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We want you to be happy with services you get from Harmony Health Plan and our providers. If you are not happy, you can file an appeal or grievance.

Appeals

You may not agree with a decision or an action made by Harmony about your services or an item you requested. An appeal is a way for you to ask for a review of our actions. You may appeal within sixty (60) calendar days of the date on our Notice of Action form. If you want your services to stay the same while you appeal, you must say so when you appeal,and you must file your appeal no later than ten (10) calendar days from the date on our Notice of Action form. The list below includes examples of when you might want to file an appeal.

  • Not approving or paying for a service or item your provider asks for
  • Stopping a service that was approved before
  • Not giving you the service or items in a timely manner
  • Not advising you of your right to freedom of choice of providers
  • Not approving a service for you because it was not in our network

If we decide that a requested service or item cannot be approved, or if a service is reduced or stopped, you will get a “Notice of Action” letter from us. This letter will tell you the following:

  • What action was taken and the reason for it
  • Your right to file an appeal and how to do it
  • Your right to ask for a State Fair Hearing and how to do it
  • Your right in some circumstances to ask for an expedited appeal and how to do it
  • Your right to ask to have benefits continue during your appeal, how to do it and when you may have to pay for the services

Here are two ways to file an appeal.

  1. Call Member Services at 1-800-608-8158. If you file an appeal over the phone, you must follow it with a written signed appeal request.
  2. Mail or fax your written appeal request to:
 Appeals Department Pharmacy Medication Appeals Department

Harmony Health Plan
Attn: Appeals Department
P.O Box 31368
Tampa, FL 33631-3384

Fax: 1-866-201-0657

Harmony Health Plan
Attn: Pharmacy Medication Appeals Department
P.O Box 31398
Tampa, FL 33631-3398

Fax: 1-888-865-6531

If you do not speak English, we can provide an interpreter at no cost to you. Please include this request when you file your appeal. If you are hearing impaired, call the Illinois Relay at 711.

Can someone help you with the appeal process?

You have several options for assistance. You may:

  • Ask someone you know to assist in representing you. This could be your Primary Care Physician or a family member, for example.
  • Choose to be represented by a legal professional.

If you are in the Disabilities Waiver, Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver, or HIV/AIDS Waiver, you may also contact CAP (Client Assistance Program) to request their assistance at 1-800-641-3929, TTY 1-888-460-5111.

To appoint someone to represent you, either 1) send us a letter informing us that you want someone else to represent you and include in the letter his or her contact information or, 2) fill out the Authorized Representative Appeals formThis PDF document will open in a new window..

Appeal Process

We will send you an acknowledgement letter within three (3) business days saying we received your appeal. We will tell you if we need more information and how to give us such information in person or in writing.

A provider with the same or similar specialty as your treating provider will review your appeal. It will not be the same provider who made the original decision to deny, reduce or stop the medical service.

Harmony will send our decision in writing to you within fifteen (15) business days of the date we received your appeal request. Harmony may request an extension up to fourteen (14) more calendar days to make a decision on your case if we need to get more information before we make a decision. You can also ask us for an extension, if you need more time to obtain additional documents to support your appeal.

We will call you to tell you our decision and send you and your authorized representative the Decision Notice. The Decision Notice will tell you what we will do and why.

If Harmony’s decision agrees with the Notice of Action, you may have to pay for the cost of the services you got during the appeal review. If Harmony’s decision does not agree with the Notice of Action, we will approve the services to start right away.

Things to keep in mind during the appeal process:

  • At any time, you can provide us with more information about your appeal, if needed.
  • You have the option to see your appeal file.
  • You have the option to be there when Harmony reviews your appeal.

How can you expedite your Appeal?

If you or your provider believes our standard timeframe of fifteen (15) business days to make a decision on your appeal will seriously jeopardize your life or health, you can ask for an expedited appeal by writing or calling us. If you write to us, please include your name, member ID number, the date of your Notice of Action letter, information about your case and why you are asking for the expedited appeal. We will let you know within twenty-four (24) hours if we need more information. Once all information is provided, we will call you within twenty-four (24) hours to inform you of our decision and will also send you and your authorized representative the Decision Notice.

How can you withdraw an Appeal?

You have the right to withdraw your appeal for any reason, at any time, during the appeal process. However, you or your authorized representative must do so in writing, using the same address as used for filing your appeal. Withdrawing your appeal will end the appeal process and no decision will be made by us on your appeal request. Harmony will acknowledge the withdrawal of your appeal by sending a notice to you or your authorized representative. If you need further information about withdrawing your appeal, call Harmony at 1-800-608-8158

What happens next?

