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Avoid these mistakes in your insurance battles

By Elizabeth Cohen
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The three biggest mistakes people make when dealing with insurance companies:

1. Appealing too late

The denial letter usually states you have to appeal within a certain period of time.

2. Writing emotional letters

"People get angry and sit down and write a letter that's full of passion. But it won't move you forward," says Nancy Davenport-Ennis, co-founder of the Patient Advocacy Foundation. She says letters should stick to rebutting the specific reason for the denial.

3. Giving up too easily

Patient advocates say insurance companies know that a certain percentage of people will just accept denials. One woman whose son was born without a tongue has given up on getting her insurance to pay for certain procedures, says Debbie Oliver, founder of AboutFace USA, which advocates for people with facial deformities. "She said, 'Debbie, I'm throwing up my hands. I'm just exhausted. I'll find a way to pay for this myself.' This is what the insurance companies are counting on." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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