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Network vs Non-network Hospitals – Key Difference Between Network and Non Network Hospitals

Network vs Non-network Hospitals - Key Difference Between Network and Non Network Hospitals

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Hospitalisation often triggers worry. Separation from home, medical procedures, and uncertainties about recovery can induce anxiety in the patient and also the family members. However, choosing the right hospital can ease the treatment. A well-suited facility offers specialised care, skilled staff, and advanced resources that can help streamline your medical journey. The right hospital offers you comfort, confidence, and personalised attention, which is crucial for a smoother and more effective recovery.

When you have health insurance, you have the option to choose a hospital network. The hospital network that you get depends on your health insurance company. At the time of policy purchase, your insurer offers you a network hospital list. You have the freedom to choose a hospital of your choice. This does not imply that you can seek treatment only in a network hospital and nowhere else. However, there are a number of factors that you should keep in mind in order 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 hospital, and also the difference between network and non network hospital.

What do you mean by Network Hospital?

Let us first understand the network hospital meaning. Network hospitals are hospitals and healthcare centres that collaborate with health insurance companies. These hospitals allow the health insurance policyholder a number of benefits, making the entire procedure of admission and claim settlement much easier and quicker. The biggest advantage of getting hospitalised in a network hospital is cashless hospitalisation. Here, the medical bills that you incur are paid to the hospital directly by the health insurance company. You, the policyholder, only have to pay for the uncovered expenses.

What do you mean by Non-Network Hospital?

Let us now take a look at the non-network hospital meaning. As the name suggests, a non-network hospital does not offer you any special benefits. You pay your hospital bills upfront, from your pocket and then file for reimbursement. The claim settlement process can be long and require more effort on your part.

Difference between Network Hospitals and Non-network Hospitals

To understand the difference between network and non-network hospitals, let us take a look at two examples. Ravi and Kushal both purchased health insurance from the same insurance company with an almost similar sum insured. A few weeks later, Ravi had a bike accident. His wife took him to the nearest network hospital on the list, where Ravi had to be hospitalised for 4 days. As soon as he was admitted to the hospital, his wife informed the health insurance company through their customer care. An executive from the insurance company checked the policy papers and validated the treatment. Thereafter, all the medical expenses were managed by the insurance company. At the time of discharge, there was hardly any paperwork. Ravi only had to pay for a few uncovered expenses.

Just a few days after this, Kushal had to undergo gallbladder surgery. Kushal was admitted to a non-network hospital. From the time of his admission to his discharge, Kushal had to pay for it all. At the time of discharge, he had to ensure that he had all the medical bills and receipts. Post-discharge, he had to fill in the claim form and had to submit it along with all the bills and receipts to the insurance company. Post verification, which took about 7 working days, the company settled the claim amount.

Network vs Non-network Hospitals

Let us take a look at the table below to see the difference between network and non-network hospitals:

Details Network HospitalNon-network Hospital
Meaning The insured gets admitted to a network hospital, where the insurer pays the medical bills directly to the hospitalNon-network hospital meaning is that the insured pays for the medical bills from his pocket and gets the expenses reimbursed later. 
Claim Settlement  Because the network hospital meaning is that the hospital and insurer have collaborated, the claim settlement happens along with the insured individual’s discharge. The claim settlement takes about 10 to 12 days or more. The insured has to submit all the required documents, which are then verified by the insurance company. 
Features A cashless hospitalisation facility is the biggest advantage of a network hospital as it makes hospitalisation very simple. The insured can concentrate on the treatment rather than running around arranging funds. It is only after the hospitalisation that the claim settlement process begins. Before that, the policyholder has to pay for all the expenses. The completion of all the paperwork also becomes the responsibility of the policyholder.  

Advantages of Choosing Network Hospitals

Choosing network hospitals can offer several advantages:

  • Cost Savings: Network hospitals often have negotiated rates with insurance providers, resulting in lower out-of-pocket expenses for policyholders.
  • Streamlined Processes: Accessing treatment at network hospitals typically involves smoother administrative procedures, such as pre-authorization and claim processing, reducing paperwork and hassle.
  • Quality Assurance: Network hospitals are usually vetted by insurance companies for quality standards, ensuring that patients receive care from accredited healthcare providers.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Network hospitals may offer a wider range of services covered by insurance policies, including specialized treatments and procedures.
  • Emergency Services: In emergencies, network hospitals may provide quicker access to care, as they are accustomed to handling insurance claims efficiently, reducing delays in treatment.

Choosing network hospitals can thus provide financial benefits, convenience, and peace of mind for policyholders seeking healthcare services.

Also Remember: Cashless Everywhere Revolutionising Health Insurance

Network Hospital List of Major Health Insurance Companies

Let us explore the network hospitals of some popular health insurers:

1. Star Health Network Hospital

You can get treatment at any of the 14,000 Star Health network hospitals located all across the country. The company also promises cashless claim settlement in 2 hours.

Check the Star Health network hospital list

2. Niva Bupa Network Hospital

With over 10,000 Niva Bupa network hospitals, getting treatment in a hospital of your choice becomes easy

Check the Niva Bupa network hospitals in your area

3. Care Network Hospital

Care Health Insurance offers you a partnership with over 21,000 healthcare providers.

Check the Care Network Hospital list

4. Oriental Health Insurance Hospital

Oriental Health Insurance offers you a number of comprehensive health insurance plans.

See the Oriental Health Insurance Hospital List

5. United India Insurance Network Hospital

With United India Insurance, you can enjoy the cashless hospitalisation advantage at over 14,000 hospitals all over the country.

Check the United India Insurance network hospital list.

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In Conclusion

A network hospital offers the advantage of cashless hospitalisation, which can be helpful in reducing stress and enhancing the overall treatment experience. As far as possible, try to seek admission to a network hospital so that you can get the best treatment without having to worry about the bills. In case you cannot go to a network hospital, ask your family members or caretaker to be extra careful and keep all treatment-related documents carefully. These documents are crucial for a smooth reimbursement claim.

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