How you can lower costs with a focused insurance network

For employers looking to keep health insurance costs in check, the type of network they choose impacts the overall cost of their coverage.

Here’s a look at how a focused network – also known as a narrow network – can help lower your group health plan premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

What is a focused network?

Focused networks have a smaller network of physicians, specialists and hospitals, which helps to lower health insurance costs. By choosing a focused network, you could save an average of 20% on premiums.

With a focused network, members typically receive their care from one, integrated health system. This provides benefits like:

  • A better patient experience: Care is coordinated within one health care system, which can improve the quality of care and reduce errors.
  • No referrals needed: Members can receive care hassle-free, which also saves time for employers.
  • Lower long-term costs: By partnering with a primary care provider to catch problems early.

By working with a smaller group of providers, members can also build relationships with their providers to better manage their long-term health.

If most of your employees currently receive care from the same health system, that’s a good indicator that they may not need to make significant changes to who they see for care with a focused network.

What about access to specialists?

A focused network still gives you access to specialists. Instead of choosing from 10 providers within a specialty, you may have 5 to choose from. You can also see a provider with no referral needed.

Do focused networks provide coverage for emergencies while traveling?

Emergency care is covered for out-of-network services. This gives you peace of mind knowing that if you need urgent medical attention while away from home, the cost of your care is covered.

What are Sanford Health Plan’s focused network options?

We offer two focused network plans for employers, known as Sanford TRUE plans. Our plans are HSA-eligible, so they can be used in conjunction with a health savings account. This allows your employees to save money on a pre-tax or tax-deductible basis to pay for future medical expenses.

In addition, Sanford TRUE plans come with value-added benefits just like our broad network plans, including:

  • Access to cost-saving tools
  • Care management for those who are at high risk for chronic health conditions
  • Free virtual care and health coaching
  • Wellness programs and fitness reimbursements

Members also have no copays or out-of-pocket expenses for urgent care visits.

Tips for employers:

  • Compare the network size and offerings of different plans to the needs and preferences of your employees.
  • Consider factors such as whether your employees live within the same area and if providers are accessible and have quality ratings.
  • Communicate the benefits of a focused network plan to your employees and how to use their plan benefits like virtual care and health coaching.
  • Give your employees tools and resources to help them find in-network providers and understand cost-sharing information.

To learn more or to request a quote, connect with our team at (888) 493-0985. Our agents are ready to help you find the best plan for your needs and create a seamless transition process if it’s time for a new group health plan.



*According to study by Cigna+Oscar.