Understanding The 4 Types Of Healthcare Insurance Plans
If you've paid any attention to healthcare plans available in the marketplace, you've probably seen terms like "HMO" and "PPO." Even if you've had insurance for years, you might not know exactly how all these types of plans work.
Insurance can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Here's what you need to know about the four main types of health insurance plans.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
An HMO usually requires you to see doctors and other providers who are part of the HMO network. You might need to get a referral from your primary care doctor in order to see a specialist.
With an HMO, you'll likely have lower out-of-pocket costs than with some other types of plans. But you might have to pay more if you see a doctor who's not in the HMO network. If you want low out-of-pocket costs and are willing to see only doctors in a specific network, an HMO might be a good choice.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
A PPO gives you more flexibility than an HMO. You can see doctors both in and out of the PPO network, but you'll pay less if you stay within the network.
You might need to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist, but with a PPO you can usually see any specialist without a referral.
Point of Service (POS) Plan
A POS plan is similar to a PPO in that you can see doctors both in and out of the network. But with a POS plan, you'll usually pay less if you get care from doctors, hospitals, and other providers in the plan's network.
You might need to choose a primary care doctor who will coordinate your care and give referrals to specialists. If you want more flexibility to see doctors both in and out of a network, you might prefer a PPO or a POS plan.
Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
An EPO is similar to an HMO in that you'll usually need to get care from doctors and other providers who are part of the EPO network. But unlike an HMO, you might be able to see specialists without a referral.
With an EPO, you might have lower out-of-pocket costs than with some other types of plans. But you'll likely pay more if you see a doctor who's not in the EPO network.
Choose a Health Plan That Works For Your Family
So, which type of health insurance plan is right for you? It depends on your needs and preferences. Check out each option to make sure you're making the right choice for each member of your family.