Health insurance

The different types of health insurance policies are listed below.

Health maintenance organization (HMO)

Health maintenance organizations provide coverage from entirely within their network of providers.  These plans typically have lower administrative costs and less paperwork than other plans.  Members usually must obtain a referral on order to proceed with receiving care from another provider.

Preferred provider organization (PPO)

In a preferred provider network members can receive care from inside or outside the network, but typically have higher out of pocket costs when outside the network in the form of higher deductibles and co-insurance.

Exclusive provider organization (EPO)

Exclusive provider organizations are similar to HMO plans except that referrals are usually not needed.

Point of service (POS)

Point of service plans are similar to HMO plans except that care can be obtained from outside the network.  Referrals are typically needed in order to do so, and costs borne by the member are usually higher.

High deductible health plan (HDHP)

High deductible health insurance plans are typically the lowest cost plans, but also have high deductibles and usually high co-insurance payments as well, resulting in high out of pocket costs overall.  These plans are usually supplemented with health savings accounts (“HSA”s) which enable the member to accumulate assets on a tax advantaged basis for the purposes of paying for out of pocket costs associated with the high deductible health plan.