5 Things You Should Know About Health Networks

By | January 9, 2019

How much do you learn about a health care provider before investing in your family’s future? Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) developed the Aspire Network since families do not always get the help they need because of how major insurance companies create narrow networks that do not include critical services. Aspire representatives will always verify and explain your health benefits. We will also include information about quality in-network treatment. Here are five things you should know about health networks.

1. Compare Network Health Coverage Providers and Costs

Choosing a health care provider is one of the most important choices you will make for your family since illness and medical emergencies will undoubtedly occur. You will need to take the time to research each health care provider to understand their benefits. You should have a clear understanding of how narrow the network infrastructure is. If you want access to a wide range of service providers, a narrow network will limit your access.

2. Research In-network Providers to Verify Benefits

When you buy into a health insurance plan, the term “in-network” refers to the providers who participate in it in which the provider has negotiated for discounted services. Those who are insured then receive lower rates as a reward for using an in-network provider. From the deductible to the co-pay, an insurer affects the access to care which is why BCBS has such a wide network of quality providers.

3. Insurers May Not Cover Out-of-Network Providers

When you are told that you must see someone out-of-network, it means the provider you will see does not participate in your insurer’s network and co-pay plan. Depending on the plan you chose, you may not even have access to out-of-network benefits. Some health plans also do not reimburse you for out-of-pocket costs. If your insurer does cover out-of-network providers, there may not be a benefit of discount rates which means your expenses will be much higher.

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4. Research Each Provider via an Insurer’s Website

How often have you needed emergency services? Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers must provide out-of-network emergency care without higher co-pays. Do you prefer urgent care over emergency rooms? Will your provider pay for services like drug or alcohol treatment? What about long-term coverage? While you might not realize it until you need these services, it is always best to research an insurer to find out exactly what services you have access to should you need them.

5. Discuss In-network Coverage with Your Family

How much do your children know about their health care coverage? Your teens and university-bound children should know basic coverage information like in-network doctors or urgent care locations in case of school or travel accidents. The more your family knows about insurance, the better off you will be when it comes to avoiding out-of-network billing issues so you can negotiate those rates.

Lower premiums are only great until you need services that are not covered in your network. When thinking about how to protect your family’s health, choose a well-rounded network that will provide a blend of medical, therapeutic and holistic care.