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When Bigger Is Better for your Health. (Hint: It’s not Your Blood Pressure!)


Sometimes, too many choices can be bad for you. Horizon knows when it's good!

Health care is full of numbers.  When it comes to weight, blood pressure, A1C, cholesterol, and blood sugar smaller is better for your health.

But when it comes to how many doctors, specialists, therapists, and hospitals are in your network, bigger is definitely better.

That’s because bigger can mean more options, more ways to lower your out-of-pocket costs, and more convenience.  And that means it’s easier to find the right place, at the right time, for the right price to get the care or support you need to get and stay healthy.

“Being there for our members means making sure they have easy access to the doctors and health professionals they need to stay healthy.  In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Horizon set out to increase the number of providers and our members have more choices, and more ways to lower their costs, as a result,” said Allen Karp, Executive Vice President for Health Care Management and Transformation for Horizon BCBSNJ.

“Most importantly, we’ve focused our network growth on the geographies and specialties where the need was greatest,” Karp added.  “From adding specialists to provide mental health services to bringing in more doctors in historically underserved urban and rural areas, it has never been easier to find an in-network health professional who can help you achieve your best health.”

40% More Mental Health Professionals

The largest area of Horizon’s network growth has been in Behavioral Health, which now includes more than 8,000 therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), psychologists, psychiatric nurses and other behavioral health professionals. 

That’s a 40% increase since 2019.

The Behavioral Health network has grown not only in size but in how it looks like our members. The company actively sought out and recruited behavioral health professionals who reflected the diversity of Horizon’s membership. More than 20% of new mental health professionals who joined Horizon’s network this year identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) providers.

The Largest Hospital Network In New Jersey

Horizon has the largest hospital network in New Jersey, and continued growth is bringing members more in-network options for acute care.

The total numbers of hospitals in Horizon’s network has increased by nearly 16% – from 82 facilities in 2019 to 95 today.

Over the same period of time, hospital care has gotten more affordable for members with Horizon’s most popular Commercial plans – OMNIA. That’s because the number of “OMNIA TIER 1” hospitals in the network has grown by 10.5% – from 38 to 42 in 2019. OMNIA members who use a “Tier 1 hospital” pay less out of pocket than what they pay at an “OMNIA Tier 2” hospital.

More Labs, Same Day Surgery Centers, and Ancillary Services

For the health care consumer, hospitals are not always the most economical – or convenient choices for care. There are times when it make the most sense for an elective procedure, like a biopsy, dialysis or a colorectal screening, to be performed locally at an ambulatory surgery center or other ancillary facility in the community.

Since 2019, Horizon has increased its Ancillary Services network by 7%, from 1,050 to 1,123 in 2022, to bring ease and convenience in care closer to where members live.

Adding Urgent Care Options Means More Convenient Care

Urgent Care Centers (“UCCs”) have made getting diagnosed and treated for minor ailments – and even broken bones – much easier, and moreconvenient than a trip to the ER for the same conditions. A small or zero co-pay has also been easier on customers’ wallets than a visit to the ER, and more than likely, a shorter wait time. Nationally, UCCs treat about 89 million patients each year.

The number of UCCs in Horizon’s network has grown significantly since 2019, when 216 centers were in Horizon’s network, to 231 today. The convenience of UCCs is helpful for busy members, but remember: they should not replace a primary care physician or specialist, who offer continuity of care and a holistic look at your health.

A Network 60,000 Strong

Treating the whole person – body and mind – requires an ongoing commitment to bring more quality and variety of clinicians into Horizon’s network. These recruitment efforts have brought Horizon’s total number of network partners – primary care doctors, specialists, therapists, dentists, hospitals, outpatient facilities, urgent care center and other health care professionals – to about 60,000.

Over the last three year, that total number has increased by 6% annually, and grows larger and more diverse by the month.

To achieve your best, whole-person health you need a partner who makes it easier, and more affordable, to see the doctors and health professionals you trust most.  Horizon is there when you need us most.

1 Urgent Care Association statistic.

Horizon Health News is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.