PPO, HMO, FFS, POS…With all the three-letter abbreviations and jargon that gets thrown around, it can be pretty confusing trying to find the insurance answers you really need. Let’s move past the abbreviations and determine what you really need to know about health coverage, starting with PPO health insurance.
A Preferred Provider Organization (or PPO as you have probably heard) refers to a type of health plan that contracts with a network of doctors, hospitals and health care providers who provide medical care at reduced rates. PPOs are one of the most common types of health plans offered and offer great flexibility when it comes to getting medical attention.
With a PPO health plan you can visit any doctor, hospital or health care provider whether they are in or out of your network with no referral required. Although you have permission to receive care outside of your network, you will pay less by choosing care providers from inside the network.
Because they are more flexible than other types of health plans like HMOs, a PPO is generally more expensive. If you visit your in-network doctor, you will be responsible for paying a copayment and in some cases, an annual deductible. You can still find affordable monthly premiums and copayments that fit your budget by shopping around.
Is a PPO Right for Me
If you appreciate the freedom of choosing your own care providers without needing a referral, a PPO is a good choice. You can get health insurance benefits for your preventive care visits, hospital or emergencies, prescription drugs and even specialist care.