June 26, 2017

What Is A Narrow Network?

Since the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" the conversation around narrow networks continues to increase.  We are often asked what is a narrow network and why?
A narrow network simply describes the number of providers and hospitals that are in the network. Narrow networks are nothing new to the marketplace.  They are often referred to in different terms; PPO, HMO, and EPO are all technically a form of narrow networks.
The next question I often get is why do a narrow network?  This is simple - to control costs and help improve care.
By limiting the number of network providers and hospitals, you are able to improve the continuum of care and offer deeper negotiated discounts.  Groups utilizing these types of arrangements beat the national averages when it comes to cost and trend.  
With self-funding your benefit plan, you have the flexibility to look at network alternatives.  Your group health plan may already have the best fit based on your location and benefit plan design, but I encourage you ask the question.  
If you have questions please contact Forrest Williamson at FWilliamson@UnifiedGrp.com.