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What is the difference between a network and non-network provider?

A network provider is a civilian provider who has completed the credentialing process and signed a contracted agreement to be part of the network of providers who participate in the TRICARE program. A network provider accepts the negotiated rate as payment in full for services rendered.

A non-network provider is a civilian provider who is authorized to provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries, but has not signed a network agreement. Non-network providers meet TRICARE licensing and certification requirements, and are certified by TRICARE to provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries. There are two types of non-network providers – participating and nonparticipating.

  • Nonparticipating Provider: An authorized hospital, institutional provider, physician, or other provider that furnishes medical services (or supplies) to TRICARE beneficiaries, but has not signed an agreement and does not agree to accept assignment. A nonparticipating provider may balance bill up to 115 percent of the TRICARE allowable charge.
  • Participating Provider: Providers who participate in TRICARE or accept assignment agree to file claims for TRICARE beneficiaries, accept payment directly from TRICARE and accept the TRICARE-allowable charge as payment in full for their services. Non-network individual providers may participate on a case-by-case basis. Providers must seek applicable copayments, cost-shares and deductibles from the beneficiary. Hospitals that participate in Medicare must, by law, also participate in TRICARE for inpatient care. For outpatient care, they may or may not participate.