What are the Most Popular Health Insurance Plans?

Health insurance has found itself of much debate in the past several years. President Barack Obama campaigned on and then delivered a legislative plan that promised to insure the uninsured and revolutionize health care as we know it. However, not all health care plans are created equal and some popular health insurance plans provide better care than others.

The Debate

Health insurance costs have risen over the past decade leaving many with highly burdensome medical bills. Because millions of Americans were unable to acquire health insurance in years past due to preexisting medical conditions, new healthcare laws allow for all Americans to acquire adequate medical coverage. Now everyone can find and opt in to a health insurance plan that covers their medical expenses.

What are My Options When It Comes to Health Insurance?

When first investigating an insurance plan, an individual can become overwhelmed due to the number of different plans, let alone the number of companies offering those plans. Most don’t know the difference between an HMO or Health Maintenance Organization and a PPO or preferred provider organization. There are even POS or Point of Service plans that combine features of both HMOs and PPOs to better meet the needs of the individual patient.

HMOs, PPOs, and POSs, OH MY!

A PPO or preferred provider organization allows a great deal of freedom in medical care. As long as you see a doctor within the organization, your insurance will cover the majority of that care. This includes any specialist or special care. An HMO or Health Maintenance Organization requires every patient to see a primary care physician or PCP, and only when that PCP recommends a specialist will the insurance cover the costs. Plus, the specialist must be part of the HMO. POS plans are much like HMOs but don’t require the specialist to be a part of the organization.

How You Know What Plan is right for You

Each of the above plans has its benefits and drawbacks. An HMO is less expensive because it lowers the costs of unnecessarily visiting specialists, but it has much less freedom to seek the care the patient believes he or she needs. A PPO is more expensive but allows you access to a larger number of health care providers. POS plans are rarely offered by employers and still require a PCP to recommend a specialist before you can expect to their costs covered.

What is the Most Popular Plan?

Preferred Provider Organization plans are the most popular health insurance plans currently in the United States. PPOs are usually very large organizations encompassing the majority of the physicians and specialists in a georgaphic region. Likewise, they offer convenient and accomodating procedures for medical care. Most of the time, patients do not have to fill out long and tedious forms to receive coverage. PPOs also cover a great deal of preventitive care including yearly check-ups, immunizations, and screenings that many HMOs might not routinely carry.

Whether you value access to various specialists or the cost of medical care as more relevant to your needs in health care, it is important to find a plan that fits your needs and desires when it comes to health insurance. More options are available than any time before, thanks to recent legislation, and with diligent research, you can find the health insurance plan that fits your lifestyle.

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