Health plan basics

Health care can be complex – but we can help. Here are basic definitions and explanations so you can get the most from your coverage and your care.

Provider networks

Providence individual and family plans have no out-of-network coverage except for emergency and urgent care services. You must use an in-network provider to receive benefits for covered health care services. We have one provider network for Washington plans: Providence Choice Network. See map and network description ›

Search our provider directory for participating providers ›

Preventive care coverage

We believe that getting the right preventive care is essential for maintaining good health. All our plans cover certain preventive care in full* prior to meeting your deductible, including:

  • Well baby care (from any provider licensed to provide this service)
  • Periodic health examinations (from any provider licensed to provide this service)
  • Routine immunizations and shots
  • Annual women's gynecological exams
  • Mammograms
  • Colorectal cancer screening exams (preventive age 50 and over)
  • Pediatric routine eye exams (one per calendar year)

*Based on Affordable Care Act regulations


An annual deductible is the amount you pay for covered services before the plan will begin to pay for these services. A new deductible must be met each calendar year.

Choosing a plan that works best for you – one with a higher or lower deductible – is a decision that is unique to your own coverage needs:

  • A higher deductible plan means a lower monthly premium. In exchange for a lower premium, you pay a larger amount for certain covered services before the plan will begin to pay for those services.
  • A lower deductible plan means a higher monthly premium. However, the plan will begin to pay sooner for certain covered services.

Copayment and coinsurance

After meeting your annual deductible, you and the health plan will begin to share the costs of covered health services through copayments and coinsurance.

  • Copayment : A fixed dollar amount you pay for a covered service at the time care is provided. If a copay is listed as $20 for an office visit, you pay $20 at the time of service.
  • Coinsurance: A percentage of cost you pay for a covered service. If a plan lists 20 percent for a health care service that costs $125, you would pay $25 (20 percent of $125).

Out-of-pocket maximum

To protect you from catastrophic costs, our plans include an annual out-of-pocket maximum. An out-of-pocket maximum is the total amount you pay for covered services, including the deductible, in a calendar year. After you meet your out-of-pocket maximum, the plan will pay 100 percent of covered services for the remainder of the calendar year. (Certain services do not apply to the out-of-pocket maximum.) The out-of-pocket maximums vary by plan.

Search our glossary for more health insurance terms ›