Find a health insurance plan that covers the hospitals and other healthcare providers in your area with eHealth.
In total, there are a little over 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. Knowing how many hospitals – and which hospitals – are near you can be a deciding factor in which health insurance plan you choose.
A main concern for those shopping for health insurance is whether or not there plan will cover the providers in their area or their preferred providers.
Finding a plan that not only covers the hospitals, doctors, and specialists in your area but your preferred providers is important. Before you shop, it may be helpful to know which hospitals and doctors are in your area before you choose a plan.
How many hospitals are in the U.S.?
Not including hospitals that are not accessible by the general public – like hospital units in prisons or universities – there are 5,262 community hospitals in the U.S. Community hospitals include facilities like short-term general hospitals, special hospitals, and teaching hospitals.
Within the community hospitals in the U.S. there are a total of 798, 921 staffed beds.
This information is based from 2017 data collected by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and published in the 2019 edition of AHA Hospital Statistics.
What states have the most hospitals?
The states with the most community hospitals in the U.S. tend to be some of the larger, more populated states. For instance, Texas is the state with the most hospitals in the nation. (528 hospitals). This state alone has about 10% of the total hospitals in the country.
On the other hand, smaller states have hospitals. For instance, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. have 11 community hospitals each. This puts them at having about 0.2% of the total hospitals in the U.S.
What are medical networks?
A provider network is a list of hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers that a specific plan is contracted with to provide care at a discounted price. These doctors, hospitals, and other providers are considered in-network. Providers who are not contracted with a specific plan are considered out-of-network.
What do different plans cover?
Some types of plans will allow you to see a wide range of doctors and hospitals in the U.S., while some plans will limit your choices and potentially charge you more for going out of network.
There are four main different types of plan networks that you will encounter while you shop:
- HMOs cover in-network providers and require you to get a referral to see specialists
- PPOs will likely offer partial coverage if you go to an out-of-network provider and do not require a referral to see specialists. However, their monthly premiums tend to be more expensive.
- EPOs only cover in-network providers, but don’t require a referral to see a specialist.
- POSs will likely offer partial out-of-network coverage, but you must get a referral to see a specialist.
What if I go out-of-network?
If you are charged for an out-of-network visit you may be able to appeal for reasons such as not being able to find medically necessary care in-network.
If your doctor leaves your network you should be notified a may have to look for another provider. However, some plans will let you continue to see the doctor under special circumstances like being in the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
What should I look for in a health insurance plan?
When you are shopping for an insurance plan, it’s important to know what hospital, specialists, and networks are in their area. Knowing what providers are in your area, allows you to make a more informed decision when shopping for coverage.
You should always double check that your preferred doctors or providers are covered under a particular plan. Depending on your coverage, it may cost you a substantially more to go to a doctor that is outside of your provider network.
Instead of calling the doctor’s office and asking if they take your insurance, make sure to confirm that your doctor is within your network with a licensed agent or the insurance carrier.
It‘s always good idea to shop online with a licensed health insurance marketplace like eHealth.com to make sure that you are getting a plan that covers the providers that are not only near you, but the doctors that you prefer.