When it comes to buying health insurance plans, it is helpful to know what your options are. In a time when the cost of medical care is increasing, going without insurance can mean financial ruin. All it would take is one bad accident or the onset of a catastrophic illness and you would be faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt. While there are hundreds of insurance providers offering thousands of insurance plans, those plans really only fall into a few categories.

Here is an explanation of the differences between them to help you choose the best one for you.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – A PPO is a network of doctors and health care organizations that the insurance company has contracted with to provide you with medical care according. This is the most popular type of health insurance plans because it is the most flexible. With this type of plan, you are able to see any doctor that you want without having to obtain a referral from a primary care physician. This means if you have to see a specialist, you generally do not need prior approval to make an appointment. The disadvantage to this plan is that it is the most expensive out of the bunch. You will generally be required to pay a copayment as well as fulfill a deductible.

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Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – An HMO is similar to a PPO in that there is a network of doctors and health care facilities that are contracted by the HMO to provide you with medical services. The main difference is that you have to work through a primary care physician. The person acts as a gatekeeper to medical services. If you need to see a specialist then you will have to be referred to one by your PCP or the insurance company will not pay the bill. The main benefit to this type of insurance is that it tends to be the least expensive of the bunch.

Point of Sale (POS) – This type of insurance tries to take the best parts of the HMO and PPO and merge them together. This type of insurance costs less than a PPO but offers the flexibility of being able to receive care from inside and outside of your network. However, you are required to work with a primary care physician similar to an HMO. It is best to look at each plan carefully to find the one that best fits your needs.

If you need assistance in locating particular coverages at a pre-determined price, we can help you find a reduce health insurance premium today.

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