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You may have heard that premiums, copays and deductibles are all things you need to think about in your search for the best health plan for you or your family. But did you know that you should also be thinking about the plan’s provider network? Here's why.
While there are other options of health plans, the two most common are HMOs and PPOs. An HMO may have lower monthly premiums, but you'll have a primary care physician (PCP) to direct your care within the network. You'll need a referral from your PCP to see a specialist. In a PPO plan, you may pay a higher premium but have more freedom to choose doctors and hospitals and do not need referrals.
Because this can be a big factor in your medical visits, here are some questions to ask yourself as you choose your health plan:
Insider's Tip: Use the BCBSMT Provider Finder® online to see what doctors, hospitals and urgent care centers are in network for the plan you are looking to buy. Provider Finder is also the place to go to check for doctors or any specialists you need to see after you have coverage.
Originally published 8/19/2015; Revised 2020, 2022
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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