Managing Costs

How to get the most from your health plan

It’s a good idea to get familiar with what’s covered by your plan. You can save money by choosing services and providers in your network – and making smart choices about your care. Here are some tips on how to get high-quality care at a price that works with your budget. 

Simple ways to save

Stay in network

The doctors and facilities in our network have agreed to provide services at a discount — so staying in network makes sense, especially when visiting an out-of-network provider could cost you a lot more or it may not be covered at all. You can find network doctors, mental health professionals, pharmacies, hospitals, labs and more at myuhc.comOpens a new window > Find Care & CostsOpens a new window.

When you sign in to myuhc.comOpens a new window, you’ll see the list of network providers for your specific plan. You can search a general provider list to get familiar with the provider directory, but you’ll need to check on myuhc.comOpens a new window to confirm which providers are in your plan’s network.

Shop around

With such a wide variety of services, from minor procedures to major surgeries, it’s a good idea to check pricing first. Sign in to myuhc.comOpens a new window > Find Care & CostsOpens a new window or the Health4Me app to estimate the price of care.

Check in with your PCP

A PCP is a primary care provider, sometimes called a primary care physician or doctor. When you need care, your PCP has the best access to your records and knows the bigger picture of your health. When it’s not possible to see your doctor, check your network to see your options for cost-effective quick care.

Understand key health insurance terms

Knowing these health insurance terms may help you control costs and make more informed decisions. If you find other terms you don't know, you can find clear definitions using this Common Terms list.

A referral is when a primary care physician (PCP) authorizes a covered person to see a specialist for diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition.  Not all health plans require a referral, but if your plan does, ask your PCP or clinic for an electronic referral before you visit a specialist. Without this referral, you’ll likely pay more or your care may not be covered. If you don’t know if you need a referral, visit the coverage & benefits section of or call the number on your ID card to find out. Your ID card may even say, "Referrals Required."

Prior authorization means getting approval before you can get access to medicine or services. With prior authorization, your health insurance agrees to pay for the service – and it’s important to know that ahead of time. If you are unsure of whether you need prior authorization for a service, take a look at your coverage documents or call the number on your ID card.

Save on medications.

Get help with saving money on prescription drugs with these pharmacy tips.

Watch “Avoiding Cost Surprises”

3-minute video

Get a video overview on how to save on health care costs.