The Difference among HMO, PPO, and POS
There was a time when health insurance was a luxury for average people, but that time has long since passed. These days health insurance is a must. Costs for medical care are higher than ever. Without health insurance, an accident or illness could seriously compromise your financial future. Moreover, having access to quality health insurance can help keep you healthier overall.
Sorting through health insurance quotes is no easy task. There are literally thousands of different plans out there for you to choose from. By far the easiest way to get good health insurance is through your employer or your spouse’s employer if you are so lucky. Group insurance plans are practically always the most cost-effective option; so if you have one available to you, take it. If you are self-employed, unemployed, or work for a company that doesn’t offer health insurance benefits, you’ll have to buy an individual plan.
In general, there are two main types of health insurance plans: indemnity plans and managed care plans. Indemnity plans are the more expensive of the two because you have a lot of freedom to choose your health care providers. These health insurance plans typically feature high co-pays and high deductibles. Preventative care, mental health care, prescription drug coverage, vision care, and dental care are usually excluded from indemnity plans unless added on.
Managed care is the most common type of health insurance these days. There are many different levels of managed care, and some plans incorporate features of indemnity coverage to add flexibility. Managed care plans include health maintenance organizations (HMOs), point of service plans (POS), and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Typical characteristics of managed care health insurance include low co-pays, low deductibles, and a network of preferred or mandatory health care providers. Preventative care, prescription coverage, mental health care, vision care, and dental care are often included in the coverage. Some managed care plans, however, require pre-authorization of services.
Choosing the right health care plan for you and your family can be a complicated process. It’s not enough to choose the plan with the cheapest premium, because you could end up paying a lot more out-of-pocket expenses if the services you need are not covered. The best way to shop for health insurance is to get a variety of health insurance quotes from different insurers. Try to compare apples to apples by creating a list of benefits you and your family must have and looking for plans that satisfy those requirements.
When evaluating different health insurance quotes, there are three areas you should consider: benefits covered, applicable restrictions, and total costs. Most health insurance quotes include doctor’s visits, hospital visits, and surgical fees as standard benefits. Preventative care, vision care, etc. are considered optional benefits that may or may not be included. Pay attention to the maximum pay out of the policy as well. Determine if you can live with the restrictions of the policy. If you have a current doctor you would like to keep seeing who is excluded from a managed care network, that managed care plan may not be the one for you. Finally, consider cost. The total cost of an insurance quote is not just your premium, but how much money out-of-pocket you’ll have to pay in co-pays, deductibles, and uncovered services. This can be hard to evaluate, but it’s the most crucial factor to consider when evaluating health insurance quotes.