Once you get out of the house, finish college, and get your first job, it’s pretty much a good idea to get a health insurance plan for yourself. A health insurance plan will enable you to take care of your medical costs more effectively.
Health care costs can really put a dent to your wallet and people have been known to get into debt due to being unprepared.
If this is your first-time shopping around for health insurance and you need help finding the ideal provider and plan for your needs, read on to learn about the different types of health plans you have to choose from.
Exclusive Provider Organizations
With an EPO you are also given a network of providers to choose from. A majority of EPO plans don’t offer out of network care unless you’re in an emergency.
This means that you’re required to pay out of pocket for using providers that are outside of the network without being in an emergency.
Some plans require you to pick a primary care provider as well, which means that you can only get a referral to see a specialist from your PCP and likewise, that specialist must be within the network as well.
Learn more about these different types of healthcare plans here.
Health Maintenance Organizations
Health maintenance organizations or HMOs for short provide you with a local network of health care providers to choose from, including facilities, hospitals, doctors, and specialists.
HMOs also require you to pick your preferred primary care provider (PCP) from the provided network.
Your primary care provider is someone that will provide you with basic medical care and will know most of your medical history and details.
Your PCP is also responsible for referring you to specialists within the network when needed. HMO plans are typically more affordable when compared to other types of health plans and this includes the amount of coinsurance and copay that you’re required to pay.
Point of Service Plan
Point of Service Plans offer the best of both worlds between PPO and HMO plans. They typically offer a more limited list of providers that you’re allowed to choose from.
The primary care provider that you pick must also come from the said network and will serve as your basic health care provider that caters to all of your medical needs.
The difference with a POS is that you’re allowed to see both in-network and out of network specialist healthcare providers.
But, you are required to share the costs and pay for some of them out of pocket if you do choose an out of network provider.
Preferred Provider Organizations
Out of all the options on this list, PPOs offer the widest range of in-network providers to choose from. This includes health care facilities, health care professionals, doctors, hospitals etc.
If you do decide to pick an out of network provider while using a PPO plan, then you’ll be required to foot some of the bill in the form of paying out of pocket.
You don’t have to pick a primary care provider or PCP with PPOs and you don’t need a referral in order to see a specialist.