New WPS Learning Center article explores how health insurers negotiate with health care providers to offer members discounted rates
May 23, 2012
Most people understand that health insurance offers protection from the financial pain of high medical bills by sharing the costs of health care. But there's another, lesser-known way health insurance saves plan members money, and it's called the provider discount. WPS Health Insurance, Wisconsin's leading not-for-profit health insurer and provider of affordable group and individual health insurance, explains provider discounts in a new article, "Health Insurance 101: Provider Discounts—One More Way a Health Plan Saves You Money" now available free online from the WPS Learning Center.
"Provider discounts are price breaks that a health insurer negotiates with health care providers—doctors and hospitals—for their services in exchange for patient volume," said Jim Baird, vice president of individual sales at WPS Health Insurance.
"By themselves, provider discounts are a great reason to buy a health plan," said Baird. "The moment you join a plan, you are eligible to receive discounts on the list price of services. If you don't have health insurance, you don't benefit from those discounts—you pay the full retail price. The savings can be substantial."
This is an important point to remember, particularly for people who are considering purchasing a high-deductible health plan.
"My team talks with people all across Wisconsin who miss the value of high-deductible health plans. 'Where's the savings?' they ask. 'I have to pay $2,000 before the plan starts to share my costs.' The answer is provider discounts. Even if you never meet your deductible, you'll still save big money because you are paying a discounted rate instead of the provider's list price. And that's before you even consider the money you'll save on preventive care—such as annual exams and screenings—which most health plans now pay 100%."
WPS encourages individuals and families looking for more health and insurance-related tips to check out the WPS Learning Center and the WPS Health Center for free articles on controlling costs, preventing illness, making wise health decisions, and other timely topics. For questions or to request a quote for a high-quality individual or family health plan from WPS, please call 888-245-4197 to talk with a friendly representative.
"By themselves, provider discounts are a great reason to buy a health plan."— Jim Baird, V.P. of Individual Sales, WPS Health Insurance
About WPS and its Subsidiaries
Founded in 1946, WPS is Wisconsin's leading not-for-profit health insurer, offering affordable individual health insurance, family health insurance, high-deductible health plans, and short-term health insurance, as well as flexible and affordable group plans and cost-effective benefit plan administration for businesses. The WPS Medicare division administers Part A and B benefits for millions of seniors in multiple states, and the WPS TRICARE division serves millions more members of the U.S. military and their families. In 2012, the international Ethisphere® Institute named WPS one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the third straight year. WPS is the only health insurance company to earn this distinction multiple times. For more information about WPS Health Insurance, visit www.wpsic.com.