Hospitalization often triggers worry. When you have to leave your home, go through medical stuff, and don’t know how things will get better, it can induce anxiety in the patient and also the family members. Moreover, picking the best hospital can make the treatment easier. A well-suited facility offers specialized care, skilled staff, and many helpful tools to improve your medical experience. The right hospital gives you a cozy feeling, makes you feel sure about things, and gives you special attention, which helps you get better in a smoother way.

When you have health insurance, you can choose a hospital network. The hospitals you can go to are decided by the health insurance company you have insured with. When you buy insurance, the insurer gives you a list of hospitals you can go to. You can pick any hospital according to your convenience. This doesn’t mean you can only get treatment at a network hospital and nowhere else. Furthermore, there are several factors that you should keep in mind to get the best treatment, that too in the most convenient way possible. For this, it is important to understand the meaning of network and non-network hospitals, and also the difference between network and non-network hospitals.

What do you mean by Network Hospital?

First, let’s understand what a network hospital means. Network hospitals are hospitals where your insurance company teams up with healthcare centers and hospitals to help cover your medical expenses. These hospitals allow the health insurance policyholder several benefits, making the entire procedure of admission and claim settlement much easier and quicker. The best thing about going to a network hospital is that you can get treated without having to pay cash up front. At these hospitals, your health insurance company pays the medical bills directly to the hospital. You don’t have to handle the payments yourself. As the policyholder, you just need to pay for the things the insurance doesn’t cover.

What do you mean by Non-Network Hospital?

Now, let’s learn about what a non-network hospital means. A non-network hospital doesn’t give you any extra advantages, just like the name says. At a non-network hospital, you’re required to settle your hospital expenses immediately using your personal funds. After that, you can ask your insurance company to give you that money back. The claim settlement process can be long, and you might need to put in extra effort to make it happen.

Difference between Network Hospitals and Non-network Hospitals

Let’s see the difference between network and non-network hospitals through two examples. Ramesh and Mohanlal both purchased health insurance from the same insurance company with an almost similar sum insured. A few weeks later, Ramesh had a bike accident. His wife took him to the closest hospital from their insurance’s list, where Ramesh was hospitalized for 4 days. As soon as he was admitted to the hospital, his wife reached out to the health insurance company via their customer service, informing them about the accident. An executive from the insurance company reviewed their insurance documents to confirm coverage for the treatment. Thereafter, the insurance company took care of paying for all the medical bills. When Ramesh was discharged from the hospital, there wasn’t an extensive amount of paperwork. Ramesh only needed to cover a few expenses that weren’t included in the coverage.

Just a few days later, Mohanlal needed to have surgery for his gallbladder. Mohanlal was admitted to a non-network hospital. From the time of his admission to his discharge, Mohanlal had to pay for it all. At the time of discharge, he had to make sure that he had all the medical bills and receipts. After leaving the hospital, Mohanlal had to fill out a form and give it to the insurance company. Mohanlal also had to give them all the bills and receipts from his treatment. After about 7 workdays of checking everything, the company paid Kushal the amount they owed him for the claim. Check out the table below to understand how network and non-network hospitals are different:

Check out the table below to understand how network and non-network hospitals are different:

Details Network Hospitals Non-Network Hospitals
Meaning When someone with insurance goes to a network hospital, the insurance company pays the hospital directly for the medical bills. A non-network hospital means the person with insurance has to pay for the medical bills first and then ask the insurance company to pay them back later.
Claim Settlement When a hospital is part of the network, it means the hospital and the insurance company work together. When the person leaves the hospital, the insurance pays the bills right then. It usually takes around 10 to 12 days or even longer for the insurance company to sort out the payment. The person with insurance needs to give all the needed papers, and the insurance company checks them to make sure everything's okay.
Features The best thing about a network hospital is that you don't have to pay cash when you're in the hospital. It makes getting treatment really easy. When you have insurance, you can focus on getting better instead of worrying about finding money for treatment. The process of sorting out the payment only starts after you leave the hospital. Before that, the person with the insurance has to pay for everything. The person with the insurance also has to make sure all the paperwork is done.

Network Hospital List of Major Health Insurance Companies

Let’s check out the hospitals that work with some well-known health insurance companies:

Star Health Network Hospital

You can get treatment at any of the 14,000 Star Health network hospitals located all across all over the country. They promise to process cashless claims within 2 hours.

Niva Bupa Network Hospital

Having more than 10,000 hospitals in the Niva Bupa network makes it simple to get treated at a hospital you like.

Care Network Hospital

Care Health Insurance teams up with more than 21,000 healthcare providers to help you get treatment.

Oriental Health Insurance Hospital

Oriental Health Insurance offers you several comprehensive health insurance plans.

United India Insurance Network Hospital

With United India Insurance, you can access cashless hospitalization benefits at over 14,000 hospitals in the country.

In Conclusion

A network hospital offers the advantage of cashless hospitalization, which can help reduce stress and enhance the overall treatment experience. Try to go to a network hospital whenever you can. That way, you can get best treatment without stressing about the bills. If you can’t go to a network hospital, make sure your family or someone taking care of you is really careful. They should keep all the papers from your treatment safe and organized. Having these documents on important is crucial for a hassle-free reimbursement claim process.