Let's say I have a choice between two plans, both offered by the same insurance company. Plan A is a high-premium, low-coinsurance, low-deductible plan. Conversely, Plan B is a low-premium, high-coinsurance, high-deductible plan.
For a given service from a given provider, is there a general rule that the insurance allowed benefit will be the same on the two plans (assuming it's a service that's covered under both plans)? By "allowed benefit" I mean the rate that the insurer agrees to pay for that service to that provider: if it's an in-network provider, then it's a negotiated rate between the insurer and the provider, if it's an out-of-network provider then the insurer has some kind of system for calculating it (eg, I've seen "70% of the 80th percentile charge from the FAIR health database"). The most common terminology seems to be "allowed benefit" but some insurance companies use "allowable amount", "approved charge", "maximum allowable", "negotiated rate", "contracted rate", "eligible expense", etc.
I can see that from the insurer's point of view they have much more incentive to set a lower allowed benefit for Plan A (where the insurer is likely paying most of it) compared to Plan B (where I am likely paying most/all of it), but do they actually do that?
Maybe the answer is different for in-network vs out-of-network providers?
EDIT to add: I've been doing a bit more research and I found an article by a David Belk MD where he states:
What this means is that insurance companies have enormous control over the medical industry. They set all rates of reimbursement for all medical services no matter how trivial. These rates vary greatly from policy to policy even for the same service from the same provider.
Follow-up question, if the answer is "the allowed benefit will generally be different for the two plans": how do I go about comparing the plans? Call the insurer and ask "Hypothetically, if I had a MRI done at lab X, and I were on plan A, how much would you pay the lab? And what about if I were on plan B?" And repeat, replacing "MRI" with every other procedure I think I might need, and replacing "lab X" with every provider I might like to use. Would they even give me that information? I hope there's an easier way.
(To be specific, I'm currently comparing some employer-sponsored PPO plans from Empire BCBS of NY, but I'm hoping there's a general answer to my question.)