Here at GritLink, we not only want to help you find a provider that will fit your needs, we want to also empower you to take control of your health plan (insurance or not) and do so in a way that won’t break the bank.
GritLink is pleased to offer a wide variety of providers who understand and care deeply about those whose lives are rooted in endurance and adventure sports. While GritLink does offer users the option to search for a provider by health insurance, it’s still good to get the lowdown on what and who is accessible through your plan.
Let’s dive in to check out the details about this important part of your wellness journey!
What Does “In-Network” Mean?
An “in-network” provider or practice means that a provider has contracted with your health insurance company to offer “discounted” rates for services and treatments to patients with said health insurance.
This is why it is typically, but not always, more cost effective to be treated by an “in-network” provider; they’ve negotiated a lower rate for their patients.
How Do I Know Who is In-Network?
Most health insurance companies make it fairly easy to check which providers are in-network.
Here are some ways to take action:
- Connect using GritLink. GritLink allows you to search with a filter for health insurance. If you choose to search solely by provider and not by health insurance, you can connect with the provider to ask about their network offerings by clicking on the yellow “contact” button on the provider’s GritLink profile.
- Visit your healthcare insurance’s website. Whether on the home page or in a personal portal, a “search for providers” or similar tab should be available. Simply fill out the fields (like medical speciality, cost, and location radius) for the in-network search, and take a look at the results.
- Call your health insurance group. Health insurance companies all have a help or customer service line for inquiries just like this one. They can perform an in-network search over the phone, or assist you with executing an online search yourself.
- Contact the provider or practice in question. If you already have a provider you’d like to visit, give them a call before your appointment to find out what insurance or payment plans they accept. This can help you avoid unnecessary fees and confusion after your session with the provider.
Should I Ever Go Out-of-Network?
As with most wellness-related items, this one is a personal decision based on your physical and mental needs, health insurance, and budget.
Nearly every medical speciality will have some providers who are not affiliated with any health insurance company, and therefore set their own rates to be paid by all patients. Some providers will choose to set their own rates when the negotiated rates set forth by an insurance company do not meet the provider’s standard pricing for time and services offered. This can be especially common with physical therapists and chiropractors – two fields many athletes are familiar with.
It may be beneficial to visit an out-of-network provider if they are extremely well-versed in the specific issue you are facing. You can’t put a price on knowledge and expertise!
Another reason to visit an out-of-network provider is because they are geographically nearby and they offer a service you cannot locate within your network, such a dry-needling or other forms of physical therapy.
In some cases, an out-of-network provider may be similarly priced as an in-network provider, leaving you with just personal preference to contend with. Some out-of-network providers will send you a “superbill” after your visit. A superbill is an invoice for services received that you should then file with your health insurance company. The insurance group may take 4-8 weeks to reimburse you for the service, but if you have the patience, it is worth it!
To Sum Up…
At the end of the day, your wellness journey is a personal quest to help you be the best athlete possible. Whether you go in-network or out-of-network, GritLink is ready to assist with connecting caring, passionate providers with endurance and adventure athletes who are eager to reach their next achievement.
By Kristin Goett. Kristin is a social media marketing and public relations professional who currently resides in the Denver area. A triathlete herself, Kristin knows firsthand how important it is to have access to great providers. When she isn’t checking Instagram or posting to Facebook, Kristin is spending her days in the Colorado mountains and training for her next Ironman.
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