Top 5 Things To Know About Out-Of-Network Insurance Coverage
In 2022, over 28 million people are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. But if you’ve ever had to go to the emergency room, you know that they don’t always accept your insurance.
You might also have noticed that some doctors charge more than others. That’s because some doctors don’t accept specific health insurance plans or want more money for their services.
You need to know some things if you have to consult an out-of-network medical services provider or doctor. Here are the top five things you must know about out-of-network insurance coverage.
What Is an Out-Of-Network Claim?
When you have a medical emergency and need to visit the hospital, being covered by an out-of-network health insurance provider can mean that you will be responsible for paying more out of pocket than if you had an in-network plan. Most health insurance companies reimburse patients at a lower rate for these procedures.
However, in 2022 55 new insurers entered the market, bringing the highest growth in participation since 2015. Therefore, there’s no shortage of insurance companies, and you can easily find a company that fits your requirement.
The good news is that this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost, it’s possible to receive additional reimbursement by filing an out-of-network claim with your insurer after receiving care from an out-of-network provider. However, this process may take some time and is not always easy or straightforward.
Why Would I Go Out-Of-Network With My Insurance?
You may want to consider going out-of-network for a variety of reasons. For example, you may find that your network doctor does not have the experience or expertise you need for your treatment. Or perhaps you want to see a specialist, not in your health plan’s network and whose care will cost more than the insurance company’s coverage.
You might also be looking for a facility with better equipment or amenities than are offered by in-network facilities.
Finally, if you live near an out-of-network provider with expertise in cutting-edge treatments (such as stem cell therapy), this could be another reason to choose an out-of-network provider over one within your insurance network. You don’t have to worry about surprise bills, as starting in 2022, all coverage plans must cover out-of-network “surprise medical bills.”
How Do I Submit an Out-Of-Network Claim?
Suppose you need to see another specialist or have your primary care doctor refer you to another specialist. In that case, it’s essential to know that these referrals can be handled differently depending on the type of insurance plan you have. Some plans require a pre-authorization before sending out the referral, while others don’t need pre-authorization. Check with your insurance company or employer for specific details on handling referrals and authorizations.
Some out-of-network healthcare providers may request a pre-authorization for specific procedures before agreeing to perform them. The process for getting this approval varies based on each provider’s unique policies and processes but typically involves filling out paperwork with information about why this specific service is necessary and how much it costs (if applicable).
In some cases, someone from your insurance company will contact the provider directly about whether or not they agree with their assessment of the situation. Otherwise, you’ll be notified when everything has been approved by either party for treatment to continue as planned.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Insurance Reimbursement App?
An insurance reimbursement app can make your life a lot easier. With an app, you can submit claims from the comfort of your home or on the go. That means saving time and money on gas that you would have spent driving to a pharmacy or doctor’s office.
You’ll also be able to look up local pharmacies in your area to pick up prescriptions without having to take off work or school if they’re not available at one near where you live. It is convenient if you’re used to getting them mailed directly to your house but now have trouble getting around due to an injury or illness that prevents physical transportation.
The app will help track how much money has been reimbursed to each person covered under the policy over time, which helps when it comes time for renewal because it shows whether there are any billing issues such as incorrect amounts being paid out each month.
How Do I Know if My Doctor Is in Network?
If you’re wondering if your doctor is in-network, you should check with your insurance company. You can also look at your card or call the toll-free number on the back of it. If you have any questions about what’s covered by health insurance, you should also contact your state’s department of health care services (or similar).
If you’re concerned about getting billed for out-of-network services, ask your doctor if they are in-network before making an appointment. While many hospitals and medical centers will only accept doctors who are part of their networks, there are some instances where this isn’t true, so be sure to ask.
As we explained above, your insurance company still has to cover medical expenses when you go out of network. However, there’s no guarantee that the amount it will pay is reasonable or covers all your care costs.
If you want more certainty about what expenses are covered in an out-of-network setting, consider buying supplemental insurance for additional coverage. Or buy a plan with low out-of-network deductibles and coinsurance levels.