After you receive the Harmony appeal Decision Notice in writing, you do not have to take any action and your appeal file will be closed. However, if you disagree with the decision made on your appeal, you can take action by asking for a State Fair Hearing Appeal and/or asking for an External Review of your appeal within thirty (30) calendar days of the date on the Decision Notice. You can choose to ask for both a State Fair Hearing Appeal and an External Review or you may choose to ask for only one of them.

State Fair Hearing

If you choose, you may ask for a State Fair Hearing Appeal within one-hundred-twenty (120) calendar days of the date on the Decision Notice, but you must ask for a State Fair Hearing Appeal within ten (10) calendar days of the date on the Decision Notice if you want to continue your services. If you do not win this appeal, you may be responsible for paying for these services provided to you during the appeal process.

At the State Fair Hearing, just like during the Harmony appeals process, you may ask someone to represent you, such as a lawyer or have a relative or friend speak for you. To appoint someone to represent you, send us a letter informing us that you want someone else to represent you and include in the letter his or her contact information. 

You can ask for a State Fair Hearing in one of the following ways:
  • Your local Family Community Resource Center can give you an appeal form to request a State Fair Hearing and will help you fill it out, if you wish.
  • Visit https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/appeals to set up an ABE Appeals Account and submit a State Fair Health Appeal online. This will allow you to track and manage your appeal online, viewing important dates and notices related to the State Fair hearing and submitting documentation.
  • If you want to file a State Fair Hearing Appeal related to your medical services or items, or Elderly Waiver (Community Care Program (CCP)) services, send your request in writing to:

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
Bureau of Administrative Hearings
69 W. Washington Street, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 1-312-793-2005
Email: HFS.FairHearings@illinois.gov
Or you may call 1-855 418-4421 (TTY 1-800 526-5812)

  • If you want to file a State Fair Hearing Appeal related to mental health services or items, substance abuse services, Persons with Disabilities Waiver services, Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver services, HIV/AIDS Waiver services, or any Home Services Program (HSP) service, send your request in writing to:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Hearings
69 W. Washington Street, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 1-312-793-8573
Email: DHS.HSPAppeals@illinois.govOr you may call 1-800 435-0774 (TTY 1-877 734-7429)

State Fair Hearing Process

The hearing will be conducted by an Impartial Hearing Officer authorized to conduct State Fair Hearings. You will receive a letter from the appropriate Hearings office informing you of the date, time and place of the hearing. This letter will also provide information about the hearing. It is important that you read this letter carefully.

At least three (3) business days before the hearing, you will receive information from Harmony. This will include all evidence we will present at the hearing. This will also be sent to the Impartial Hearing Officer. You must provide all the evidence you will present at the hearing to Harmony and the Impartial Hearing Officer at least three (3) business days before the hearing. This includes a list of any witnesses who will appear on your behalf, as well as all documents you will use to support your appeal.

You will need to notify the appropriate Hearings Office of any accommodation you may need. Your hearing may be conducted over the phone. Please be sure to provide the best phone number to reach you during business hours in your request for a State Fair Hearing. The hearing may be recorded.

Continuance or Postponement

You may request a continuance during the hearing, or a postponement prior to the hearing, which may be granted if good cause exists. If the Impartial Hearing Officer agrees, you and all parties to the appeal will be notified in writing of a new date, time and place. The time limit for the appeal process to be completed will be extended by the length of the continuation or postponement.

Failure to Appear at the Hearing

Your appeal will be dismissed if you, or your authorized representative, do not appear at the hearing at the time, date and place on the notice and you have not requested postponement in writing. If your hearing is conducted via telephone, your appeal will be dismissed if you do not answer your telephone at the scheduled appeal time. A Dismissal Notice will be sent to all parties to the appeal.

Your hearing may be rescheduled, if you let us know within ten (10) calendar days from the date you received the Dismissal Notice, if the reason for your failure to appear was:

  • A death in the family
  • Personal injury or illness which reasonably would prohibit your appearance
  • A sudden and unexpected emergency

If the appeal hearing is rescheduled, the Hearings Office will send you or your authorized representative a letter rescheduling the hearing with copies to all parties to the appeal.

If we deny your request to reset your hearing, you will receive a letter in the mail informing you of our denial.

