June 2021
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Explaining Health Plan Types

You want to insure your health and ask your insurance agent to offer you a good policy. You are given quotes and start thinking about buying a certain plan when the inevitable question is asked “What type of plan do you want to purchase?” This question has left many first-time insurance shoppers confused as they didn’t know about any plan types before. Too bad, because by choosing the type of insurance plan you will pay for determines how your coverage will be distributed as well as how your medical services will be provided. And as you may guess this is crucial when it comes to insuring own health.

But do not worry, this article will explain the essence behind each coverage plan type you can get in the US so the next time you will be asked the question of plan types you would choose the perfect plan to meet your requirements.

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)

HMO plans are the most popular type of managed care distribution these days. They provide a wide spectrum of healthcare services you can receive for a reduced fee or free of charge. But the main catch is that you can receive them only at specific locations and from specific professionals. And you will have to choose a primary care physician (PCP) who will refer you to other professionals when needed. Without your PCP’s affiliations you won’t be able to receive coverage for the services you took. Neither will you be covered for the costs if you address someone outside the network.

PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)

PPO insurance coverage is quite alike to HMO. This type of managed care also requires you to choose a PCP, however you have more options when choosing this doctor. This is especially useful to those who have a good relation with their family doctors who might be outside the insurance company’s network. Moreover, you have fewer restrictions on out-of-network services, still you will eventually pay more for them if compared to in-network services.

POS (Point of Service)

POS health insurance plans also require you to choose a primary car physician. But you aren’t restricted to a network your insurance company has. Still, it will be impossible for you to get individual health insurance coverage if you don’t get a referral from your PCP before visiting any other doctor.

EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization)

EPO health insurance coverage is almost the same as HMO plans. There’s a PCP you have to get a referral from in order to visit a specialist and there’s a network of physicians and facilities you are limited to. The only difference is that you pay only for the services you received, while with HMO plans you have to pay a regular monthly fee.


This type of insurance coverage is the oldest out there and least complicated to understand. You have no restrictions on where to get your care or whom to address. You only pay for the services you receive when needed. However, you get less coverage with such plans and your overall expenses tend to be higher than with managed care plans.

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