Different types of health plans.
In the uncertain economy of today finding affordable health insurance is at the top of everyone's list. While the government struggles to find a way to battle the ever-rising cost of healthcare and whether instituting universal healthcare is the way to go, many families are without medical insurance. It is possible to find healthcare that can fit into your family budget. There are several different types of health insurance options; traditional health insurance, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Point-of-Service (POS) and Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO).
Traditional insurance is the most expensive kind because there is no governing body that restricts who you can see and what services are covered. There is usually a higher deductible that must be met before the insurance company will begin to pay for services. Once the deductible is met, there is typically a copay for services. In addition to the high cost, the downside to traditional insurance is that there are strict guidelines involving filing claims and paperwork. The upside is the flexibility to see whomever you choose and you do not need referrals for specialists.
An HMO is the most affordable plan offered. With an HMO premiums are lower and there is usually small co-pay for office visits. There are no deductibles to meet before the insurance pays out. However, you are severely restricted in who you may see. There is a list of doctors that you must choose from in order to receive coverage. If you choose to go outside of your primary care physician you will not be covered under your HMO. You must change your PCP prior to seeing another MD. Also, an HMO requires a referral from your PCP for any specialists. This can be a time consuming process. If you have many medical problems that require several different specialties an HMO might not be the best option for you. If you are it good health and usually only see the doctor for checkups, then the HMO is the best option and the most affordable health insurance. You might also want to look at what is called a supplemental plan description for additional information.
A PPO is still relatively affordable and gives you more freedom than the HMO. There is a deductible to be met and premiums are higher but you do not need to seek a referral for specialists and you do not need to change you PCP when you want to see another physician.
A POS is similar to an HMO in that you choose your physician from a list and pay a small co-pay for office visits. However, the POS does have a deductible to be met and you may see physicians outside of the network and pay only a percentage to the charge.