Should I Use Non-Preferred Providers With My FEHB Plan?
You face far higher costs if you use non-preferred providers in most plans, though many plans remove this cost if you have Medicare Parts A & B. Plans not only charge you more for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance when you go outside the plan network, but also require you to pay the entire cost above the rate the plan sets as its allowance used in its network for a procedure. That rate is bargained with health care providers and usually varies by zip code and is not available to the public or to plan enrollees in advance. You should plan your health care to stay in-network wherever possible. There is almost always a wide range of high-quality preferred providers in-network.