SAVING MONEY ON HEALTHCARE COSTS – ENROLL IN THE ONLINE PORTAL
Top Takeaway: Using your online portal regularly to ensure you are using in-network services, will save you from big out-of-network bills.
All insurance companies have an online portal. I can not stress this enough – please, please, please! – enroll in your portal. Make sure to create your log in and set up your account. Not only is this account used to show pending claims and potential bills, but you can use it to search for in-network providers. It is very important to know two things about in-network providers:
- Doctors can and do opt out of network/plans mid-year.
- Just because they take your insurance company, does NOT mean that your PLAN is in-network.
This second point is especially true for the bigger insurance companies with multiple plans and varying options. With smaller companies, this is usually less of a problem. BlueCross BlueShield is a good example of this. Blue Cross has hundreds of plans. Just because a doctor takes Blue Cross does not mean that he takes your plan. The doctor’s offices need to select which exact plans from BCBS they will work with.
People don’t realize this. As can be expected, they think, “Oh, I just need to find a doctor that takes BlueCross.” Well, no, you need to find a doctor that takes your plan. This is because there are Blue Cross HMO, Blue Cross PPO, there are employer plans and individual plans.
Not all doctors are in-network with all the plans. This is why it is important to use your portal to find a provider that takes your plan.
Word of advice: These portals are not always 100% accurate or, as mentioned above, they can be out of date, as doctors can opt out of plans during the year. This means that a good rule of thumb is to DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CHOSEN PROVIDER IS IN-NETWORK.
- Check on the portal
- If it shows up on the portal as in-network, call the doctor’s office and confirm.
Another thing that the portal can be helpful with depending on the carrier is the online chat function to ask questions about coverage and providers (Oscar offers a great care team for this). This can avoid long wait times on the phone, and help you ensure you are using an in-network provider.
If you’re wanting to save money on all your healthcare costs, one top way is to utilize your portal to make sure you’re always using IN-NETWORK providers.