How do networks serve your employees? Knowing can save you—and them—money
Do you know what a health plan network is? Or why it's an important part of the insurance coverage you offer your employees? A network is a group of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that has worked with us to get discounted rates for your employees. When a health care provider is in a network, they're called preferred or in network.
When your employees use in-network providers, their health insurance covers more of the bill. If they choose a provider outside of the network (also called nonpreferred or non-network provider), their insurance pays less or sometimes nothing. So, it benefits employees to use in-network providers.
Networks include many services
Networks go beyond doctors and hospitals. As your health plan, we negotiate discounts on many kinds of health care services, including:
Medical imaging such as MRI, CT and X-ray
Laboratories that process bloodwork
Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, oxygen, insulin pumps and wound care supplies
Prescription drugs and pharmacies
Encourage employees to ask
Here's why employees should make sure that their medical care is in-network. A doctor might have a certain lab she uses or a medical imaging facility that she recommends. But the doctor may not know which facilities are in your employee's network, so she might refer the employee to one that's not in network, which could cost your employee more money. Our goal is to help employees save money and get the most out of their benefits, so making sure they ask the right questions is key.
We've got the tools to help
If employees are planning procedures such as surgery or MRI, they can learn more about their expected cost by signing in to regence.com and using the Treatment Cost Estimator. They can also compare prices between providers and see which are in network.
If they're not sure what network they're in, they can call the number on the back of their member ID card and a Customer Service representative will be happy to help.
We want to help you and your employees get the most value for your money. If you need help understanding networks, or helping your employees to find in-network providers or the best prices, just contact your Regence sales representative. We're here to help.