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In or out? Why using your network matters

Using network providers may help you keep your costs down. Discover ways to save.

When you’re looking for a doctor, hospital or other health care provider, you have choices: Are they close to my home? Do they speak my language? Do I feel comfortable there?

Those are important questions. But there’s another that should be at the top of your list: Are they in my network?

Why does it matter? When you use providers who are in your network, it may help keep your costs down.

3 reasons to use a network provider

Staying in your network when you need care may help you:

  1. Save on out-of-pocket costs. In most cases, you’ll pay a lower share of the cost when you use a network provider. Network providers have agreed to charge UnitedHealthcare members discounted rates. If you choose a non-network provider, you may have to pay the difference between the discounted rate and your doctor’s rate. Or your care may not be covered at all — and you may end up paying the full amount yourself.
  2. Meet your out-of-pocket limit. Your plan sets a limit on the amount of money we ask you to pay for health care every year. That’s called your “out-of-pocket limit.” When you use a network provider, your share of the bill usually counts toward your out-of-pocket limit. But if you don’t use the network, it may not count.
  3. Make an informed choice when you’re looking for a doctor. UnitedHealthcare evaluates network doctors in dozens of specialties. So when you look for doctors in your network, you have more information at your fingertips to help you choose.

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