10 smart moves to save on health care

Make sure your doctor’s lab is in-network

Just because your doctor is in your network doesn't mean his or her preferred lab is. The tests performed during your visit might be out-of-network.

Even preventive services that you’d expect to be free under the Affordable Care Act can end up costing you if your doctor sends them to an out-of-network lab. Your insurance might deny coverage.

Any time your doctor performs a test, ask the office to send it to an in-network lab.

Bring a list of nearby participating labs to your appointment. It’s your responsibility to know which labs are in your insurance network.

Get a list by calling your insurance company or using its online in-network provider search tool.

If your doctor sends you to an outside lab for a test instead of performing it in-office, ask the office to write the requisition for one of your in-network labs.

Not only will you enjoy a lower copayment percentage for your lab work, the overall bill might be lower, too. Insurers negotiate lower preferred rates with in-network providers.