Appealing a Denial of Benefits for an Independent External Review

If you have had services which have been denied and you think they should be covered, talk with your doctor or health care provider or call your health plan to get help understanding the plan’s decision.

If you are still not satisfied, tell your plan you want to file a complaint (grievance).  You must complete the plan's internal process.

If you are still unhappy with your plan’s decision, you may have the right to get an independent review of that decision.

If you have an emergency and need to request an external appeal (and it cannot wait for normal business hours), please call the External Appeals answering service at  (888) 236-5966.  Your call will be returned as soon as possible. This number is ONLY for Health Insurance appeals.  If your appeal is not an emergency or medically urgent, please do not use this emergency number, but call again during normal business hours. 

You must request an external independent review within 120 days or 4 months (whichever is longer) of receiving the final denial letter from your insurer.   Call Consumer Services at 1-800-964-1784 or 802-828-3302 as soon as possible to find out if you qualify.

To qualify for an independent external review, the insurer must have denied coverage for one of the following reasons:

  • The service is not medically necessary, or
  • The selection of a health care provider is limited in a way that is not allowed by your contract or by law, or
  • The service is considered to be experimental, investigational, or an “off-label” use of a drug, or
  • A medically based decision was made that your condition was “pre-existing”, and
  • Was a covered benefit under you plan.

If it appears that you qualify, you may complete the attached application or ask us to send you an application.  There is a $25 filing fee that may be waived.  We will collect documents from you and the insurer and submit them to the Independent Review Organization (IRO). Decisions by the IRO are made within 30 days of receiving all information.

If your case is medically urgent or an emergency, time frames can be shorter.  Call us immediately.  Your medical information will be kept confidential.

The independent external appeals application is located below. 

PDF icon External Appeal Form.pdf170.08 KB