When shopping around for international health insurance you may frequently run into the term network provider. If you aren’t quite sure what exactly a network provider is, instead of overlooking this term and hoping for the best, we are going to help answer your question of what is a network provider and help you discover how it will affect you and your coverage. It’s important to understand what a network provider is and how it applies to your plan so you are able to reap as many benefits as possible from your plan.
A provider is a term used interchangeably with a doctor or hospital- this is referring to the individual who is providing you with your medical treatment. Thus, network provider is referring to a network, or group of doctors that is associated with your insurance plan. Most international health insurance plan has its own network of providers that insured individuals can visit. Typically PPO, POS and HMO plans will utilize a provider network- but the plan may not require the individual to visit an in-network provider to receive coverage on their plan. Although not required, it’s typically a good idea to visit an in-network provider due to the fact that they typically have agreed to bill the insurance company directly and will offer individuals a discounted rate on the care that is received.
Along with figuring out the answer to your question of what is a network provider, it’s also key to look into how extensive the in-network provider network is. Find out how many providers are located within the area that you will need coverage and ensure that there is a good range of the type of providers available within the network. Typically insurance companies will have a list of in-network providers that insured individuals are able to freely access, if not, contact the insurance company to get a list of the providers that are considered in-network to have on hand, if the need to visit the doctor were to arise.
Read: Finding a Doctor Abroad