Understanding POS and HMO Health Insurance
HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations) have been around for a few decades. You may already be familiar with them, but let me go over the basics. These plans include a network of different health care services. These may include doctors, hospitals, therapists, and even drug stores. In order to obtain coverage, a member must almost always use these network services. The insurer may allow some exceptions for emergencies and other rare cases, but you should learn about these exceptions in advance whenever possible.
HMO health plans do a good job of controlling costs for insurers and plan members. They also usually make it pretty simple to get health care. If you visit a network service provider, they will usually help you handle billing and payments. You may only need to pay a small co-payment for your services.
The problem with HMO plans is they do not give you many choices. You may have to visit your primary care doctor, and may only be able to get other services if he or she approves it.
Another type of health plan, called Point Of Service (POS), has appeared on the market to give plan members a few more choices. It is interesting to compare POS vs HMO plans to understand the new choice. A POS plan is a modified HMO. You can use it like an HMO for network services. However, you can also choose to step outside the plan network to get medical treatment. If you decide to do this, you will probably have to pay more. These plans will have different coverage levels for in-network and out-of-network treatment. You may pay higher deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance amounts.
Which plan should you choose? That really depends upon the health insurance plans that are on the market in your local area, your budget, and your own preferences. You can always visit a website like quotespig.com in order to find out what health insurance companies offer in your own zip code.