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How Can Health Insurance Lab Networks Save Me Money On Medical Tests?

written by: Eric Stolze•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 5/24/2010

Are you paying a lot of money for blood work and radiology services? See how you can save a lot of money by using labs and facilities in networks that your health insurance company contracts with.

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    What are Health Insurance Lab Networks?

    Medical testing is getting more expensive every year. Health insurance companies have started working with networks of medical testing facilities to manage the rising costs of medical lab work. Health insurers are also working with networks of radiology centers to manage the rising costs of radiology services.

    A health insurance lab network provides medical lab tests for patients whose health insurance plans have contracted with the lab network. When a doctor uses a lab in a patient’s lab network for routine blood tests, one hundred percent of the costs for the lab work are usually paid by the patient’s health insurer. If a doctor requests non-standard tests, the patient may be billed for a co-payment or deductible charge.

    If a patient lets a doctor use the provider’s preferred lab for blood work, then the patient will be subject to his health insurance company’s usual deductibles and co-payments. It is worthwhile for a patient to discuss lab work costs with his doctor and ask the doctor to send the patient’s blood samples, urine samples, or other culture samples to a lab that participates in the patient’s health insurance medical testing network.

    Some doctors will give a patient a written prescription for lab work. The patient may then take the written prescription to a medical testing lab office in his lab network and get the testing done at the lab office at no charge for the patient. Lab networks have participating lab offices in most major cities. A patient may need to drive across town to use a lab network facility, but in doing so he will save a lot of money.

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    What is a Radiology Network?

    Some health insurance companies use radiology networks. These networks have facilities that perform basic radiology services that many doctors prescribe for their patients. If a patient uses a radiology facility in his health insurer’s network, he will save a lot of money over a non-participating radiology center.

    Radiology centers perform X ray work, MRI scans, CT scans, and many other radiological services. Radiological services are expensive and continue to increase in price each year. If a patient is fortunate enough to have a radiology services network that is preferred by his health insurer, he should use facilities in the radiology network whenever possible.

Save Money on Health Care

This series will explore ways to save money in different areas of health care. While health care costs are going up, health insurance companies are providing several different ways to save money on health care.
  1. Is Vision Insurance Worth Purchasing?
  2. Can I Afford High Medical Bills if I Do Not Pre-Certify?
  3. How Can Health Insurance Lab Networks Save Me Money On Medical Tests?