Differences between HMO, PPO and POS Health Plans

There are so many plan options in the world of insurance, but one question that is often asked is, “What are the differences between HMO, PPO and POS health plans?”

The way an HMO, or health maintenance organization plan, works is that you pick a primary care physician (PCP) who is in your plan’s network. Your see your PCP for routine care. If you need additional care that your PCP cannot provide, they refer you to in-network specialists who provide that care to you. An HMO does not cover out-of-network care.

When you have a PPO, or preferred provider organization plan, you don’t need a referral for additional care. Out-of-network care costs more, but you have the ability to choose the doctors that you want to see.

A POS, or point-of-service plan, is a hybrid of HMO and PPO plans. Like an HMO, you choose an in-network PCP, but, like a PPO, you have the option of seeing out-of-network doctors and specialists without a referral. Costs for care will be lower if you see in-network providers.

Remember, not all plans are the same. This is a general explanation of the differences between HMO, PPO and POS health insurance plans. If you need help choosing a specific plan, Rick would be happy to help!

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