Directories not only failed to list in-network providers, they also listed out-of-network providers as in-network and contained incorrect information for the in-network providers they did list. (Image: Shuttesrtock)

If you think your health insurance plan provider directory is only a few steps up from useless, you could be right: a recent study has found that health plan participants seeking out providers from directories at those health plans would be better off looking for provider information on Google.

The study, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, looked at the accuracy of plan provider directories over a five-county area, utilizing data from the CMS, Medicare Advantage directories, machine-readable health insurance directories, and Google Places.

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Marlene Satter

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

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