30 Second Insurance Tips©

Tip 189- Networks; Think “Integrated” Not “Narrow”

During open enrollment season (review what that is here), employees and consumers face a variety of health care choices.

One such choice concerns the premium savings for “narrow” networks.

Take for example Eric (age 48) and his wife Barb (45). A $3,000 deductible plan with office visit copays would cost them $775/month if they were content to have a “narrow” or limited network of providers; in this case Aurora only. A so called “broad” network – one having virtually every health system – would cost $896/month. Annualized, that’s a $1200 premium savings.

Maybe there’s a bigger consideration than just the math.

What about quality; i.e., is your care simply better when you stay within one fully “integrated” health system? Apparently the data used by actuaries to set rates is compelling.

Fortunately, in most Open Enrollments, you get to decide for yourself.

BTW, is it fair to call a health system like Aurora – one that includes 15 hospitals, 1500 docs and hundreds of clinics and pharmacies over an entire swath of eastern Wisconsin – “narrow?”