidance about the treatment or benefit relative to your diagnosis.
The Claims Administrator will also provide you, free of charge, with any new or additional evidence considered, relied upon or generated in connection with your claim. In addition, before you receive an Adverse Benefit Determination on review based on a new or additional rationale, the Claims Administrator will provide you, free of charge, with the rationale.
How Your Appeal Will Be Decided
When the Claims Administrator considers your appeal, the Claims Administrator will not rely upon the initial benefit determination or, for voluntary second-level appeals, the earlier appeal determination. The review will be conducted by an appropriate reviewer who did not make the initial determination and who does not work for the person who made the initial determination. A voluntary second-level review will be conducted by an appropriate reviewer who did not make the initial determination or the first-level appeal determination and who does not work for the person who made the initial determination or first-level appeal determination.
If the denial was based in whole or in part on a medical judgment, including whether the treatment is experimental, investigational or not medically necessary, the reviewer will consult with a health care professional who has the appropriate training and experience in the medical field involved in making the judgment. This health care professional will not be one who was consulted in making an earlier determination or who works for one who was consulted in making an earlier determination.
Notification of the Outcome of the Appeal
If you appeal a claim involving urgent/concurrent care, the Claims Administrator will notify you of the outcome of the appeal as soon as possible, but not later than 72 hours after receipt of your request for appeal.
If you appeal any other preservice claim, the Claims Administrator will notify you of the outcome of the appeal within 30 days after receipt of your request for appeal.
If you appeal a post-service claim, the Claims Administrator will notify you of the outcome of the appeal within 60 days after receipt of your request for appeal.
Appeal Denial
If your appeal is denied, that denial will be considered an Adverse Benefit Determination. The notification from the Claims Administrator will include all of the information set forth under "Appeals."
Voluntary Second-Level Appeals
If you are dissatisfied with the plan's mandatory first-level appeal decision, a voluntary second-level appeal may be available. If you would like to initiate a second-level appeal, please write to the address listed above. Voluntary appeals must be submitted within 60 calendar days of the denial of the first-level appeal. You are not required to complete a voluntary second-level appeal prior to submitting a request for an independent External Review.
External Review
If the outcome of the mandatory first-level appeal is adverse to you and it was based on medical judgment, you may be eligible for an independent External Review pursuant to federal law.
You must submit your request for External Review to the Claims Administrator within four months of the notice of your final internal adverse determination.
A request for an External Review must be in writing unless the Claims Administrator determines that it is not reasonable to require a written statement. You do not have to re-send the information that you submitted for internal appeal. However, you are encouraged to submit any additional information that you think is important for review.
For preservice claims involving urgent/concurrent care, you may proceed with an Expedited External Review without filing an internal appeal or while simultaneously pursuing an expedited appeal through our internal appeal process. You or your authorized representative may request it orally or in writing. All necessary information, including the Claims Administrator's decision, can be sent between the Claims Administrator and you by telephone, facsimile or other similar method. To proceed with an Expedited External Review, you or your authorized representative must contact the Claims Administrator at the number shown on your identification card and provide at least the following information:
  • The identity of the claimant;
  • The date(s) of the medical service;
  • The specific medical condition or symptom;
  • The provider's name;
  • The service or supply for which approval of benefits was sought; and
  • Any reasons why the appeal should be processed on a more expedited basis.
All other requests for External Review should be submitted in writing unless the Claims Administrator determines that it is not reasonable to require a written statement. Such requests should be submitted by you or your authorized representative to:
Anthem BCBS
PO Box 105568
Atlanta, GA 30348
This is not an additional step that you must take in order to fulfill your appeal procedure obligations described above. Your decision to seek External Review will not affect your rights to any other benefits under this health care plan. There is no charge for you to initiate an independent External Review. The External Review decision is final and binding on all parties except for any relief available through applicable state laws or ERISA.
Important COVID-19-Related Changes that Extend Claims and Appeals Deadlines
On May 4, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Labor and the Treasury (the Agencies) issue guidance that temporarily extends the deadlines in place for certain benefit changes and processes associated with election, notification, payment and claims/appeals in connection with the Coronavirus disease of 2019, which was deemed a national emergency on March 1, 2020 (the National Emergency). To protect individuals from losing benefit, the Agencies extended deadlines that might have been missed during the National Emergency. The temporary extension of the deadlines was initially set to expire 60 days after the end of the National Emergency. The Agencies have revised their guidance to provide that your extended deadline will end on the earlier of one year from your original deadline or your original time limit after the end of the National Emergency as described above (Agencies' deadline).
If your deadline to file a claim or appeal falls within the Agencies' deadline, you will have additional time to submit your claim.
For more information, contact your medical plan Claims Administrator. For claims regarding eligibility or enrollment in a plan, call the Citi Benefits Center through ConnectOne at 1 (800) 881-3938. See the For More Information section for detailed instructions, including TDD and international assistance.
Requirement to File an Appeal before Filing a Lawsuit
No lawsuit or legal action of any kind related to a benefit decision may be filed by you in a court of law or in any other forum, unless it is commenced within three years of the plan's final decision on the claim or other request for benefits. If the plan decides an appeal is untimely, the plan's latest decision on the merits of the underlying claim or benefit request is the final decision date. You must exhaust the plan's internal Appeals Procedure, but not including any voluntary level of appeal, before filing a lawsuit or taking other legal action of any kind against the plan. If your health benefits plan is sponsored by your employer and is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and your appeal as described above results in an Adverse Benefit Determination, you have a right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of ERISA.