Health insurance is a necessary thing to have. If you get hurt or sick or someone in your family does, your insurance can help with the medical bills. Finding the right health insurance can be difficult because there are many choices and many variables that you have to deal with. Different plans will have other options, so it can be hard to truly compare apples to apples. So, what tips can you use to help find the right insurance for you and your family?
One of the things that can help you find your health insurance is understanding some of the acronyms around the policies. The big ones are HMO, PPO, EPO, and POS. These are all kinds of plans and offer different variables.
- HMO: This stands for health management organization. When you have an HMO plan, you will have lower out-of-pocket costs. The downside is that you will have a very specific list of medical professionals you can see. You have to see an in-network provider, which means the provider has a contract with your insurance company. That means going to an in-network hospital unless it is an emergency. You need to have a referral to see a specialist.
- PPO: A preferred provider organization will let you see any provider you want, but there is a strong preference to see a provider in-network because it will be less expensive. You can schedule an appointment with specialists without having a referral from your PCP. The specialist may require it even if your insurance does not. The upside of this insurance is that you will have a lot more freedom in choosing providers, but you will end up paying more out-of-pocket costs.
- EPO: This is an exclusive provider organization. You do have to choose an in-network primary provider, but you generally don't have to have a referral for a specialist. You have the freedom not to have to get referrals, and you have lower out-of-pocket costs, but you have to go with an in-network provider, which can significantly cut your choices.
- POS: This stands for point of service plan. You can choose whatever provider you want but will pay less for an in-network provider. YOu do have to have referrals for specialists. Your PCP will be in charge of coordinating your car along with whatever specialists you have.
Health insurance is necessary to have. Choosing the right one is tricky. A little understanding can help you decide which one to get.