Company on insurance card won’t tell me who’s in network

I'm sorry if this post is scatterbrained or difficult to understand. I'm really upset, and still (to my great detriment) learning how all this works, in a very financially damaging way :(.

I keep getting surprise out of network charges. I've had multiple providers now admit they made a mistake and they are not actually in network when they told me they were at time of booking. This has cost us thousands and I'm at the end of my rope and desperate for a way to prevent this going forward.

So I call my "insurance" company. Well, the company on my insurance card whose 800 number is on it and who processes the claims is DIFFERENT than the company that actually provides the insurance. They have two different names. The company tell me since they are not the insurance company, they can't know who's in network. They said that I have to go to the provider for that. But I've now had multiple providers wrong about being in network! They also said I can use the website but the website has been wrong before, too.

How on earth can I figure out conclusively whether a provider is in network if the providers are unreliable, the website isn't up to date, and the people at the 800 number on the insurance card won't tell me?

submitted by /u/ProgrammaticallyFox8