Most people are aware their health insurance plans only cover certain providers. But what does that mean for you? And how do you find someone in your network?

The short answer is that by using in-network providers, you can get higher quality care for a lower cost. Fortunately, health insurance plans make it easy to search the list.

Your costs are lower with providers in your network

Insurance companies make special price agreements with certain doctors, nurses and other clinicians who agree to be on a unique provider list. That list is part of your insurance plan, called a network. When you visit in-network providers, you get charged a discounted price.

Most often, insurance plans cover more of the cost when you see in-network providers. So your copay, coinsurance or deductible—the amount you’re responsible to pay when you get care—is usually lower. Those are additional savings you get on top of the reduced cost offered by in-network providers.

When it comes to preventive care services, it’s especially important to see an in-network doctor. Often preventive health care is usually covered 100% – but only when you receive care from a doctor or clinic your plan covers.

What’s considered preventive care? It's things you do when you’re not sick to keep yourself healthy such as your annual exam, immunizations, and health screenings

Keep in mind that if you see an out-of-network provider, the amount you’re responsible to pay can be significantly higher. Using an in-network provider protects you from surprise bills that can add up quickly.

In-network providers also offer higher quality care

Insurance companies want their members to get the best possible care at the best possible price. Most insurance companies, including HealthPartners, review patient surveys, claims info and overall health care data to carefully select providers for their networks.

Higher quality also means lower costs. When you get care from a high-quality provider, you need less follow-up care, keeping more money in your wallet.

Check with your insurance plan to find in-network providers

Your doctor’s office may accept your insurance, but that doesn’t always mean the doctor is part of your network. To find in-network providers:

  • Sign in to your insurance company website for an updated network list. HealthPartners members can sign in online or with myHP for iOS and Android to search for covered doctors.
  • Call your insurance company using the member services line, which you can usually find on your insurance card. HealthPartners members can also find contact information here.

Keep an eye on the list – provider networks can change

Insurance companies routinely review their networks. Providers may be added or removed from the list. At HealthPartners, changes are made to make sure the network remains low-cost and high-quality. Before you schedule an appointment, check to see if your doctor is in your network to avoid surprise bills.