How to File a Prior Authorization Appeal?

How to File a Prior Authorization Appeal?

Facing a denial for a prior authorization request can be frustrating and concerning, especially when timely access to medical services is essential. However, patients and healthcare providers have the option to appeal the decision and advocate for the necessary treatments or procedures.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of filing a prior authorization appeal, providing valuable tips to increase the chances of a successful appeal and ultimately ensuring access to the care you need.

  1. Understand the Denial Reason

Before proceeding with an appeal, it is crucial to understand the specific reason for the prior authorization denial. Review the denial letter from your insurance company carefully, as it will outline the grounds for the denial.

  1. Review Prior Authorization Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with the prior authorization guidelines provided by your insurance company. Ensure that your request adhered to all the necessary criteria and documentation requirements.

  1. Gather Additional Information

If your initial Prior Authorization Services request lacked certain information or documentation, gather any additional materials needed to support your appeal. This may include medical records, test results, or a letter from your healthcare provider explaining the medical necessity of the requested service.

  1. Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Discuss the denial and the appeal process with your healthcare provider. They can offer valuable insights and assistance in preparing a compelling appeal based on your medical needs.

  1. Compose the Appeal Letter

Write a formal appeal letter to your insurance company. Be clear, concise, and polite in your language. State the specific reason for the appeal, provide a detailed explanation of why the service is medically necessary, and include any additional supporting documents.

  1. Follow Appeal Submission Instructions

Carefully follow the instructions provided by your insurance company for submitting an appeal. Pay attention to deadlines and ensure all required forms and documents are included in the submission.

  1. Request Expedited Review if Applicable

If your medical condition requires urgent attention, request an expedited review for your prior authorization appeal. Provide appropriate documentation from your healthcare provider to support the urgency of your case.

  1. Keep a Record of Communication

Maintain a record of all communication with your insurance company regarding the appeal. This includes emails, letters, and notes from phone conversations. Having a record can be helpful in case of any discrepancies or misunderstandings.

  1. Be Persistent and Patient

The appeal process may take time, and it is essential to be patient. Follow up with your insurance company regularly to check the status of your appeal. If necessary, escalate the appeal to higher levels of authority within the insurance company.

  1. Consider Seeking Legal Assistance

If your prior authorization appeal is repeatedly denied, consider seeking legal assistance or consulting a patient advocate. They can provide expert guidance and support in navigating the appeal process.


What should I do if my prior authorization request is denied?

First, review the reason for denial and check if additional information may reverse the decision on appeal. Contact your provider for guidance.

What is the time limit for filing an appeal?

Appeal as soon as possible. Most insurers allow 60 days from the denial to submit an appeal. Meet all deadlines specified.

What information should I include in my appeal letter?

Include the claim details, reason for your appeal, medical records supporting the treatment, and a formal letter of medical necessity from your doctor.

Whom should I contact to begin the appeals process?

You can call the insurer directly and state you wish to appeal a prior authorization denial. Ask for the appeals department’s contact information.

How long does it take to get an appeal decision?

By law, insurers have 30 days to review and deliver an appeal determination. Expedited appeals are available for urgent cases.

Can my provider assist with the appeals process?

Yes, your healthcare provider can help file appeals on your behalf and communicate the medical necessity to the insurer throughout the process.

Should I consider an external review after an unsuccessful appeal?

If your first appeal is unsuccessful, escalating to an independent external reviewer is advisable before pursuing other options.


Filing a prior authorization appeal can be a challenging process, but it is crucial in ensuring access to necessary medical services. By understanding the denial reason, gathering additional information, and composing a compelling appeal letter, patients can advocate for their healthcare needs. Be persistent, patient, and proactive in the appeal process, and consider seeking assistance if needed. Remember, you have the right to appeal and advocate for the medical services that are essential for your well-being.