REMINDER: Per the Affordable Care Act, you must up for health insurance during Open Enrollment between Nov 1st and Dec 15th. Coverage will be effective on January 1st. If you miss the deadline, you may qualify for special enrollment if you have a life event. For more on healthcare reform, click here.
A Health Maintenance Organization or HMO health plan requires you to appoint a primary care physician and to use doctors and facilities that are affiliated with the HMO. If you use healthcare service providers outside of the HMO, there is a good chance those charges won’t be covered by your policy. The great thing about an HMO is that the only charges you incur, outside of your premiums, are co-pays for doctor’s visits and other services such as procedures and prescriptions.
A Preferred Provider Organization or PPO will save you money on services if you use the preferred providers within the network. Keep in mind that deductibles must be met on this plan before some services will be covered. The good thing about a PPO is they generally will allow a certain amount of services annually outside of the deductible with a small co-pay, and most often the PPO has a large network with quality care providers and excellent prescription drug coverage.
Catastrophic Plans are great for those healthy individuals who do not expect to need medical care throughout the year, other than routine preventative care.