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Becoming a provider for the United Health Care Insurance Company is mostly a matter of presenting the company with your credentials and jumping through the proper insurance company hoops. For most insurance companies, the process of becoming a provider takes between 3 and 6 months. During that time, a medical provider providing services for a patient insured by that company must bill as an out-of-network provider, and will generally receive a lower level of reimbursement for his expenses, which means he must charge more directly to the patient.
Gather copies of all your pertinent credentials. This should include medical licenses, state business licenses, association memberships and information regarding your college education.
Call United Health Care Insurance Company and ask to speak to someone in the provider services department. Most insurance companies have a specific application process that must be followed to become a provider for that company. Many will also assign medical providers a liaison within their offices to help with the application process. The provider registration hotline is (877) 842-3210.
Complete the application online at United's website (see Resources) or fill out the application that is mailed to you. Make copies of everything that the company has requested. Because the health insurance company will want original signatures, save the copies for yourself and send the application to United Health Care via certified mail, return receipt requested. This will guarantee that your application is received and allows you to trace it in the event the company claims later it does not have it.
Wait. The insurance company will need approximately 3 weeks to verify information, including your license, and to consult local regulatory agencies to make certain that you have not been sanctioned or have your license withdrawn. In addition, the insurance company will check with federal agencies to be certain that you are eligible to provide care to its insurance clients.
Check back. If you have not heard back from the company approximately 1 month after submitting your application, call the provider services department and ask for the status of your application. While it may be tempting to let a lesser member of your staff make the call for you, you will have better results if you call yourself.
Lucinda Gunnin began writing in 1988 for the “Milford Times." Her work has appeared in “Illinois Issues” and dozens more newspapers, magazines and online outlets. Gunnin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Adams State College and a Master of Arts in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.