Health Insurance: Make Sure You Get What You Paid for

 In Blog, Buying Insurance, Family, Life Insurance

Four Types of Health Insurance Plans You Should Know About

When you shop for health insurance, you have more than one choice. Picking a health insurance plan in a rush can backfire, so it is essential to take the time to understand all of them before you make a choice. This way, you will be able to make sure you’re getting what you paid for.

Some of the most common health insurance policies are:

  • HMOs
  • PPOs
  • EPOs
  • POS plans

Let’s look at them in detail:

Health Maintenance Organization or HMO

If you ever wondered which is the most popular type of health insurance, HMO is the answer. This plan puts an entire network of health care providers at your service for lower out-of-pocket costs. You must select a PCP or primary care provider who will be in charge of coordinating your health services. Most HMOs will require your primary care doctor to provide you with a referral before you can see a specialist. HMOs have the least amount of paperwork in comparison to other plans. However, they offer the least freedom to choose your health care providers.

Woman at hospital

Preferred Provider Organization or PPO

A PPO gives you more freedom than an HMO to choose your health care providers, and it doesn’t require you to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist. PPOs allow you to see any doctor in your network, as well as out-of-network doctors at an additional cost. It is the plan preferred by those individuals who visit a specialist regularly.

Exclusive Provider Organization or EPO

Similar to PPOs, with an EPO, you also get more freedom to choose your health care providers, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist, but the out-of-pocket costs are lower. It offers no coverage outside your network, so if you need to see an out-of-network provider, you will have to assume the full price.

Point of Service Plan or POS

A Point of Service Plan is a mix between an HMO and a PPO. It gives you more freedom to choose your health care provider, but it requires your primary care doctor to refer you to specialists. It allows you to see out-of-network providers, but that process involves a moderate amount of paperwork. Also, if you do decide to see a doctor outside of your network, you will pay more.

There are other health insurance plans, such as:

  • Catastrophic plan
  • HDHP or High Deductible Health Plan
    • With Health Savings Account
    • Without Health Savings Account
  • Indemnity Health Insurance Plan

Talk to your independent insurance agent to help you identify which plan best fits your needs.

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