By Gregoria Partida
It can be difficult to make the right choice when choosing health insurance plans if you are not aware of the difference between the types of plans available. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are organizations of health care, which provide you with health care professionals and facilities to create a “provider network.” With HMO insurance, you will typically pay a small co-payment when visiting a physician or hospital within the plan. On the other hand there is another health insurance that stands as a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). These organizations have a specific contract with specific insurance companies which are less strict unlike the HMO. The PPO is a combination of fee for services, like HMO there is a limited number of doctors and hospitals to choose from. With PPOs the advantage is that you do not need a primary care physician’s permission to see a specialist of any kind.
For HMO there will be a small charge for each visit to the doctor’s office and hospital. On the contrary for PPO, actually there is a deductible for some services you might acquire for each visit. Unlike HMO you actually are in charge of choice of your doctor to monitor your health care.
PPOs cost more than HMOs, but many people choose them because they are less restrictive. You will have more control over your own healthcare decisions than you would have under an HMO.
Often, your financial situation will make the decision for you. HMOs are significantly less expensive and limit your out-of-pocket costs. However, if you want more autonomy in making your healthcare decisions, PPOs are a better bet.
Understanding the difference between HMO and PPO plans can help you make the right insurance choice for your entire family.