Health Insurance

Health Insurance 101: Intro to Networks

Hey Guys! Quick recap on what you should already know before we hit the ground running on NETWORKS. 

There are three essential components you should know and feel comfortable with when selecting a health insurance plan:

Three key essentials:

  • Cost Sharing
  • Benefits/Coverage
  • Networks

The gist: you need to find a health insurance plan that includes the BENEFITS, or medical services, that you need with the NETWORK of doctors and hospitals that you want to see with a COST SHARING setup that fits your budget.

Networks: the doctors and hospitals that will be covered and will “accept” your insurance plan, or in simplified terms, who you can see for less $$$.

Like I said… it’s very important that you review the network of doctors and hospitals included in the health insurance plan to make sure it includes the doctors you want to see.

Let me give you an example that I went through when selecting my dental plan…

My dentist is Dr. Ted and I’ve been going to him for years. Dr. Ted is the BEST dentist around- he’s friendly, he’s funny, he’s motivated by helping people, and heck I’ve never gotten a cavity (knock on wood!) Now when I started a new job and had to select my dental plan I had two options- HMO or PPO. So what did I do? I checked to see if Dr. Ted was in both networks. PPO networks are typically much larger than HMO networks and it turns out that Dr. Ted is in the PPO network but not the HMO network. Conclusion made– I’m selecting the PPO because for me I would rather pay more money for the PPO and get the high-value service from my current dentist who knows my teeth well.

The same applies to any plan you select, whether health insurance, dental, or vision insurance!

Make sure your doctors are -in network-

Now, this doesn’t limit you from seeing doctors who are “out-of-network”. Most of those doctors will still see you but if you are in an HMO you typically become a cash-paying patient where you have to pay for all services by yourself (“out-of-pocket”- remember that term??) with no help from the insurance plan you are currently paying for. If you are in a PPO the insurance may still cover some of it but it will be much more expensive than seeing an “in-network” provider.

Any questions on NETWORKS? Feel free to comment below and I look forward to seeing you next time when we chat about BENEFITS!

Cheers to Health and Happiness!

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