While in-network providers agree with the plan on how much they’re going to charge for services, all bets are off when out-of-network providers enter the picture. (Photo: Getty)

One factor that drives up the cost of care for those who have health insurance—even employer-provided coverage—is the presence of care from out-of-network providers. And according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, almost one in five inpatient hospital admissions—18 percent—comes with bills from providers not in the health plan’s networks, which can expose patients to higher cost-sharing and perhaps even more bills from providers.

According to the analysis, it doesn’t necessarily matter that workers choose in-network facilities, since 15 percent of admissions include a bill from an out-of-network provider such as a surgeon or anesthesiologist.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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