Also known as: participating provider, panel provider or network provider
A preferred provider is a provider (for example, a doctor or hospital) that has a contract with your health care company to provide health care services to you at a discounted rate. Participating providers also have a contract with your health care company but may have smaller discounts, so it might be more expensive to see them. It's a good idea to check your health insurance plan to see if you can go to all preferred providers or if your health insurance or plan has a "tiered" network. If you have a tiered network, you might have to pay extra to see some providers.