A Simple Network Overview

Health insurance networks are structured systems of healthcare providers and facilities that collaborate with insurance companies to offer medical services to policyholders. These networks aim to streamline healthcare delivery, control costs, and ensure accessibility to a defined group of medical professionals. In essence, they represent the pool of doctors, hospitals, and clinics with which an insurance plan has established agreements.

Key Points of Networks:

1. In-Network Providers: These are healthcare professionals and facilities that have contractual agreements with the insurance company. Seeking medical care within this network often results in lower out-of-pocket costs for policyholders.

2. Out-of-Network Providers: While some plans may allow access to healthcare outside the network, it may come with higher costs for the insured individual. The extent of coverage for out-of-network services varies by insurance plans.

3. Types of Networks: Common types include Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs), each offering different levels of flexibility and cost savings.

4. Benefits for Policyholders: Health insurance networks provide cost savings, coordinated care, and predictable expenses for policyholders. Accessing in-network services typically results in lower co-pays and deductibles.

5. Benefits for Insurers: Insurers can negotiate favorable terms with in-network providers, control costs, and ensure a certain standard of care. Active management of networks allows insurers to maintain quality and diversity within the provider pool.

Understanding the basics of health insurance networks empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Considerations such as network size, referral requirements, and out-of-network coverage are crucial for policyholders to navigate their health insurance plans effectively.


Is It Possible to Have Health Insurance With No Networks?

While you receive cost savings when you see a doctor in your network, what happens if you have a doctor you love who isn’t in your network? You have two options: either pay extra to keep seeing your doctor or start the hunt for a new doctor. What if there was an insurance company that allowed you to see any doctor, anywhere? That’s where Start comes in. When you are covered by Start you are free of all networks. You can see any doctor you like, at a significantly lower cost. When you are able to cash pay with your start card (or pay at the time of service) you can receive noteworthy savings and see any doctor you’d like at a fair price. Check your Start search portal to see doctors and potential pricing ahead of time. Click here to see more on how Start works


CDC – Preferred Provider Organization – Health Maintenance Organization – Exclusive Provider Organization

Start – How it Works


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