Even before you meet your deductible, you may save hundreds of dollars in medical costs.
This is true if your plan is a PPO, an HMO, an EPO, or another kind of plan with a network of care providers.
Insurance companies negotiate discounts with health care providers, and as a plan member you’ll pay that discounted rate. People without insurance pay, on average, twice as much for care.
This means when you use a network provider you pay less for the same services than someone who doesn’t have coverage – even before you meet your deductible.
Sometimes these savings are small. If you’re insured and use a network provider, you may pay $25 for a flu shot instead of the $40 someone without coverage pays.
In other cases the savings can be big. If use a network provider, you may pay $85 for an office visit instead of the $150 someone without coverage pays. Savings can be even higher for more expensive services.
So even if you don’t reach your deductible during the year, you can save a lot of money on your covered medical services just by being enrolled in an insurance plan.
No. For example, some plans don’t have networks at all and will pay a certain amount for any provider’s services.
With many plans you can get discounted services by using other in-network care providers, including:
Usually not. Check with your plan or provider.