There are four different types of major health insurance plans from which to choose.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are simple plans that have strict rules about the provider network of the insured, limiting which doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals can participate within it. However, when you visit a doctor or hospital within the network, you will typically only be charged a small copay.
If you want to see a specialist when enrolled in an HMO, you must be referred to one by a primary care physician within the network to receive coverage, except in emergency cases.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) offer a wider selection of doctors and hospitals the insured can visit for health care. And though you can visit a doctor or hospital outside the provider’s network without a referral from your primary care physician, you may pay higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs than through an HMO.
Point of Service Plans (POS) are a combination of HMOs and PPOs. Your plan provides coverage for doctors and hospitals within the provider's network. You are still allowed to venture outside the network to a doctor or hospital, but you may pay higher out-of-pocket costs.
You also don't need a referral for a specialist, but that may come with a more expensive cost for service. POS plans will only cover specialist visits outside your network if the primary care physician within your network refers you to one.
High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) are linked to your health savings account (HSA), which may offer a low monthly premium. You may, however, pay more out of pocket due to a higher deductible prior to your insurance company covering medical costs.
A health savings account (HSA) allows you to contribute money from your paycheck before taxes are taken out. Health costs not covered by insurance, such as copays, coinsurance, or dental care, can be paid using the HSA.
Which Plan Is Right for Me?
Each plan has pros and cons that appeal to a wide range of people based on their needs. That is why choosing between health insurance plan types often requires contacting a licensed health insurance representative. And at HealthMarkets, we can help you weigh the benefits of each plan.
Our agents are local and want to learn about your health and financial needs to find the right health insurance plan type for you. HealthMarkets offers plans from over 180 insurance companies nationwide to help customers find affordable plans that meet their unique health needs at no additional cost.
http://healthcoverageguide.org/reference-guide/coverage-types/plan-characteristics-and-types/ | http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/insurance-basics/terms/high-deductible-health-plan