Understanding Narrow Networks

People under an umbrella

When considering medical care, the question of payment is a key part of planning for various treatments. There are numerous insurance options available to help you pay for healthcare, but some can be very limiting. If your health plan has a narrow network, you may be paying more for your care, as well as missing out on certain doctors, hospitals, and specialists that could provide you with the care you need. Here are a few things about narrow networks you should consider when searching for your next health plan:

What are Narrow Networks?

Narrow networksdescribe the range of health providers covered by your health plan. Your health plan has a network of doctors, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and other providers with whom they have negotiated and agreed upon prices to lower costs for you and the plan as a whole. Some health plans will offer lower monthly premiums, but will only cover costs for a small or “narrow” network of providers.

The Disadvantages of Narrow Networks

Narrow networks effectively reduce costs for you as long as you stay within the network. However, there are many reasons people are forced or encouraged to seekout-of-network providers, even if they have a narrow network plan. According to a study by researchers at high quality health care because you chose the wrong health plan and can’t afford certain services.