When deciding on what kind of health insurance plan to choose for your family, the number of choices and types of plans can be overwhelming. From deductibles, health savings accounts, and co-pays, it can be difficult to know where to start to sift through all of the information to make the right choice. Here are a few examples of health insurance plans that may be offered, and some situations where they might be best for you and your family.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
Preferred provider organizations allow patients to receive both in-network and out-of-network care, without seeking a referral from their community health care provider or primary care physician. It can potentially cost more to see an out-of-network doctor, but you would have the flexibility to do so if needed. The premiums and upfront costs of these plans can be higher as well.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
Health maintenance organization plans can be less expensive than PPOs and require less out of pocket costs but have a more limited number of providers within their network. They also require a referral from your primary care physician if you need to see a specialist. HMO plans can be useful for those who are comfortable choosing a primary care physician and seeking preventative care more frequently than specialists.
High Deductible Health Plans
Another type of health insurance plan is a high deductible health plan. They can be either HMO or PPO plans, and require you to meet a higher deductible before the insurance company begins to cover medical costs. This type of plan has a lower upfront cost, however, so it may be right for those who don’t often seek medical care and are looking for a less expensive option.
All health insurance plans are required to cover preventative and wellness services, emergency care, prescriptions, and outpatient care. If you are a relatively healthy person who usually goes to the doctor infrequently for check-ups, as opposed to someone who is more frequently sick or who has small children who are more often sick, you might choose a plan that offers a higher deductible with lower monthly payments. If you are someone who often seeks specialist care, or who has family members who are more frequently sick, a health insurance plan that is more expensive in monthly premiums but covers higher costs of emergency or preventative care could be the right option for you.