The State Fair Hearing Decision

A Final Administrative Decision will be sent to you and all interested parties in writing by the appropriate Hearings Office. This Final Administrative Decision is reviewable only through the Circuit Courts of the State of Illinois. The time the Circuit Court will allow for filing of such review may be as short as thirty-five (35) days from the date of this letter. If you have questions, please call the Hearing Office.

External Review (for medical services only)

Within thirty (30) calendar days after the date on the Harmony appeal Decision Notice, you may choose to ask for a review by someone outside of Harmony. This is called an external review. The outside reviewer must meet the following requirements:

  • Board certified provider with the same or like specialty as your treating provider
  • Currently practicing
  • Have no financial interest in the decision
  • Not know you and will not know your identity during the review    

External Review is not available for appeals related to services received through the Elderly Waiver; Persons with Disabilities Waiver; Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver; HIV/Aids Waiver; or the Home Services Program. Your letter must ask for an external review of that action and should be sent to:

Harmony Health Plan
Attn: Appeals Dept
P.O Box 31368
Tampa, FL 33631-3368

What Happens Next?

  • We will review your request to see if it meets the qualifications for external review. We have five (5) business days to do this. We will send you a letter letting you know if your request meets these requirements. If your request meets the requirements, the letter will have the name of the external reviewer.
  • You have five (5) business days from the letter we send you to send any additional information about your request to the external reviewer. The external reviewer will send you and/or your representative and Harmony a letter with their decision within five (5) calendar days of receiving all the information they need to complete their review.

Expedited External Review

If the normal time frame for an external review could jeopardize your life or your health, you or your representative can ask for an expedited external review. You can do this over the phone or in writing. To ask for an expedited external review over the phone, call Member Services toll-free at 1-800-608-8158. To ask in writing, send us a letter at the address below. You can only ask one (1) time for an external review about a specific action. Your letter must ask for an external review of that action.

Harmony Health Plan
Attn: Appeals Dept
P.O. Box 31368
Tampa, FL 33631-3368

What Happens Next?

  • Once we receive the phone call or letter asking for an expedited external review, we will immediately review your request to see if it qualifies for an expedited external review. If it does, we will contact you or your representative to give you the name of the reviewer. 
  • We will also send the necessary information to the external reviewer so they can begin their review. 
  • As quickly as your health condition requires, but no more than two (2) business days after receiving all information needed, the external reviewer will make a decision about your request. They will let you and/or your representative and Harmony know what their decision is verbally. They will also follow up with a letter to you and/or your representative and Harmony with the decision within forty-eight (48) hours.

Grievances

A grievance is a complaint about any matter other than a denied, reduced or terminated service or item.

Harmony takes member grievances very seriously. We want to know what is wrong so we can make our services better. If you have a grievance about a provider or about the quality of care or services you have received, you should let us know right away.

Harmony has special procedures in place to help members who file grievances. We will do our best to answer your questions or help to resolve your concern. Filing a grievance will not affect your health care services or your benefits coverage.

These are examples of when you might want to file a grievance:

  • Your provider or a Harmony staff member did not respect your rights.
  • You had trouble getting an appointment with your provider in an appropriate amount of time.
  • You were unhappy with the quality of care or treatment you received.
  • Your provider or a Harmony staff member was rude to you.
  • Your provider or a Harmony staff member was insensitive to your cultural needs or other special needs you may have.

You can file your grievance on the phone by calling Harmony at 1-800-608-8158. You can also file your grievance in writing via mail or fax at:

 Grievance Department

Harmony Health Plan
Attn: Grievance Department
P.O Box 31384
Tampa, FL 33631-3384

Fax: 1-866-388-1769

In the grievance letter, give us as much information as you can. For example, include the date and place the incident happened, the names of the people involved and details about what happened. Be sure to include your name and your member ID number. You can ask us to help you file your grievance by calling Member Services at 1-800-608-8158. If you do not speak English, we can provide an interpreter at no cost to you. Please include this request when you file your grievance. If you are hearing impaired, call the Illinois Relay at 711. We will mail you a letter acknowledging receipt within 10 business days of receiving your grievance.

At any time during the grievance process, you can have someone you know represent you or act on your behalf. This person will be your representative. If you decide to have someone represent you or act for you, inform Harmony in writing of the name of your representative and his or her contact information.

We will try to resolve your grievance right away. If we cannot, we may contact you for more information. We will mail you a letter with a resolution within 60 calendar days of receiving grievance.

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Last Updated On: 12/28/2018
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