Tiered Networks: Smarter, Not Smaller

Our Lifespan Premier Choice Plan puts choice and cost savings first

At Tufts Health Plan, our tiered network clients are already feeling the benefits, saving up to 14% compared to traditional deductible plans. How? By empowering employees to become active participants in health care decisions and rewarding provider efficiency.

Tiered networks are a smart option for employers who wish to lower health care costs without compromising choice or quality of care.


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Read on to learn more about how our Lifespan Premier Choice Plan can lower costs for your clients.

How tiered networks guide decision-making to lower costs

At first glance tiered networks might seem complicated, but in reality, they’re quite simple. What’s better: they work.

A tiered network is a plan in which providers are grouped into “tiers” based on the value of care they provide, encompassing both cost and quality.

At Tufts Health Plan, providers that offer high quality care at the lowest cost are placed in Tier 1, the “preferred” tier. Members are then incentivized to visit providers in Tier 1 through reduced out-of-pocket costs—for example, a lower co-pay.

Lifespan Premier Choice is truly a new and unique plan design that helps employers control their health care costs while providing their employees and their families access to great quality care and the lowest cost-sharing when they utilize the Lifespan health system. We are pleased to work with Lifespan to develop this innovative plan -James Roosevelt Jr., Former CEO, Tufts Health Plan

In contrast to full network plans, in which employees may make arbitrary decisions when it comes to choosing a provider, Lifespan Premier Choice Plan naturally guides employees to the most efficient providers that offer the highest quality care. In this way, tiered networks support members in being active, informed decision makers, and employers benefit from cost savings thanks to the prioritization of efficiency and quality.

Tiered networks vs. full networks: smarter, not smaller

A common misconception regarding tiered network plans is that they operate on a smaller, more restricted network.

In reality, tiered networks offer the same access to employees as a full network plan. The difference is that in a tiered network, employee deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs reflect the true value of care. So, while employees are encouraged to visit providers that offer the highest quality care at the lowest cost, they retain access to all providers, and have the freedom to visit a provider outside of Tier 1 based on personal preference. So while costs may shrink, members’ choices are still preserved.

Making the switch to a tiered network plan

In the face of steadily rising health care costs, tiered networks are a good solution for employers who want to save while maintaining access to the best possible care. Our tiered network plans are flexible too, and can be configured as an HMO or PPO with a wide range of funding options available for clients who want to make the switch.

Empowering, efficient, and—as always—compassionate, the Lifespan Premier Choice Plan is a smart choice for employers and employees alike.

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