It’s great to have choices. When it comes to health insurance especially, you have your choice of several plan types.
The two most common are: Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).
Generally speaking, the difference between HMO and PPO plans includes the size of the plan network, ability to see specialists without a referral, plan costs, and coverage for out-of-network services.
With an HMO plan, you pick one primary care physician. All your health care services go through that doctor. That means that you need a referral before you can see any other health care professional, except in an emergency. Visits to health care professionals outside of your network typically aren’t covered by your insurance.
PPO plans give you flexibility. You don’t need a primary care physician. You can typically go to any health care professional you want without a referral—inside or outside of your network. Staying inside your network means smaller copays and full coverage. If you choose to go outside your network, you’ll have higher out-of-pocket costs, and not all services may be covered.
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